Nineteenth Amendment — which was founded with less than $10,000, incubated at the New York Fashion Tech Lab and launched a year ago — is having its moment with Macy’s Inc.
The department store giant linked with the small tech firm for an exclusive partnership that will seek to connect Nineteenth Amendment’s stable of 350 up-and-coming designers to the retailer’s Millennial shoppers.
Nineteenth Amendment is a marketplace for young designers that presents collections from around the world in 19-day pre-sales. Once looks are sold, they are produced at U.S. factories, particularly in New York’s Garment District. There is no set number of orders that has to be reached before a look is made.
For its part, Macy’s will link to Nineteenth Amendment at macys.com/nineteenthamendment in the immediate future and will eventually have the ability to give shoppers exclusive first access pieces from specially selected collections.
“What Nineteenth Amendment provides to independent designers is a risk-free way to come to market,” said Terry Lundgren, chairman and chief executive officer of Macy’s.
Lundgren noted the concept gives shoppers made-to-order goods while helping designers find and build an audience. Executives from Macy’s as well as Alex & Ani helped mentor Nineteenth Amendment last year as part of the New York Fashion Tech Lab.
The company, which initially raised money from friends and family, secured seed funding in November, with investments from Brand Foundry Ventures and Paul English.
Nineteenth Amendment’s cofounders Amanda Curtis and Gemma Sole are on a mission: “to launch the next massive designer by giving independent talent around the world an inventory-less business model built for the digital age, while helping to grow U.S. manufacturing and giving shoppers a voice in the future of fashion.”
Curtis told WWD that the deal with Macy’s was the start-up’s “true go-to-market strategy.”
“We’re still very young, but we’re very optimistic about what this partnership can bring,” she said. “The nice thing about our model is we don’t hold inventory. We developed all the tech ourselves.”
Nineteenth Amendment seeks to follow the advice that it gives its designers, which is to get the most out of the least effort — and they are highly vested in having designers succeed.
“We split our profits 50/50 with the designer, the more they sell, the more they make and the more we make,” Curtis said.