LONDON — Sept, a social commerce fashion market app, is on the horizon.
If Instagram, Pinterest and a Farfetch wishlist all came together, it would be Sept, a new technology launched in 2021 by King’s College London law graduate Yara Al Dhaen.
“I’m a certified lawyer in California. I did it before Kim Kardashian,” she said on a Zoom call from her home in Bahrain. It’s the practice of law that made Al Dhaen, an avid shopper, question how she was shopping and how jaded the process had become.
“The way we’re shopping is based on this ’90s interface which is a lot of catalogue-based searches, which is so time-consuming during a time where everything around us has changed,” explained Al Dhaen as the blueprint for developing the app, which connects the three stakeholders of the fashion industry: the brands, shoppers and tastemakers.
The technology of the app is straightforward — it follows a fashion marketplace model not dissimilar to other digital shopping apps, but Al Dhaen has incorporated a community aspect that lets users interact with each other by sharing their shopping baskets, purchases and wishlists.
The app already stores more than 70 brands with a strong direction to target up-and-coming labels, including Amal Al Mulla, Vanina, Bionda Swim, Dolla and more.
Al Dhaen’s smartest strategic move for the business has been partnering with The Luxury Shopper, a personal shopping and product sourcing service that’s available to all users.
The practice of hunting for vintage pieces has gradually moved on with technology, from auction houses to online versions and WhatsApp chats, which Al Dhaen said comes with an undertone of feeling embarrassed “if you don’t like the price or person,” meanwhile The Luxury Shopper comes with full transparency of where each item comes from and its resale price.
Currently The Luxury Shopper on Sept stocks the sought after Chanel dad sandals for 1,995 pounds; Prada’s belted padded puffer jacket for 2,395 pounds and a pink Chanel flap bag for 9,700 pounds, the most expensive item on the app.
Brands can opt in to sign up for a six-month to one-year contract with Sept. “We have an almost 99 percent brand retention rate. Even if they’re not selling as much during a particular month as they expected, they have access to a dashboard which lets them see data on all their products and how well they’re performing on the app,” said Al Dhaen.
Her focus in building the brand has been bringing together macro and micro influencers to the app to connect with customers via special activations which are promoted on other social media platforms to lure new users to Sept.
“We want to treat everyone as an influencer,” she said, revealing that they will be adding a messaging feature to allow dialogue between users.