And he’s bringing luxury streetwear designer Daniel Patrick along for the ride with a new kind of peer-to-peer resale marketplace aimed at keeping the brand in control.
Einhorn — uber-connected founder of social e-commerce company Fancy and a Kayne West collaborator — this year launched The Archivist to help brands get hold of their past.
“We think every brand in the world needs to have a heritage department, needs to have a chief heritage officer and we think of ourselves as our outsourced heritage department,” said Einhorn, who cofounded the company with Ashley Granata, who serves as chief executive officer.
“Some luxury brands are ready to commercialize their history and others are not,” Granata added. “Priority number one for all luxury brands is heritage management and resale enablement is a piece of that puzzle. Harnessing big data to understand what’s happening with your brand on the global resale market is the first piece of the strategy.”
While resale is having something more than a moment right now with secondhand marketplaces making a big splash, many brands remain wary and are still trying to figure out how they fit into that picture.
“These marketplaces, they have basically co-opted these brands for themselves,” Einhorn said. “This is an existential threat to luxury brands and fashion brands in general.”
Einhorn said the marketplaces are building traffic by bidding for Google searches on particular brands, making it harder for the brands to buy the searches themselves while pulling shoppers onto resale sites selling multiple brands.
And while fashion brands are always looking to move ahead, the growing retro movement is part of the future.
“As consumers are queuing up day and night at luxury stores around the globe to buy the same overheated goods, trendsetters are turning to third-party resellers for rare pieces from their favorite brands,” Einhorn said. “This is a lost opportunity for brands to offer great experiences. Heritage management does not just mean resale.”
The Archivist is still in start-up mode with a team of 15, but it’s filling out. The company introduced itself this summer with backers such as Ashton Kutcher and Edward Norton and is working on a data dashboard that’s akin to a Bloomberg terminal for resale. That service launches in December and will help brands “manage their heritage by keeping track of their brand, products and pricing across all channels,” Einhorn said.
“We crawl resale marketplaces and structure the product listings so that brand professionals can see what’s happening with their brand, products and pricing outside their channels,” he said.
The idea is to help brands identify goods they need to buy to beef up their own archives, find past hits that can be reintroduced and target gray market and counterfeit products.
The Archivist also has its eyes on the resale frontier in online gaming, where it will be measuring, for instance, the success of Balenciaga’s collaboration with Fortnite.
“The metaverse and digital goods are similar to physical goods in that, with NFTs and branded skins, consumers are buying these items and wearing them for status and often reselling these items,” Einhorn said. “As part of our heritage management strategy and dashboard solution we are monitoring the resale marketplaces for these digital goods the same way we monitor traditional resale marketplaces for physical goods.”
As the dashboard is ramping up, the company is launching on another front and introducing its “resale as a service” white-label platform that helps brands create their own resale marketplace.
That’s where Daniel Patrick comes in.
The Archivist will launch a resale peer-to-peer marketplace for the brand today. The brand will be able to monitor traffic on the site, including all vendors, inventory, orders and correspondence between buyers and sellers. It can approve or reject vendor applications as well as individual product listings. The Archivist is also testing a managed marketplace service that can take looks on consignment and fulfill the orders.
“We are a product of our experiences and as a result, some styles we did eight years ago can be on trend now. Part of this initiative is a response to that,” said Patrick, creative director of the brand, which has attracted an A-List following that includes Gigi Hadid, Hailey Bieber, Kylie Jenner and Machine Gun Kelly. “But in general, our clients inquire about pieces that they have worn for years and adore and want to run them back. This is our living archive.”
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