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Stylists such as Rachel Zoe came to prominence by helping celebrities look fabulous for awards shows. Now, Keatonrow.com wants to make stylists accessible to the average woman.
This story first appeared in the July 11, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Cheryl Han and Eleanor Mak, Harvard Business School graduates, created Keatonrow.com with the goal of democratizing styling for those who need sartorial help, but don’t necessarily know where to get it. “We’re definitely the key customer,” said Han. “It’s about the girl who cares about how she looks and wants to be part of the fashion world, but doesn’t have the time or confidence to know what to buy.”
Keatonrow.com has hired close to 1,000 stylists in more than 30 states in preparation for its launch next week. The site has been in test mode since January.
Keatonrow.com doesn’t charge customers for styling services. Rather, clients pay only for the items they want to buy at prices identical to retail. Participating retailers such as Shopbop.com foot the styling bill, because stores can sell more with the help of a stylist, Han said. “The retailers pay Keaton Row as a highly positioned sales force of influencers/stylists that gives them access to a new and valuable customer base,” she added. Stylists earn a commission on the amount of products sold. According to industry sources, the average basket size is $450.
Keatonrow.com said its conversion rate is 38 percent of customer lookbooks, higher than typical e-commerce sites. That’s because Keatonrow.com is able to “bring the offline experience you find in department stores completely online,” Han said.
Next week’s launch of Keatonrow.com will introduce a new elite-level service for select customers who agree to spend a certain amount of money per item. Keatonrow.com hired seven top editorial and celebrity stylists, including Thomas Carter Phillips, whose clients included Demi Moore, Christina Ricci and Jessica Alba, and Samantha Yanks, editor in chief of Hamptons Magazine and executive fashion director of Niche Media, to work with this high-end segment of its consumer base. “We’ve seen that there are customers who want to pay for an elevated service,” Han said.
Other Keatonrow.com stylists come from the world of retail, where they may have been a sales associate at Saks Fifth Avenue or J. Crew. Others come from the worlds of print and digital. For example, a London-based blogger has signed on, Han said.
All stylists are vetted by the company’s style editor. Keatonrow.com provides each stylist with a catalogue of more than 5,000 items. Han said the number of retailers and the product selection will grow in the future. Stylists also get a personal styling platform and customer management tools and put together virtual look books for customers.
On the site, stylists have their own profile page with a photo of themselves, a blurb about their style philosophy and three looks indicative of their work.
“Our stylists can serve four or five clients per month,” Han said. “Some are doing it much more seriously, serving up to 20 clients a month.”
Keatonrow.com’s advisory board includes Jeffry Aronsson, chief executive officer of Ralph Rucci, and Eric Hoffert, chief architect at Spotify.