Material Exchange

Frank, the fashion sourcing assistant

Meet Frank: The hero of the unsung heroes

What kid doesn’t spend their childhood imagining what they’ll be when they grow up? An astronaut? A firefighter? How about a textile salesperson? Well, maybe that last one not so much! Yet being a textile salesperson is as enjoyable a career as it is varied.

Frank the sourcing expert

I spent the majority of a lucky life selling textiles. All of you know salespeople. We’re at the heart of creation, enabling brands to produce products that people love and make them feel good every time they put them on. Yet, as textile salespeople, we get very little credit for our role, and very little support.

Look at the Kingpins Show, for instance. There are three key stakeholders involved in our business. First, exhibitors who come from all over the world to showcase their products and companies. Then the decision makers from brands and retailers, scouting out what exhibitors are showing and discovering new suppliers. And lastly (the most under-appreciated of the lot), the sales and marketing people who work on behalf of the exhibitors — a.k.a. the salespeople.

These salespeople spend hours each day searching for the perfect fabric that’s going to help their client turn their vision into reality. They strive to understand exactly what it is their client wants, and then comb through hundreds of thousands of materials to find the closest match. It’s a great job — the vast majority love what they do and are awfully good at it. Still, a little help would go a long way in this industry. And that help is finally here.

Material Exchange's Chief of Textiles, Andrew Olah

To all textile salespeople out there, I am excited to tell you that Frank is ready to help you. Frank is the new virtual assistant for salespeople (think Alexa for textiles). Created by Material Exchange, Frank was designed to make your life easier. As fashion’s first AI sourcing assistant, Frank can send emails, write data reports, send FDS sheets, provide prices and fabric data — all he needs is access to your notes.

Frank is ready for prime time. Imagine it: you and Frank, going to all your meetings, diving into all your client needs on a shared quest for that coveted material. Say hello to your new right-hand man… er, bear.  

“Frank is the new virtual assistant for salespeople (think Alexa for textiles)”

Andrew Olah, Chief of Textiles at Material Exchange

Frank in action

To see Frank doing what he does best, watch our CEO Darren Glenister demo-ing Frank at the Kingpins Show in Amsterdam last month.

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