BRAVADA HISTORY IN PROGRESS
This history page is a constant work in progress. All major events will be documented and recorded as a historical timeline. Given the largess of this project, stakeholders are invited to check back on a weekly basis for updates and ongoing additions to this chronological timeline.
July 2007 - Dec 2008: BRAVADA International Ltd - The Beginning - CelebDirect Inc. (CELI)
Danny Alex founded BRAVADA International Ltd in 2007 (Originally CelebDirect) when he acquired the shell company Teltran, all remaining debt and assets for $350,000 and then provided financing of $500,000 in 2 tranches, a $200,000 promissory note and $300,000 in additional funding. CelebDirect had 2 acquisition candidates; TV Inc and Wallace Marketing and Licensing Group Inc. (WMLG). The company's new operations were to be a new fitness machine that combined 2 different groups agreeing to come together as partners in a merged sport fitness machine that Mr. Alex called and trademarked, the Muscle Flex®. One group was Bob Wall and Chuck Norris and the other was Tom Jones and Wesley Snipes. TV Inc. and WMLG had the original and exclusive rights to the USA for the exercise machine at the time.
Mr. Alex had 8 years experience as a competitive kickboxer and over 2 decades of experience in the stock market and investing idioms at the time which made him the ideal candidate to assess the potential for this opportunity (see CEO Danny Alex). At the time, Chuck Norris was doing significant business with his Total Gym and the opportunity seemed sound. There were 4 unfortunate elements that lead BRAVADA and Mr. Alex to ultimately drop the project as a business opportunity:
- Due diligence of TV Inc and WMLG failed in early 2008
- Serious tensions started to develop between the two groups (Wall / Norris and Jones / Snipes)
- Wesley Snipes had legal issues with the IRS and was convicted on April 24, 2008
- The "Great Recession" Began sending the economy and markets into turmoil
Mr. Alex ended all negotiations with both TV Inc and WMLG in January of 2008 and took over all operations of the company as CEO. By the end of 2008, all four of the factors became the major elements behind Mr. Alex ceasing plans for the Muscle Flex exercise machine. Mid to late in 2008, the economy and stock markets were plummeting from about 9500 on election day to about 6500 at the January inauguration. The complete economic standstill that ensued was an obvious indication for Mr. Alex that the Muscle Flex was not going to be a viable business opportunity and it was better to end this endeavor to allow the financial crisis to work its way through and seek new operations. Mr. Alex completed both funding tranches in late 2008 and allowed the Great Recession to play its way through.
October 01, 2008: CelebDirect Inc. (CELI) Changes its Name to Muscle Flex Inc. (MFLI)
July 2009 - Jan 2010: The Beagle The Buddy and MuscleFlexVata.com (Women's Activewear)
In the summer of 2009, Mr. Alex had determined the company would remain in the fitness infomercial industry as it showed strong sales and significant opportunity for well priced value-added fitness products. Mr. Alex had a lifetime of fitness experience starting with 8 years of kickboxing and boxing at a very young age and understood health as it has been a way of life for him for over 30 years and something he understood well. Two products were formulated, the Beagle Stepfit Pedometer and the Buddy Tablet Caddy. During the Muscle Flex exercise machine time frame, Mr. Alex made some significant contacts in the infomercial business in Los Angeles and New York as progress was made on both products heading into the early part of 2010.
BRAVADA CEO, Danny Alex, also entered the women's activewear business that he had been developing for sometime prior and decided to develop it in the company and launch MuscleFlexVata.com. Fitness fashion was just starting to make it significant impression on the average woman in a very big way. The website was launched and revenue began very soon thereafter.
Dec 2009 - Dec 2010: KIM KARDASHIAN TEAMS UP WITH AND BRAVADA / Muscle Flex
As the Beagle and The Buddy were being developed, Mr. Alex was approached by TLK Fusion in late 2010 if the company had any interest in the possibility of Kim Kardashian working with the Company and its women's activewear line. A number of meetings ensued and there seemed to be a genuine synergy between Kim Kardashian's work ethic and BRAVADA / Muscle Flex's women's workout clothing.
Kim Kardashian was extremely thoughtful in her approach to closing the agreement with the company. The working relationship was formalized in an agreement for $150,000 giving both parties incentive to do their best to execute and provide positive results for BRAVADA. In June of 2010, BravadaWomen.com was launched as a companion to the real world stores in Los Angeles, CA. The company ultimately operated 3 stores in Los Angeles on Robertson and Melrose Ave. The company decided not to renew its agreement with Kim Kardashian and had a short engagement with Melanie B. At the conclusion of that relationship, BRAVADA decided not to engage with any additional celebrity endorsement deals despite there being a number of interested parties. BRAVADA had learned much from the experiences but did not see the celebrity endorsement fitting in with its macro business plan as a new revenue stream was growing exponentially, its new website OnlyLeggings.com.
JULY 2010: MUSCLE FLEX Inc. (MFLI) TO BRAVADA (BRAV) - MuscleFlexVata.com to BRAVADAWomen.com
On July 18, 2010, the company changed its name from Muscle Flex Inc. to BRAVADA International Ltd. The company would continue to trade under the symbol MFLI until November 18, 2010 when FINRA approved the change to BRAV. BRAVADA also launched BRAVADAWomen.com to replace MuscleFlexVata.com. The company had been promoting BRAVADAWomen.com in the months leading up to the company's name change.
December 2010: ONLYLEGGINGS.COM - FITNESS to FASHION
In December of 2010, CEO Danny Alex put together 3 websites as a test to determine an expansion vertical for the company. The 3 websites he built and developed were:
- 1. WorldofSwimWear.com
- 2. FashionDollarStore.com
- 3. OnlyLeggings.com
Very early into the test, OnlyLeggings.com exploded in revenue and by August 2011, revenue had grown so fast that it eclipsed the combined revenue streams across the entire company. Mr. Alex made the decision to focus the company's efforts and resources on the leg fashion vertical given the fast revenue growth on OnlyLeggings.com. In October 2011, BRAVADA converted its 2 BRAVADA Women Activewear stores to World of Legging retail stores.
October 2011: WORLD OF LEGGINGS RETAIL STORES & WORLDOFLEGGINGS.COM
In October of 2011, Mr. Alex had converted its 2 BRAVADA Women Activewear Stores to World of Leggings retail stores and placed it women's activewear business in status quo mode to focus on its now fast growing leg fashion business. Mr. Alex also determined that a companion website that shared the same name as the retail stores should be launched. Mr. Alex, as with all BRAVADA International Websites, wrote, built and designed WorldofLeggings.com for an early 2012 launch. For the rest of 2012 and into 2013, the leggings and leg fashion business remained robust, however, there were very big changes in the fashion industry beginning to burgeon.
January 2014: Death of Real World Retail & Small Retailers - The AMAZON EFFECT - EPACKET CHINA
In mid 2013, the decline of real world retail began to show in very real ways. Consumer foot traffic from a year earlier was down and the online business was showing signs of increased competitions. Google Adword campaigns were beginning to show a significant decline in effectiveness and a myriad of competitors began to show, but there were 2 crippling events that created a growing competitive landscape and that was the new Amazon.com 3rd party seller system that saw 3rd party sellers explode on the website and the explosion of Epacket shipping that allowed China sellers to ship to the United States virtually for free. These two market realities created an environment that made all retailers, both real world and online have to manage an environment that would forever change consumer's shopping habits and how the purchase their goods and services.
THE AMAZON EFFECT
Amazon had just recently launched its new 3rd party seller program that explode in size and number. This changed the entire competitive landscape of the North American retail environment but it also spurred a massive deflationary effect on virtually all products as natural competitive forces on the explosion of Amazon sellers forced prices down sharply and with alacrity. Price discovery in a matter of seconds was now at every consumer's finger tips and it began a new reality in not only fashion but the entire retail industry.
EPACKET CHINA SHIPPING
Epacket shipping allowed China retailers and sellers to sell their very cheap products into the United States with virtually free shipping under 4 lbs. What cost China sellers pennies to ship from China would cost US retailers $6.95 to ship from only a few miles away.
The Amazon Effect and Epacket shipping for China Sellers ensured the collapse of many businesses in the United States. Only those companies that could quickly adapt to a changing retail world would be able to survive the dramatic change that would ensue over the next few years.
NOVEMBER 2014 - 2016: THE ERA OF TESTING: NEW WEBSITES AND ONLINE CONCEPTS - MAJOR GOOGLE ALGORITHM CHANGES (PANDA, PENGUIN & HUMMINGBIRD)
The retail marketplace began to get very challenging for virtually all retailers. The way consumers were purchasing their goods began to change very quickly and a deluge of new sellers propelled by Amazon and Epacket China sellers gave US consumers an exponentially growing number of sellers. For BRAVADA International, it began a time of testing and experimenting new ideas and concepts. There were significant changes to the main 3 Google algorithms; Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird that had to be researched and applied to all websites, a task that was in itself daunting.
Mr. Alex is one of the few CEO's who writes all of the CSS and HTML for the company's websites, performs all SEO duties, Photoshop and content creation. This was a time of massive change and upheaval in online Ecommerce forced a reorientation of how webmasters built and maintained websites and BRAVADA was in the same situation. With all of the changes being forced into the online environment from so many directions, BRAVADA went into a testing phase that saw a number of new ideas formulated and tested in the marketplace. They included:
Legstravaganza.com: This website was designed to test various low cost pricing scenarios and event driven promotions
Habitat Websites: The Habitat websites were design to see the effectiveness of dividing each fashion vertical into its own website domain that would be operated separately but working together as separate entities with regards to SEO.
VivaVuva.com: A comprehensive fashion website that was intended to use media through Youtube and various media formats to promote its products in a SEO environment that had all of the fashion verticals under one domain.
WomensLeggings.com: Utilize this website to determine various SEO applications of the domains relation to page-rank as well as anchor text, Title tags and H1-H6 title tags and more.
DressesExpress.com: A website specializing in dresses and only dresses. This website was used to determine how SEO and page-rank would be affected by custom specific anchor text, Title tags and H1-H6 title tags in a similar vertical to leggings. This website did show promise however Google algorithm changes had determine the company's ultimate interest.
World of Leggings on Amazon: The company began selling it products on Amazon to determine the effectiveness of the platform for its products and to develop an understanding of the Amazon platform for intelligence purposes.
The testing of these different websites developed a very strong understanding and developed a significant knowledge base of the new Google changes that had a massive impact across the entire online environment. From a revenue perspective, the company considered the websites as financial failures however the knowledge gained has paved the way to what BRAVADA International is today and its strategy moving forward.
NOTE: World of Leggings on Amazon was a financial success and the company was able to test the Amazon FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) system to determine its pros and cons as well as FBM (Fulfillment By Merchant).
2014 - 2017 GOOGLE FORCES SWEEPING CHANGE: SITEWIDE HTTPS - MOBILE - RESPONSIVE DESIGN - PANDA PENGUIN & HUMMINGBIRD
During this time period, Google had made some very significant changes to its algorithm and sub-algorithms in addition to mobile and website builds. Their 3 main algorithms; Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird, underwent significant and disruptive changes on how they rank websites for display in their web searches. They mandated site wide HTTPS and made responsive web design the defacto standard for website builds. For most this made rebuilding their websites. BRAVADA was in the position that it either had to hire an expensive contractor to redesign all of its websites or develop the process in-house. CEO Danny Alex went through a large learning curve and learned the process of building fully responsive websites that utilize only a single set of code for all types and sizes of screen sizes where the pre-website builds would utilize 2 or 3 different sets of code depending on screen size and resolution.
Changes to Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird also created sever consternation with all SEO specialists as Google had augmented how it reviews and ranks websites. The hurdle that had to be jumped was that all of these changes to the Google algorithm had to be read and understood and then, more importantly, applied to BRAVADA websites. This was a very onerous task as changing the websites incorrectly could even have a worse outcome to any page-rank loss from just the algorithm changes. Mr. Alex spent the time to fully understand all of the changes to Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird, apply the correct changes and upgrades to its websites and actually get a slight bump as opposed to any page-rank losses that many companies faced.
NOVEMBER 2016: CHRISTMAS PRICING POWER COLLAPSE
The 2016 Holiday season was a pivotal year in online and real world fashion retailing as a price collapse took hold of the industry that saw massive drops in pricing that ranged from 50% - 80% the entire Holiday season. The CEO of BRAVADA, Danny Alex, recognized this as a critical macro event that caused an the entire realignment of the fashion industry. It sent profit margins plummeting, retailers fighting each other for sales volume over profitability. Hundreds of retailers began to go bankrupt over the next few months and years as pricing power never recovered.
Companies that have gone bankrupt during the 2010's Great Retail Dying:
- August 2020 –Stein Mart
- August 2020 – Lord & Taylor, Le Tote
- August 2020 – Tailored Brands
- July 2020 – Ascena Retail Group
- July 2020 – RTW Retailwinds
- July 2020 – Brooks Brothers
- July 2020 – G Star Raw
- July 2020 – Lucky Brand Dungarees
- May 2020 – DVF Studio U.K.
- May 2020 – Lulu Guinness
- May 2020 – J.C. Penney
- May 2020 – Neiman Marcus Group
- May 2020 – ALDO Group
- May 2020 – John Varvatos
- May 2020 – J.Hilburn
- May 2020 – J. Crew
- April 2020 – True Religion (Round 2)
- September 2019 – Forever 21
- August 2019 – Barneys New York
- August 2019 - AVENUE
- August 19 - A'GACI
- July 2019 – Sonia Rykiel
- July 2019 - Charming Charlie
- April 2019 – Roberto Cavalli
- March 2019 – Pretty Green
- March 2019 – Diesel
- February 2019 – Payless, Inc. (Round 2)
- February 2019 – Charlotte Russe
- November 2018 – David’s Bridal
- June 2018 – J. Mendel
- May 2018 – Carven
- May 2018 – Rockport Group
- April 2018 – Nine West
- March 2018 – Claire’s Stores
- February 2018 – Charlotte Olympia
- December 2017 – Charming Charlie
- November 2017 – Styles for Less
- September 2017 – Aerosoles
- August 2017 – Perfumania
- July 2017 – Alfred Angelo
- July 2017 – True Religion
- June 2017 – Papaya Clothing
- May 2017 – Rue21
- April 2017 – Jaeger
- April 2017 – Payless, Inc
- March 2017 – BCBG Max Azria
- February 2017 – Wet Seal (Round 2)
- January 2017 – The Limited
- January 2017 – Bibhu Mohapatra
- December 2016 – Yogasmoga
- November 2016 – American Apparel (Round 2)
- November 2016 – Nasty Gal
- May 2016 – Aeropostale
- April 2016 – Pacific Sunwear
- January 2016 – Joyce Leslie
- December 2015 – Tamara Mellon
- October 2015 – American Apparel (Round 1)
- September 2015 – Quiksilver
- April 2015 – Frederick’s of Hollywood
- March 2015 – Karmaloop
- January 2015 – Wet Seal (Round 1)
- December 2014 – Deb Stores
- December 2014 – dEliA*s
- July 2014 – Love Culture
- March 2014 – Ashley Stewart
2017 - BRAVADA's Reformation
The start of 2017 saw a renaissance of BRAVADA International as it developed a business model that was the sum of all parts from the prior years. CEO Danny Alex had engaged in a number of various website launches that each had their own method of testing. In addition, Google had just put the SEO community into a fervor with almost 3 years of aggressive changes from major Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird algorithm changes, required site-wide HTTPS, AMP Mobile, responsive design requirements and much more. Mr. Alex had developed a business model that he felt was going to be a reliable and successful way forward. After relocating the business to the LA Fashion District in 2017, CEO Danny Alex launched the first new website in early 2018 which was a companion wholesale website to OnlyLeggings.com and WorldofLeggings.com. This is a key element of new business strategy and was overtly successful.
Today, BRAVADA International continues on its efforts to developing and growing an impressive stable of websites both retail and wholesale with many more in the development phase.