By Sarah Aly
Coming from three generations of textile industry leaders, Mohamed Talal founded DressCode in 2018 as a way to cater to the fashion-forward Egyptian population. As smartphone penetration rates and online activity continue increasing year after year, Talal accurately identified a gap in the market by recognizing the society’s need for an e-commerce platform that specializes in fashion.
He partnered with current COO, Ali Zakaria, a professional with over a decade of experience in the digital marketing field, and together the two entrepreneurs created a women’s fast fashion e-commerce platform that offers customers their own line of clothing as well as other local brands.
In response to the Egyptian currency devaluation and to keep products affordable for locals, DressCode made the pivot from selling imported clothing and created the online fashion hub for exclusively locally-made products, thus was born Dresscodeme.com.
DressCode was the first Egyptian fast fashion e-commerce website to connect Egyptian garment factories and workshops with a new generation of tech-savvy customers. Working with a network of 25 workshops, the company has produced and sold more than 35,000 pieces in 2021. The company began with two small workshops that produced locally-made, affordable dresses. Since then, they have entered several new markets and widened their network to include more product variety. The company is now producing over 2,500 Stock Keeping Units (SKUs), including: pullovers, hoodies, skirts, pants, socks and more. In 2021, DressCode launched a line of home products, paired with strong partnerships with local manufacturers who offer a variety of 20 different products ranging from bed sheets, mugs, cushions, kitchen tools and decorations. Last month, DressCode announced the launch of DressCode Men, providing a platform for Egypt’s male population to enjoy as well.
In 2020, DressCode partnered with investment firm Egypt Ventures, who recognized the company’s growth potential and provided them with a six-figure fund to help propel them to the next level in Egypt’s fashion industry. DressCode utilized this funding strategically to optimize operational aspects, deploy effective marketing tactics, and bring into action an easy-to-use platform, all of which have enhanced the overall customer experience. Since their partnership with Egypt Ventures, DressCode revenues have quadrupled in a span of two years. The team developed a unique model to connect the entire fashion value chain from design to delivery through partnerships with workshops and reliable service delivery. Starting with four employees, the company has grown into a versatile and dynamic team of 25, capable of handling all business growth requirements. Today, DressCode has indirectly created jobs for more than 250 designers and tailors through their partnerships with manufacturers.
DressCode now serves more than two million Egyptian customers yearly with more than 400 orders delivered daily. They credit their automated test and re-order systems for their growth. The company successfully sold more than 18,000 pieces before producing them throughout the year, reaching an overall 95% sell out rate. The pre-order feature deployed last year helped design models with its partners and predicted demand before production, all while reducing product waste. Investing in these technologies has strengthened the company’s value in the market. DressCode has experimented with installing different advanced plug-ins to their website, helping them predict consumer tastes and preferences and deliver a variety of products to meet the growing demand. Ultimately, this unique system has enabled DressCode to provide affordable and rapidly delivered fashion in reaction to the fast-growing development of the e-commerce ecosystem in the world and specifically Egypt.
DressCode’s 2022 growth plan begins with an investment into manufacturers’ backend technology that will enable them to be more efficient and profitable. In addition, they plan to introduce a new feature that enables customers to virtually test the sizes of the products before ordering, which will not only increase order numbers but also enhance customer experience and satisfaction. The founders strongly believe this Company has potential to play a key role in the Egyptian fashion e-commerce industry.