NEW YORK — More than just a novel idea, Katie Nadler’s new members-only e-commerce site, TopShelf, is a blueprint of a start-up.
Hoping to be to fashion what Pandora is to music, TopShelf offers users recommendations based on what they have bought in the past from a variety of sites, not just TopShelf. With a member’s consent, TopShelf will use an OAuth to access previous fashion-related receipts to determine what brands and styles a member would be inclined to buy again. “The idea was born out of the notion that you might not need to see 500 pairs of jeans to find one pair you would like to buy,” she said.
Nadler got into fashion by way of finance, working for two years in Merrill Lynch’s mergers and acquisitions division and two years before that at BlackRock Solutions. A self-described “career switcher,” the native New Yorker graduated from Harvard Business School last May and then returned to Manhattan to participate in Dreamit Ventures’ accelerator start-up program. In addition to mentoring, legal and administrative support, Dreamit provides up to $25,000 in seed money, though Nadler declined to say how much she received for TopShelf. What she did say is that TopShelf was started with less than $50,000 from about eight friends and family members as well as Dreamit. (Through Dreamit, Nadler befriended the founders of Bazaart, the Israel-based start-up behind the app that allows users to create communal photo collages.)
For now, she works out of WeWork’s shared office space in SoHo here. Aside from an engineer who helps with the site and a stylist, Nadler works on her own. Having seen how it took her father, David, years to build the Delta Consulting Group, she knows TopShelf will take time and is intent on getting traction and traffic before seeking a second round of financing.
Through rewardStyle, an invitation-only Web tool that helps style publishers find and monetize their content, TopShelf shoppers get recommendations from 200 online stores. Should they choose to purchase those items, TopShelf gets 6 to 15 percent of the sale, but some retailers offer up to 20 percent, Nadler said. Each week members receive a look book with five suggested outfits to buy, based on their personal preferences. For an introductory fee of $25, they can consult with a stylist online or by phone. As of Monday, TopShelf’s average purchase was $475, with Michael Kors, Rebecca Taylor, Vince and Diane von Furstenberg among the top-selling labels. “So many sites are fighting for a shopper’s time — we want to save her time,” said Nadler, though she declined to pinpoint the current customer base or the projected one for 2013.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews