The BFC/Vogue Fashion Fund revealed its shortlisted designers for 2015 just last week, including some more or less familiar names (depending on your London fashion savvy). But with designers like Mary Katrantzou, Michael Van Der Ham and Mother of Pearl already stocked at e-commerce behemoths like NET-A-PORTER, the cash boost and increased profile of such a prize isn’t intended for those just starting out. For new designers, breaking into e-commerce – and, more importantly, reaping its benefits – can be a difficult business decision to pull off. Luckily, there are plenty of online platforms designed to give fresh design talent a much needed e-commerce push: here’s our pick of the online marketplaces stocking the most exciting design talent out there right now.
Without doubt the most disruptive digital-first retail destination of recent times, VFiles is the radical NY-based brand, social platform and store that aims to change how people interact with fashion – that is, young, emerging, cooler-than-thou streetwear-inflected fashion. The clothes are ultra-wearable and often genderless, with trends online and on the streets increasingly defined by the 18,000 registered users that form the site’s fashion community. The company buys from designers wholesale, and marks those up to sell 70% of stock online, and 30% at their Mercer Street store. Stocking emerging brands like Pyrex Vision, Melitta Baumeister and Craig Green, being sold on V-Files is a sure sign of being ahead of the zeitgeist. Check our their crowd-sourced runway show, which got NYFW off to an energetic start just yesterday.
Avenue 32, established in 2011, is a designer label e-commerce destination with a difference. Unlike NET-A-PORTER or Matchesfashion.com, designers can be in control of their content on the website, such as how their looks are presented and what multimedia materials are included. This model, in which emerging brands curate their own ‘shop-within-a-shop’, is what gives the site its name – designed to be a “luxury shopping neighbourhood” on your browser.
Not Just a Label
Not Just a Label is the London-based website that has provided so much more than just an e-commerce platform for over 16,000 new designers to date. Representing designers from more than 110 countries, Not Just A Label encompasses an online shop, but also a platform dedicated to helping designers that are outside the major fashion capitals increase their earnings. Supporting sustainable, artisanal and locally-produced fashion, Not Just A Label’s approach has helped countless young designers take the next step in their business model – without any London, New York, Paris or Milan sponsorship in sight.
Reported by Claire Healy