Laws of Motion During a Global Pandemic: Pivoting from Perfect Fit to PPE

How did innovative women’s apparel startup pivot to manufacture PPE at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Jorge Guzman, Bilal Zeineddine  | Spring 2021
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Founded in May 2019, Laws of Motion CEO and Founder Carly Bigi originally envisioned that the brand would be a global force for innovation in the women’s apparel industry. Launching with a single flagship product, the Alpha dress, Laws of Motion hit its first month’s revenue target on its first day of operations and scaled 100% month-over-month. Laws of Motion received widespread recognition for its disruptive technology, manufacturing innovation, and accessible price point. In contrast to most of its competitors, Laws of Motion maintained a US-based supply chain with American manufacturers and suppliers, a strategic decision in order to provide fast turnaround to customers and enable cross-functional process improvement. Its momentum seemed unstoppable—then COVID-19 arrived. Stateside operations meant that Laws of Motion was able to quickly pivot its supply chain into personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturing to support the US effort to control the spread of the virus. In the end, Laws of Motion became one of the fastest-growing brands producing PPE in America—while still servicing its apparel customers. This case asks students to consider the longer-term implications of this pivot: Should Bigi refocus on her original vision, continue doing both apparel and PPE, or take advantage of her new relationships to continue to expand into government contracts for other equipment and leave direct-to-consumer retail behind?

Case ID: 210413

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