LONDON — According to Ambre Dahan, co-founder of Walk in My Closet, there is an estimated 148 billion euros, or $201 million, worth of unworn clothes languishing in closets around the world – and she wants to sell them.
Dahan says that of the 212 billion euros, or $288 billion, spent on luxury goods in 2012, just 30 percent of items will be worn one year after purchase.
Walkinmycloset.com, which has just launched in Europe, is packaged as a “luxury consignment destination and virtual fashion diary.” It features a luxury fashion resale service that employs a team of experts that verify each item’s authenticity and ensure that it matches the needs of a demanding customer.
Unlike competitors such as Vestiaire Collective or Covetique, Walk in My Closet offers a curated lineup. It states on the site that it accepts only the “best in luxury pre-owned designer fashions” and points out that “not all selling requests can be accepted.”
Items are photographed in-house and the site charges a 25 percent commission on items, which include pieces such as a pair of near-perfect Chloé Susanna studded boots for $672, which will retail at about $1,345 new. A pair of Alexander Wang sandals is available for $268. The section can be shopped according to designer, size, gender (men are occasionally invited to become “influencers”) or country.
Amandine Rohmer, co-founder of the Web site, said its average basket size was increasing and that there were few returns because of its high quality-control measures.
The site has other featuress. A frequent traveller – she is married to Joe’s Jeans founder Joe Dahan and is the denim brand’s design director – Dahan needed a way to catalogue her wardrobe in order to make packing and wardrobe planning easier.
In a way similar to Pinterest, users can upload pictures of the items in their wardrobe, or use a button on a browser to add online pictures. A “C” (for “Clique”) button can be added to bookmark bars to facilitate this and wardrobes can be private or shared with a “Clique”.
The “Clique” refers to the site’s social aspect, whereby users can choose to follow each other and “walk” in each other’s closets. A mobile app allows posting and browsing on the go. The camera function allows users to post pictures of fashion finds or outfits and other users can “like” them.
Rohmer, who has worked in luxury goods for more than 15 years, said that she receives more “likes” of the content she posts there than she does on Instagram. Based in L.A., Dahan produces the site’s editorial content, which focuses on the wardrobes of her stylish friends, including Lola Rykiel and Elettra Wiedemann, and interviews with them.
The site launched in the U.S. earlier this year and attracted between 60,000 and 70,000 unique visitors in November, while 30,000 people have downloaded the app. Dahan and Rohmer are seeking offers of interest for a first round of investment to help them develop more tools and features within the site.