Today, e-commerce-only fashion companies are nothing new, but three years ago, when Josh Berman and Diego Berdakin were conceptualizing BeachMint, many said it couldn’t be done. As the serial entrepreneurs saw it, they just needed to create intent to buy.
“One of the things that made us start this business is the shift from ‘search’ to ‘push.’ There’s a lot of things the Internet did really well in e-commerce 1.0. If you knew what you wanted, it was a great fulfillment vehicle. Obviously Amazon has been the winner in that game, but they haven’t done a great job of creating purchase intent,” said Berdakin.
“We want to create serendipity and get people to buy things they didn’t know existed before. Obviously when you are a new brand you are in a tough spot because consumers aren’t necessarily aware of the value they are getting from you. Especially when you are e-commerce only,” he said.
So Berdakin and Berman looked for categories in which they could offer value, and decided to launch with a costume jewelry collection called JewelMint.
“We noticed walking around Kitson and Fred Segal that the price points were $90, $130, $150. We felt we could get the exact same or better product and offer it at a $30 price point. It’s affordable luxury,” said Berman.
They also realized the importance of partnering with style influencers, in this case, celebrities like Kate Bosworth, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and Rachel Bilson. “It wasn’t about the most famous celebrities, but the ones with the most fashion credibility,” said Berdakin.
They then looked at how to tailor merchandise to each user via a fashion quiz taken during registration. “Instead of broadcasting the same message to 10 million people a week, you now have the ability to customize the message to every person,” said Berdakin.
They also harnessed the power of Facebook.
“The default discovery engine online today as far as content goes is Facebook, and no one had done commerce well there. So we built the richest experience possible with social currency, game-ification, badging. We helped people do things they wanted to do anyway, which was build a community around our brand and be evangelists for us,” Berdakin said. The strategy paid off, and eventually 20 percent of JewelMint’s revenues came directly from its Facebook app.
The free membership model is not unlike price clubs such as Costco, and the demand for new and limited product drives sales at the beginning of each month.
Today, BeachMint has six vertically integrated categories: costume jewelry, shoes, apparel, beauty, intimates and home goods.
Said Berman: “We haven’t launched men’s yet, so we are keeping an eye on new categories, but right now women’s accessories and fashion are exploding, so the focus is there.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast