Jul, 20 . 2023

“When You Meet the Right People, That’s When Magic Happens”

Sustainability and entrepreneurship are a family affair for Hasna Kourda, whose startup Save Your Wardrobe won the Innovation Award LVMH 2023.

Give us your Save Your Wardrobe pitch.

“Save Your Wardrobe is a tech bringing together all the stakeholder of the post-purchase experience — the clients, in-store teams, the tailors — as well as the convenience of pick up and drop off at home. One of its aims is also to get the Maisons and brands to take some ownership when it comes to repair & care,  to support us as people who enjoy their clothing and want to cherish them. They can do this by connecting us with the right atelier, the right care, or just by sharing content about how we can best look after our purchases at home.”

What’s in it for a Group like LVMH?

“Beyond revenue? Creating a sustainable partnership… But of course, they could do that by themselves. LVMH’s strengths lies in its operational excellence. Meanwhile SYW has been working for three years with the ateliers, we understand how they work, that they’re not the most digitally savvy. We know how to manage them as human beings. They’re the unsung heroes, the repairers, who work in the shadows. So, this is where we want to change the narrative and show that operational excellence can be married with a new business model. When you meet the right people who understand this, that’s when magic happens.”

How did it feel winning this year’s LVMH Innovation Award?

“Incredible. We received this award on Save Your Wardrobe’s sixth anniversary. I think that the signal that Mr. Arnault sent to the whole industry by awarding it to us is a revolutionary one. He’s essentially saying that the brand experience doesn’t finish at the time of purchase, it’s merely starting! I will cherish that moment forever. For six years, it felt like Save Your Wardrobe was fighting through a desert and now we had finally reached an oasis.”

Let’s rewind a bit: what initially sparked the idea for your solution?

“My family comes from the island of Djerba in Tunisia, and although the country itself is quite modern, the island-dwellers are very conservative when it comes to using natural resources. They know they’re finite. My paternal grandmother taught us everything about fashion, fibers and how to mend things. She knew to all these specialized artisans. Never bought anything retail, only one-of-a-kind.

I really appreciated all of that, so I had quite a culture shock when I moved to France after high school, at the very beginning of fast fashion. It was even worse when I arrived in London a few years later after finishing my master’s in Business Strategy and Markets: there was so much over-consumption of throw- away fashion, with no care for the workers, fabrics, dyes, and chemicals.

So, I though let’s bring some of the tech we see in other industries to create a circular fashion initiative. The feedback we kept getting at the start was that ‘this is too cold’ and ‘there’s no room for technology in the fashion industry…’

That’s why it was so nice to win the LVMH Innovation Award as it was all about technology and how it enhances the retail experience. I also loved the fact that in his speech M. Arnault emphasized the importance of values, including family. That’s exactly what I’m bringing to the table with Save Your Wardrobe — family values handed down several generations. I’m just adding some technology to make a bigger impact.”

We’re curious. What’s your wardrobe like?

“I’ve actually just opened it to get dressed, and some of it is not even mine! There’s a 34-year-old skirt my sister handed down to me when she graduated high school. I have this incredible shirt from my maternal grandmother in Djerba. You can see that it’s hand-embroidered by her, and when you are tired of the decoration you can change it. There are supposed to be lace sleeves on it, but I took them off as they’re quite old and precious. But it’s meant to be taken off and replaced by another type of sleeve. Here on the side there’s a large panel that allows you to expand the shirt if you become pregnant. This shirt — 70-year-old cotton — can live multiple lives and it’s so sturdy. This is typical of clothes from Djerba, everything is made in a modular way so that you can keep it forever. I love that!”

You’ll soon be joining the rest of the Season 9 cohort being accelerated for a year by LVMH at La Maison des Startups. What do foresee as your greatest challenge?

“Getting ready for growth. Sustainable growth is super important. I don’t want to hire 50 people overnight and then fire half of them. So far, Save Your Wardrobe spans 40 people me included between London and Tunisia. From the beginning I wanted to give back and for my country to benefit from our potential success.”



We hear you’ll have the support of your own little hype man.

“Yes, I have two boys, 7 and 1, and the eldest Younes is so supportive! The day before the award at Viva Tech, he told me: ‘Don’t worry mommy you will have it. You are going home with the award.’ I found that so sweet, a little naïve and a bit pressuring as well. So, I tried to manage his expectations.

Younes is one of our first fans and he has the enterprising spirit as well: he’s been working on business ideas for the past four years, including a zero-waste restaurant and planning how to sell the stories he writes – which isn’t a far cry from the storytelling we do in the luxury sector. He’s also able to pitch Save Your Wardrobe. Sometimes, when we’re walking through the street in London, he’ll spot something around sustainability or recycling and say, ‘that would be a good partner for you mommy.’ I’m so proud of him.”