A new multibranded web site founded by four former Gilt Groupe executives services women sizes 10 to 26 and launches today.
The site, called CoEdition, offers women a selection of contemporary plus-size clothing, intimates, active, swim, accessories and footwear.
Keith George serves as cofounder and chief executive officer of the company; Brooke Cundiff is cofounder and chief merchandising officer; Kent Helbig is cofounder, chief operating officer and chief technology officer (handling supply chain), and Kevin Ryan (the founder and former ceo of Gilt Groupe) is cofounder.
“We came together as this dream team. We each cover one of the buckets. I’m the merchant, Keith is the business, Kent is the tech and Kevin is an innovator and a disruptor. He challenges existing business models every day,” said Cundiff. “We always loved working together and it just kind of organically happened over the summer. We actually formed the company on Oct. 1 and are launching [today],” she said.
CoEdition has raised $4 million seed funding led by NEA, with participation from General Catalyst, Primary and BBG Ventures.
Tony Florence, general partner at New Enterprise Associates, said, “This is hands down the most accomplished and experienced team to break down the barriers for women sizes 10 and above in the fashion space. It’s still shocking to think that this customer has been historically deeply underserved in the retail industry. CoEdition is putting her first while simultaneously promoting an inclusive and stylish community for her to become a part of. CoEdition will be doing some remarkable things with technology innovation to make customer reviews more accurate and insightful – allowing for never-before seen insights for customers and brands.”
Launch partners will include Stuart Weitzman, Tahari dresses and suitings, Rachel Roy sportswear, Margaux footwear, Warp + Weft denim, City Chic, an Australian company that does dresses, and Cynthia Rowley swimwear. In the coming year, the site plans to grow to nearly 150 contemporary fashion brands.
One of the footwear brands, Margaux, offers shoe sizes in different widths. But the accessories will be regular sizing. Eventually the plan is to offer beauty.
Cundiff, who worked at Gilt for six and a half years as vice president of brand acquisition and fashion director and earlier was in merchandising at Rue La La and Saks Fifth Avenue, addressed why the group decided to dedicate the site to the plus-size customer.
“I have been in fashion my entire career. I love fashion, and I’ve always believed that all women deserve access to great style options and solutions. That was my mission to break down that barrier in retail and transform the industry. We believe that we, at CoEdition, are creating a community for these women and putting their needs front and center,” said Cundiff. She said CoEdition is the first contemporary multibrand site to sell women’s sizes 10 through 26.
CoEdition will not own the inventory. “We’re a marketplace,” she said. “The brands are shipping directly to the consumer.” All packages with have CoEdition packaging and branding. CoEdition will participate in a revenue share with the vendors, said Cundiff.
The idea behind the site is to cater to women who have frequently been underserved in the traditional retail landscape.
Through user-generated content and reviews, women will have access to a community of like-minded shoppers who are eager to share style tips, inspiration and feedback. The site aims to provide customer service around wardrobe solutions, size and fit.
They will be shooting their own editorials and switching out that content regularly.
“A lot of what we want to provide on the site is the access and discovery of these bigger brands, as well as introducing these women to some smaller, more niche brands,” said Cundiff.
To get the word out about the new site, CoEdition will partner with influencers for the launch, and it plans several exclusive collaborations with vendors once the site is up and running.
CoEdition is geared to the contemporary customer, with a demographic between 25 and 45 years old. The plan is to roll out new merchandise on a daily and weekly basis. The site will feature “Editor’s Picks,” “Shop the Best New Spring Dresses,” and home page features.
The business, which is starting with 15 employees, is based at 1123 Broadway in New York.