Let’s face it, the world seems to spin faster than usual these days. Well at least in fashion circles. The speed of collection turn around and range releases has switched to overdrive. No longer are we content to be presented with just one range a season, now there’s the popular Resort, diffusion lines and transeasonal drops in-between – it can be tricky keeping up but we wouldn’t have it any other way. The only set back in the past has been the wait, particularly now since we can see our beloved style bloggers already wearing next season’s pieces before us. Normally we would have to sit and wait with envy and despair, but not anymore.
Thanks to a new wave of websites offering savvy shoppers the option to pre-order next season before it’s even hit the boutiques or online stores. Moda Operandi has been hugely successful overseas offering customers the option to purchase high end designer looks straight off the runways of New York, London, Paris and Milan during show season. Now thanks to a clever couple with industry nouse, Australia is about to their very own version, but at much more affordable price points.
Introducing The Ivory Room. Set to launch in March this year, co-founders Brett and Kelly Gaunt are offering Aussie fashion lovers the chance to pre-order pre-season and you can even lay-by. And yes, they offer free shipping too.
Fashion Exposed Blog had to find out more and took five with Brett and Kelly to see how this will actually work; how their fashion backgrounds culminated to create The Ivory Room; what labels they’ll be featuring; and whether they will offer the chance to buy off the runway at Australian Fashion Week.
How did you conceive of the Ivory Room? and why?
Online shopping is becoming a way of life for many fashion lovers and has only strengthened the ability for consumers to take more control over their purchasing decisions. We viewed this as an opportunity to provide an innovative, unique solution for both designers and consumers.
Tell us about your background?
Co-founders Brett and Kelly Gaunt originally have corporate backgrounds in senior sales and marketing management positions respectively. Kelly has extensive consulting experience in the online space.
Do you have a personal history in the fashion industry?
Yes, Brett and Kelly are also the owners of Estile.com a niche fashion clearance website. Having owned and operated this business since March 2010 when they acquired the website from Two Threads they have developed a great rapport with a number of Australian fashion labels and also understand intimately what online consumers crave.
What inspired you to kick off this initiative?
Given the current retail environment, we felt that the timing was perfect in providing a unique solution for designers to increase sales and margin whilst enticing consumers to increase their spend in an environment they had not yet experienced.
Moda Operandi has seen huge success overseas with the international collections being offered for pre-order straight off the runway, will you be offering a similar pre-order service with the Ivory Room?
Whilst Moda Operandi and The Ivory Room share a pre-order service concept, this is where the similarity ends. The Ivory Room offer is more modest than the price point positioning of Moda Operandi. The Ivory Room is accessible to the everyday consumer and has much broader appeal in terms of potential market.
Will it be exclusively Australian labels or some internationals also?
Initially yes we would prefer to work with Australian labels exclusively, though we will regularly review this over the course of the next 12 months.
Mercedes-Benz Australian Fashion Week is around the corner, will customers have the opportunity to pre-order Australian labels off the runway?
At this stage we are not looking at directly covering this event. Stay tuned though.
Can you reveal any of the labels that will be featured on the Ivory Room?
We have promised to keep this secret until our launch date notice which is very, very soon.
Talk us through the process of `unlocking fashion’s future’ – how does the pre-odering of pre-season work?
In a nutshell we all love to view the upcoming trends that our favourite magazines, bloggers and the like reveal. The Ivory Room unlocks this to consumers by allowing them to actually get in first and order their must have new season pieces before they hit the stores. It’s a fabulous way to plan and select your key pieces for the season from both a financial and fashion perspective.
How it works!
BRANDS PREPARE NEW SEASON COLLECTION
A designer presents their upcoming collection to buyers and the media via runway shows and/or look book distribution. After this process begins The Ivory Room prepares the pre season online showing especially for our members.
THE IVORY ROOM EVENT
The Ivory Room hosts the pre season online showing of a designers up coming collection for 3 – 7 days. The Ivory Room members can pre-order their favourite pieces by placing a lay-by during the online showing. Pre-season order periods can range from a couple of weeks prior to a collection being available to 6 months depending on when the designer wishes to host the pre-season showing on The Ivory Room (members place a 50% deposit when they place their order and the remaining 50% is charged at the time the order is dispatched).
BRANDS MAKE IT
The designer produces the pieces The Ivory Room members have purchased and delivers them to The Ivory Room. Upon receipt and verification of the merchandise, The Ivory Room notifies our members and we charge the remaining balance.
WE SEND IT TO YOU
The Ivory Room sends your purchase in our exclusive packaging. You receive the pieces in season.
One of the key features of the site is the lay-by option, why did you decide to incorporate this option into your site?
We wanted consumers to be able to pre plan their upcoming seasons wardrobe but recognised that financially it is not always viable to pay for something in full in advance. By introducing a lay-by system we can provide consumers with an opportunity to secure their must have fashion pieces and pay the final balance on the day their order is shipped. We believe the lay-by system will allow consumers to invest in fashion pieces that they will cherish forever as they can secure and plan final payment for that $400 jacket they really want avoiding lots of $100 impulse buys throughout a season that are often out of fashion or worn out after one season.
Will there be free shipping with Ivory Room pre-orders?
Yes there is free shipping on all Australian orders.
When is the launch date? And do you have anything planned to officially kick it off?
Launch is first half of March and there will be a $20 credit offer for all consumers who register and sign up to The Ivory Room newsletter during the foundation period.