Liz Lange and her sister, Jane Wagman, have an addiction to shopping.
This story first appeared in the November 19, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
That’s why the well-known maternity clothing designer and graphic designer joined forces on a new venture — Shopafrolic.com, a personal shopping Web site.
“Our mother is addicted to shopping, so from a very young age, Jane and I were exposed to it,” Lange said. “We’ve obviously both picked it up. It’s like we have the same disease.”
Wagman and Lange grew up on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, often accompanying their mother to her weekly appointments at her dressmaker or playing in the black rock garden in the Yves Saint Laurent store on Madison Avenue while their mother tried on the newest looks. Years later, the sisters, both of whom still live in Manhattan, find themselves racing to the stores daily on the hunt for some of the best bargains or must-haves. They regularly text each other and chat on the phone about their newest purchases, which got them thinking of their new venture — they could share their finds with the world on Shopafrolic.com.
“Our friends know about how much we love to shop, so they are always asking for our help or advice,” Wagman said. “So we thought it would be fun to do this site together.”
The site, which launched last week, offers daily finds from the sisters’ shopping trips — earlier this week they highlighted a camel J. Crew boot, which sells for $325. A link is provided to send the browser to the J. Crew Web site along with tips on how to wear the boots, given from Lange’s and Wagman’s perspectives. Wagman and Lange stressed they plan to choose items that are both inexpensive and expensive in fashion, accessories and beauty.
“We both love to shop and we like a lot of the same things, but Liz tends to be a bit more uptown and I’m more downtown in terms of style,” Wagman explained.
Lange stressed they will never highlight an item on the site that isn’t available for everyone to find, so most of the time it has to be sold online.
“It’s great to find something at Bergdorf, but if we can’t find it on their site, we won’t put it up,” Lange said. “There’s only one Bergdorf, so everyone doesn’t have access to it.”
Lange and Wagman hope the site will become interactive, which is why they introduced a “Buy/Don’t Buy” section, which encourages site browsers to send in photos of things they are interested in purchasing. Lange and Wagman then will weigh in on whether that person should or should not purchase the item, along with some tips on how to wear it or what to consider instead.
“It’s like we are doing the heavy lifting, which is something we love to do — it’s not work to us,” Lange said.
For now, the sisters are just doing the site for fun. While Lange sold her apparel company a few years ago, she still works as the face of Liz Lange Maternity as well as a design consultant. Wagman is the co-founder and co-creative director of Saje Design, a New York-based graphic design firm.
“When I started Liz Lange, it started as something really organic. I was making maternity clothes for my friends and it eventually turned into a business,” Lange explained. “As of now, we have no revenue plan for Shopafrolic, but who knows, maybe someday it will be a different story.”