Date
16 January 2017
Major fashion shows are held in big centers such as New York, Milan and Paris in February each year but new releases won’t hit stores until four months later. Photo: LuxTNT
Major fashion shows are held in big centers such as New York, Milan and Paris in February each year but new releases won’t hit stores until four months later. Photo: LuxTNT

Startup offers up-market fashion from runway to wardrobe

Traditionally, fashion buyers kind of dictate what we wear.

Take the winter collection, for example.

Major fashion shows are held in big centers such as New York, Milan and Paris in February each year.

Professional buyers place orders based on their experience, expectations or hunches about what the public would like.

But new releases won’t hit stores until four months later.

The problem is, you never get to see designs professional buyers assume you won’t like.

Or, there may not be enough of them for your size.

LuxTNT wants to change that with a pre-order model.

The company has teamed up with about 20 up-market brands to give customers pre-order options on its website.

The customers can choose from the entire collection and receive their order in two to three months.

Quite often, customers in this region are charged more than their counterparts in the US and Europe but LuxTNT has no such “Asian mark-ups”, says Chon Si, assistant to the company’s founder.

If building trust is important in selling small-ticket items online, imagine getting wealthy individuals to order a US$1,000 dress or a pair of US$800 shoes via the internet.

Why would rich customers trust an online platform like LuxTNT?

The company is tackling this issue with the launch of concept stores, as well as opening culture clubs to enhance its image.

“The mainland rich have seen what overseas tycoons are getting and they want those, too,” Si said

Events of varying themes, parties, talks from designers and performances by artists will be organized in its shops and clubs to give their target audience exclusive experience.

Collaboration with filmmakers and sponsorships of artists’ wardrobes will also be part of the marketing campaign.

While online garment shops often offer a 100 percent refund, the company will additionally send someone to take a customer’s measurement in person if needed.

Why would luxury brands need LuxTNT?

Si describes them as “partners” and they benefit by getting useful feedback from the order flow of LuxTNT.

The website also tracks customer’s response to different designs and can share the information with the brands.

At the moment, the biggest source of orders is China, the company’s primary target.

Others include Russia, Japan and Hong Kong.

Promotion and customer acquisition are costly, not to mention the cost of fitting out concept stores and culture clubs.

The company raised US$2 million last year and is in the process of confirming a fresh round of funding.

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RA

EJ Insight writer

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