Fashion start-up Oliver Cabell opened its online store this week, hoping to distinguish itself from competitors through pricing and sourcing transparency in the luxury market for bags.
Founded in 2015 by Scott Gabrielson, who has a background in investment banking and venture capital, the company is self-financed. The company is targeting younger consumers who reflect what appears to be changing consumer mindset from labels and megabrands to experiencing brands they can relate to. In the case of Oliver Cabell, it’s hoping that quality and pricing transparency will trump brand heritage and reputation.
According to Gabrielson, high-end accessories have increased in price 15 percent on an annual basis over the past 15 years, with upscale bags having the highest markup in luxury fashion. Gabrielson added, “Upscale bags hold the highest markup in luxury fashion, selling for 12 to 20 times the cost to make.”
Gabrielson seeks to change that, and by designing in-house, working directly with Italian factories and selling only online, the company cuts out brokers and middlemen.
“While visiting a factory in Asia, we saw cramped female workers, earning $7 a day, gluing and sewing designer bags and accessories. One of the bags, which the brand claimed to only produce in Italy, cost under $100 to make,” Gabrielson said, adding that the bag would sell for over $1,200 at retail.
The site offers a Logan Backpack for $240, compared with an estimated traditional retail price of $1,320, and a Kennedy Weekender duffel bag at $285, having an estimated traditional retail price of $1,695. Both are available in three different color options.
According to the company, the Oliver Cabell price breakdown for the Logan Backpack pegs materials at $44.11; labor at $66.09; transportation costs at $6.08, and duties of $6.94. The total cost of the bag is $123.22. Similar to the transactional experience, Zady provides on supply chain transparency, Oliver Cabell provides information on the production factory, the tannery and cotton mill for the products currently on the site.
Gabrielson, inspired by the contrarian and rebelliousness of actors Oliver Reed and Steve McQueen, named the company Oliver Cabell, a combination of two characters — Oliver Twist and Martin Cabell — played by the actors.