Think Moda Operandi but with a fiercely independent spirit.
A new online boutique called Circe — and pronounced sur-see — launches today from founder Logan Reed, featuring the spring collections of five New York-based designers: Barragan, Bror August, Eric Schlösberg, Gauntlett Cheng and Vaquera. The collections will be available for pre-order until Nov. 31 at circenewyork.com, with most pieces shipping between February and March 2017.
Reed, who resides in New York and has worked retail jobs at Dover Street Market New York, Marni and more, said he became dispirited by the lack of commercial availability of these exciting up-and-coming brands — many of which are designed by his own friends or friends-of-friends. (Schlösberg, who recently debuted his eponymous collection after six seasons of designing the since-shuttered Ammerman Schlösberg label with Elizabeth Ammerman, is Reed’s husband).
“Being married to a designer, I understand the disappointment of garments fading into the archive, never to be seen for sale because of seemingly arbitrary retail buying decisions,” Reed said, noting that many retailers offer one-sided buying agreements that heft the majority of the risk and cost on strained young designers with limited resources. “With Circe’s pre-order process, designers are given deposits with their orders with the rest of their payment being given within a week of delivery. By offering the majority of [a designer’s] collection for pre-order, we not only allow the designer’s full vision to be represented — we also allow our customer base to purchase pieces that might not be offered by other retailers.”
Each season, upon closing of the pre-order period, quantities by style will be forwarded to designers for production, and expected delivery dates will be noted to shoppers.
“We hope to be able to provide enough sales for these designers to reach their production minimums as this will help to alleviate the stress of producing their work at reasonable costs,” Reed said. “It’s quite special, I think, for shoppers to know that the designers are producing pieces just for them — pieces that metaphorically have their name on them.”
Reed lamented that there’s been a gap in the New York market for a store that champions young, emerging brands since the closing of Joseph Quartana’s Seven New York boutique in SoHo.
“Without support, you have amazing talents like Meadham Kirchhoff shutter their business after years of hard work and sacrifice,” Reed said. “I believe that the designers I’m hosting make work that speaks for itself, and it’s my job to make sure that it’s attainable for their fans.”