Two years after launching The Westside, Sari Sloane is ready to take her concept of casual California chic to the online masses.
As one can imagine, Sloane — founder of “tween” apparel boutique Everafter and previously fashion director and head merchant at Intermix — has been busy preparing for the online launch. The company has added as many as 23 brands for its crucial fall season, including B Sides denim, John Elliott, Alexa Chung and Alix of Bohemia. They join The Westside’s house brand, which offers cashmere separates and knits to complement the mix.
In 2017, when Sloane and her husband, Intermix cofounder Haro Keledjian, debuted the retail concept, “[we] were extremely focused on brick-and-mortar, creating a store and shopping experience that embodied our brand,” she explained to WWD. “The boutiques were designed to feel organic and more residential than a traditional retail space. We want customers to feel like they are shopping in their own impeccably designed home.”
The business has since branched out into three locations in New York and one in California’s tony Brentwood neighborhood, with pop-ups in Southampton, N.Y., and Aspen, Colo. Altogether, Sloane and Keledjian now run 10 stores across The Westside and Everafter.
Judging by the company’s numbers, consumer reaction has been enthusiastic: Year-over-year net sales are up 200 percent, and year-to-date sales for The Westside alone are up 110 percent.
For Sloane, e-commerce represents a new chapter for the business. “Fifteen percent of our client base lives in cities where we do not have store locations, so there is tremendous growth for us to engage with a new audience,” she said. “We strategically planned to launch e-commerce in September, as fall is our strongest season.”
It’s important to her that online shoppers find the same care, curation and handpicked approach that go into her real-world stores. The relaxed, laid-back looks and easy styling advice bely the sharp attention to detail that drive her and her team of 15 stylists.
“For us, it has always been important we are more than a retailer and are building a brand with longevity, with our customers and identity,” Sloane said. “Our clients come to us for styling advice so it’s crucial we continue to offer this curation and access online.”