For some shoppers, nothing beats the quality and style of designer goods, but the steep price tag can be a turn-off. And while fast-fashion cheaper, the quality can be hit or miss, and pieces don’t last very long. What’s the way forward?
Sydney-based fashion and e-commerce consultant Samuel Woods has one: Azura Runway, his online fashion marketplace for high-end clothing, fragrances and accessories at much cheaper prices. Think of it like an Australian version of Net-a-Porter, albeit less curated.
“We came across suppliers in Italy and Sweden who were purchasing last season’s stock of Dolce and Gabbana, Gucci, a few others, and the brands didn’t want them to be discounted heavily or taken to outlets,” Woods tells Broadsheet. “So we came up with a model to distribute those clothes without lowering brand equity, and ever since then we’ve been picking up new suppliers every month.”
Azura Runway carries more than 1700 brands, including high-end labels such as Zimmermann, Celine, Comme de Garcons, Prada, Hermes and Alexander Wang, down to midrange and more accessible labels such as Adidas, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein.
Around 3000 new items are added daily by the brands themselves, or partner suppliers based around the world. The selection is a broad mix of current collections and past seasons’ items, with edits for women, men and children.
“We’re looking to be a fashion destination. As we curate our products and our designers, we want people to come to Azura Runway as a destination rather than a one-stop shop. What you see there today will be completely different to what you’ll see tomorrow,” Woods says.
Azura Runway also recently added pre-loved to its offering, with the focus solely on high-end designer brands pieces.
“We found that a lot of our customer base is leaning more towards millennials now and they were looking for more sustainability, so we launched pre-loved and it’s been quite successful for us,” Woods says. “That’s anything from Chanel handbags down to Louis Vuitton.”
And the non-luxury price tags are a bonus. While some items on the site retail for full price, the majority are discounted – many by up to 60 per cent. Dolce and Gabbana has been a constant bestseller for the online retailer since launch.
“Our Dolce and Gabbana range is at about 7000 items now. That comes directly from Dolce in Sweden, so we have quite a large range and a lot of these pieces are one-of-a-kind,” Woods says.
Azura Runway ships to 220 countries worldwide, and has partnered with i=Change, which helps retailers support not-for-profit projects around the world. Two dollars from every sale made on the site goes to charity, and customers get to choose which projects their donation goes to.
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