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MATERIALWRLD, FASHION’S NEW EBAY?: Material Wrld wants to sell the designer clothes that their owners no longer wear via a carefully curated shopping community that launches today at materialwrld.com. Harvard Business School grads and cofounders Rie Yano and Jie Zheng wanted to give users access to shoppable personal closets around the world. Unlike other sites that are purely purchase-based, Yano said users can engage before they even decide to sell.
“They can humble brag about their favorite not-for-sale purchases onto their personalized closet pages, and fashion enthusiasts can show off their style just the way they would on Instagram to gain influence on the site and maximum exposure when they want to sell these item,” said Yano, who has worked at Coach, J. Crew and Ralph Lauren. At Material Wrld, which will launch with tastemakers such as Dannijo’s Jodie and Danielle Snyder, Steven Alan and Samantha Lim (and introduce new influencers each week), the site takes a 15 percent cut.
The site, which has closed half of its angel round of investments, has raised about $250,000 and hopes to double this shortly. In April and May, the site hosted two online pop-up stores to test the concept with New York-based designers and bloggers, and in just one week, captured more than 6,000 new registered user e-mails, more than 13,000 unique visitors and a sell-through rate of 35 percent.