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#WeAreCondeNast - Marketing Lead Brand Development

We spoke with Ayke Bogen about the hugely successful VOGUE Collection.


You’ve probably seen the Vogue Collection all over Instagram. The apparel collection, launched to celebrate Vogue Germany’s 40th anniversary, includes sweatshirts, hoodies, and t-shirts which are made from 100% certified organic and sustainably-sourced cotton. The products have become hugely popular with the brand’s fans and the pieces consistently sell out.

Ayke Bogen is the brain behind the operation. Having studied business administration in Berlin, London and Santiago de Chile, Ayke started her career at DDB’s entertainment marketing unit. She then moved to New York (a lifelong dream of hers) and worked in fashion PR before founding her own e-commerce company. Ayke has also worked as a marketing consultant for brands like Hugo Boss, Sky and Amazon.

Presently a marketing lead brand development for Vogue and AD at Condé Nast Germany, Ayke has been busy creating, building and evolving the Vogue Collection. She now tells us more about her role and what her favorite piece from the collection is.

Tell us about the Vogue Collection. How did it come about? I started writing the business plan in January 2019 and we launched in May 2019. The strategy was to take a very lean start-up approach: launch, test, learn, improve. We didn’t spend too much time or money on market studies; we let our customers decide and tell us what they wanted and would be willing to pay for.

 "The strategy was to take a very lean start-up approach: launch, test, learn, improve”

What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your role? The most rewarding part is that my team and I have managed to build a very successful profit center, which became a substantial B2C revenue stream for Vogue Germany in only 10 months. Now after 16 months in business, due to its huge potential and success, Vogue Collection is being rolled out into other European markets this winter; namely France, Italy and the UK.

The most challenging part was to ensure that many different departments were excited to support and help grow Vogue Collection as a completely new business. We needed everybody’s expertise and all hands on deck as we knew that the project’s success was highly dependent on strong teamwork – especially as we had limited budget and human ressources when we launched.

What have been the best selling products? Our Spring Rainbow and pastel coloured sweatshirts with embroidered logos are the most popular styles. We launched these in new colors for our summer and fall collections, and are now planning seasonal updates for winter as well.

What is your favorite piece in the collection? I really love our new Fall 2020 drop which is dyed with natural ‘Earth Color’ dyes that are synthesized from non-edible agricultural waste. Two pieces in the collection are made of 100% undyed raw organic cotton. If I had to choose one - which is hard as I love them all - it would be the Sand sweatshirt that is dyed with bitter orange peel. It is a timeless classic that goes really well with jeans.

What can we expect from the Collection in the upcoming months? In terms of our products, we are strengthening our core segment of sweatshirts, hoodies and t-shirts. We will also be adding sweatpants to get cosy in during the cold winter months, which many people will spend in their home office settings. We will also expand our Classics line with new colors as well as new logo variations, graphics and other design elements.

Finally, what is something that others find surprising about your job? We built the Vogue Collection in-house with a really tiny team, covering all areas from product design, development and production, to e-commerce, campaign creation and online marketing, to logistics and customer service. Within less than a year, Vogue Collection has become a substantial part of Vogue Germany’s business. We nearly doubled our forecasted sales in 2020 and delivered a blueprint for Condé Nast global B2C revenue efforts.

Shop the Vogue Collection here.

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