he term ‘gentleman’ has become a vague concept. Today, it is used more often than not when a guy opens a door for a girl or lets her cut the coffee queue in front of him. But a new luxury lifestyle service for men, launching this month, is reclaiming the gentleman and giving him a tasteful revamp.
Founded by a trio of Melbourne and New York based creatives, Svbscription caters to intelligent, stylish and time-poor men around the world. Using the magazine subscription as a model, the service provides members with carefully curated parcels of the latest and most exclusive products, objects and experiences on the market, tailored to masculine sensibilities. Each selection contains a range of items that intersect categories of apparel, technology, beauty and design, with the first delivery to feature brands from New York and Berlin.
The team behind Svbscription is a reflection of its own market. Based in Melbourne is Marc Goldenfein, ex-editor of TheVine, while Aussie expat Andrew Apostola of Portable and high-end brand consultant Sam Wheeler both work from New York. They are creative, busy and admittedly less wealthy than their target audience, but they certainly understand them. “Svbscription is for men like us, but with more money,” Wheeler jokes. “They shouldn’t have to sacrifice their taste simply because they don’t have the time to find good quality products or items.”
The three say the notion behind Svbscription grew organically. Discussing the idea over several breakfasts, they recognised a gap in the market for a service that catered to stylish yet time-poor men. “Consumers, and a lot of them guys, are tired of doing the discovery themselves. They often can really only get to know and trust a brand by owning and using it,” says Apostola.
Svbscription is for a man who is interested in exclusive and coveted items – things that are not necessarily easy to find in a saturated market. “There is such an overwhelming amount of product out there, so this is putting in place a curator who does the decision-making for you. Guys can get the items they want as soon as they become available, with little effort involved,” says Goldenfein.
Tying the whole experience together is the Svbtext blog, to be launched alongside the website at the end of May. Svbtext will profile talented and creative individuals from around the world. With his strong editorial background, Goldenfein is directing the content. “Members will learn to love the products, because from the outset they will experience each brand in full via editorial content.”
It’s a clever strategy, considering the media industry has taught us to trust editorial as an information source. While it could be read as strategic marketing copy, Svbtext’s editorial-style content will hope to do the same. “How do you know to trust a brand or retailer? You automatically turn to editorial or to other people who own or have used the product or experience you are after. We are merging the two.”
This is by no means a sampling service or a discount clearance site. Members don’t receive samples of a product but the product itself, as it would be purchased. A concierge service gathers details on each member as to ensure tastes are catered for and clothing fits each member on arrival. Prices range from $100 to $300 for quarterly deliveries.
A marketing dream, Svbscription shares its loved brands with members, providing a real experience no print ad can replicate. Brands don’t pay to be involved with Svbscription; rather, the team collaborates with them and purchases the products at a reasonable price, hence ensuring that subscribers receive great value for money. As Apostola puts it, “We wanted to create a backstage pass to our industry.”
The men behind Svbscription are passionate about quality and experience. They want to share the opportunities their careers have provided them with men worldwide. And if there’s any chance their service will re-instil a few gentlemanly values, we say they should go for it.
Svbscription launches membership and the Svbtext blog at the end of May, with the first parcel delivery set for July.