An emerging e-commerce platform wants to flip the shopping cycle on its head.
Vasquiat is an online boutique that rewards customers for buying early. Cofounded by Spanish fashion influencer Blanca Miró and Rafa Blanc, the online shop lets members — membership is free — shop pre-season, offering as much as 40 percent off for doing so. As the collections near their official release dates, the discounts diminish to 10 percent and eventually, full retail price.
The model aims to both reverse the current shopping cycle and solve for fashion’s sustainability issue, Blanc said.
“As a creative industry, [fashion brands] don’t test their collections. They just produce them, try to distribute them and market them and then after two months, they start going down in price,” said Blanc from Vasquiat’s first U.S. pop-up, located in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood. “As a result, people buy later and later, but later’s not that convenient. There’s a lot of overstocking because of lack of testing, as well as the pricing cycle. What we want is brands to sell as much as they can on demand, and also help them with relevant data — consumer feedback on their collections. Our goal is to be able to estimate as accurately as possible the production they need to do.”
Vasquiat essentially acts as an intermediary between the brand and customer. Shoppers buy from Vasquiat’s web site, but the brands ship the product.
“We give access to the client to the collections, and Blanca curates it,” Blanc said. “Then the brand commits to ship it to our standards and we take a commission from there.”
Vasquiat just closed its first seed round of investment, lead by European fund Itnig. Vasquiat raised more than $500,000, which it plans to use for global expansion, starting with a NYC pop-up. The off-line shop offers current season curations, as well as ones available for pre-order, from brands such as Paco Rabanne, Shrimps, Filles à Papa, Monica Sordo, Manu Atelier and La Veste, Miró’s own label, launched in 2018. It will run through Nov. 24.
“I like to mix emerging designers that we think deserve to be known and are not known yet, with [established] brands,” Miró said of her curation process.
The majority of Vasquiat’s demographic is 25- to 45-year-old fashion professionals, artists and creatives.
“Our early community has been fashion people,” Blanc said. “Now, we’re growing a lot with executives working in banking, tech, lawyers.”
Asked whether they’d consider opening a permanent space, Miró said, in short, no.
“We don’t think it’s the future,” she said. “Online is stronger now for the generations coming.”
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