True to his reputation for going against the grain, Irish fashion designer J.W. Anderson has suspended plans for a flagship in favour of opening a gallery-inspired, revolving showcase of collaborative projects. He intends the projects – dubbed ‘workshops’ – to reflect his own passion for crafts, culture and overall experimentation.
During our latest meetup, Decoded Fashion’s showcase: Rising Social Discovery, we introduced three fashion websites that will captivate you, Polyvore, Lyst and Bib & Tuck. All three have made fashion more accessible to the online user, while also creating a fashion community where users can share styles and surround themselves with trustworthy fashion aficionados.
Polyvore, a fashion platform where users can mix and max their favorite items from any e-commerce site on the web, has grown quite a lot since it started in 2005, but co-founder Jess Lee (Skyping in above) said that collaborating with brands was one of the most influential moves. She explained that it has attracted more shoppers—around 20 million users monthly—along with valuable partnership that have contributed to its popularity. Building brand ambassadors was also stressed, and the company’s main focus is still to remain loyal to their customers and always show how important they are to them.
Lyst, which brings together hundreds of brands and retailers’ ecommerce sites into one place to make shopping more personalized, also stressed the importance of building partnerships, be it with brands or bloggers. Lyst has reached out to inspirational style celebrities and popular bloggers, such as Nina Garcia and Sincerely Jules. Vice President of Business Development Hilary Peterson advised that a partnership is always a great way to get started. If the option is there, take it. Lyst now has partners in over 120 countries, but Peterson noted that the main growth comes from mobile visits—exactly why the Lyst app drops in two weeks.
Bib+Tuck, launched in November 2012, relies on building customer loyalty rather than brand partnerships, as the site specializes in vintage resale. The site allows women to "shop without spending." How does this work? Users can post pieces they no longer want and sell them to other community members for Bib+Tuck currency, Bucks. Then, these Bucks can be used to buy a different item on the site. It’s a virtual clothes swap.
Since the site is still fairly new, their goal at this point is to create a brand identity and personality, understand who their customers are in order to target that specific user. Co-founder Sari Azout expressed their devotion to putting as much attention to the customers as to the company, making the customer feel like they belong to a community, not a marketplace.