Who What Wear handbags from U.K. collection

LONDON — Who What Wear, the California-based fashion and shopping platform, is expanding its retail arm in London with dedicated apparel, footwear and accessories collections, WWD has learned.

Debuting this month, Who What Wear will launch its apparel exclusively with Zalando for three months, and footwear in-store and online exclusively with Selfridges, until Feb. 17. Afterward, footwear will also be made available on Asos and Zalando.

“We launched the U.K. site four years ago, so it has really established itself. It felt like a good time now that we have a strong foothold. We will follow some of the same DNA that we are famous for on our site and in our Target collection,” said Sally Mueller, chief brand officer of Who What Wear.

Who What Wear, which started out as an online style and shopping guide, expanded into apparel in the U.S. in 2016 selling exclusively at Target.

The company is now reaching across the Atlantic, with a separate U.K. collection that won’t be available in the U.S. The Who What Wear team said the U.K. collection is different from its American counterpart and has a higher price point, averaging 120 pounds per piece.

Mueller described the U.K. collection as much more fashion-forward. “We believe that there is a white space between H&M and the higher–end, there is a niche market there that is not over-saturated.”

According to Mueller, Who What Wear’s customer is someone who likes to shop across a range of brands and price points and is also inspired by the Copenhagen labels. The retailer’s approach to design is completely data-driven and community-led, with new items dropping every month.

The first collection will feature around 20 different styles or 45 stockkeeping units for apparel; 27 styles for footwear and nine styles in handbags for the first quarter. Mueller described the collection as “print-focused with an optimistic color palette.”

Who What Wear U.K. Collection

A look from the Who What Wear U.K. collection. 

The team is also putting sustainability at its core and around 85 percent of the apparel collection is made out of recycled fabrics and cotton under the Better Cotton Initiative. For footwear and accessories, the brand is using leather certified by Leather Working Group and is on a path to become 100 percent recyclable by 2022.

Pieces range from flow-y, floral-patterned dresses to printed ruched dresses and trench coats with of-the-moment strappy sandals and thong sandals, much like the popular Bottega Veneta styles. To match, there are fluoro, moon-shaped handbags and animal print clutches.

Essentially all of these pieces are trend-driven, with designs taken from hit styles spotted on the runway.

Who What Wear already has a large U.K. audience, and about 80,000 of those followers are micro-influencers.

“Our community is involved every step of the way, they help us identify the white space we should be in. We look at trend queries on our site and we have about $30 million in retail sales through our site, so we can see through these transactions — what price point is converting, what silhouettes, what materials. All of that data is collected and goes into insights reports that we send to our product development and design teams,” said Katherine Power, chief executive officer and cofounder of Who What Wear.

Power said she wants to make style accessible to people everywhere, and that working with Zalando, Asos and Selfridges was a strategic choice.

“Zalando is the biggest fashion e-commerce retailer in Europe and we wanted to choose a partner that was both innovative when it came to technology, and had the reach. Our girl loves to shop at Asos and Selfridges, so we look to partner with retailers that our audience is already gravitating to,” she said.

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