Los Angeles-based e-commerce secondhand clothing platform Thrilling is partnering with Janelle Monáe’s stylist, Ali Mandelkorn, in a pilot collaboration allotting hundreds of stylist-picked spring items.
The “one-of-a-kind, specially curated collection available to thrift-store shoppers everywhere” attempts to bridge the divide between fashion and thrift — adding a celebrity prestige (Mel B and actress Tatyana Ali are among confirmed clothing donors to the collection, with more expected).
Goodwill Southern California will be bolstering the collaboration, titled “Good,” while Mandelkorn curates the collection, which will include women’s high-end designer and streetwear. Items are either gently worn or new. A majority of proceeds will benefit Goodwill SoCal’s job training initiatives for the homeless.
As founder and chief executive officer of the first dedicated secondhand e-commerce platform Thrilling, “nonlinear” would describe Shilla Kim-Parker’s career path. Following a stint as a financial analyst, then moving onto Harvard business school and moving into TV broadcasting, her most “thrilling” endeavor yet was starting a secondhand clothing business.
Founded in November, the brand began with the idea that the “thrill of the hunt” is what lures many shoppers, including Kim-Parker herself, into perusing the racks at a thrift shop or shopping vintage to find “unique items at good value.”
The site offers shops within its dedicated e-commerce platform and features vintage boutiques such as L.A.-based The End or Starday Vintage. Revealing a push for the return to localism and boutique shopping, sustainability is trailing closely as a value motivating secondhand shopping behavior.
No small change. A sizable $16 billion in sales a year is what secondhand shops are doling out (with $14 billion attributed to classified thrift stores as stated in a report by IBISWorld), and according to Kim-Parker, still 95 percent of that is done off-line.
Her solution with Thrilling is twofold: support “sustainable habit” and support local business owners. Through her e-commerce platform, her mission is capable of reaching a global audience.
Partnering with Urban-X, urban tech start-up accelerator backed by BMW’s Mini brand, she is afforded a wide range of industry experts and able to further streamline her goal of making shopping secondhand “more accessible, more modern and a habit for more people.”