July 22, 2024

Racing Rival Shack Heatss

Fashion Trends, Shopping More Joyfully

LVMH-backed Mile Brings ‘Rarefied’ Access to Luxury Fashion Shoppers

3 min read

London-based fashion mystery box service Heat is offering a twist on the traditional experience of buying luxury apparel, with the Wednesday launch of a new shopping destination called Mile.

The subscription service grants members-only access to seasonless luxury fashion at exclusive pricing.

Mile offers “rarefied access to a meticulously merchandised collection of luxury products, ranging from products pulled from brand archives to pieces from current collections,” according to a statement.

From newer brands to established maisons, the range features the likes of Brunello Cucinelli, Comme des Garçons, Kenzo, Missoni, JW Anderson, Off-White and Y/Project, and the deals on offer, Mile said, differ significantly from original retail prices — at times, by as much as 90 percent off.

“We’re thrilled to showcase an epic array of brands and products, many of which have never been seen before,” said Maher, cofounder and chief merchandising officer.

“Our strong relationships with these brands have granted us unparalleled access to exclusive archives, runway pieces and even samples.”

Maher and partner Joe Wilkinson focused first on coveted, high-end streetwear with Heat in 2019. The mystery box service tapped into the popularity and surprise of unboxing videos and blended them with fashion drops, and the mix proved popular, selling 1,000 boxes in 20 minutes.

At the time, Maher and Wilkinson saw a win-win scenario in getting desired product to consumers, while relieving brands of overstock. The same idea drives Mile, as does the appeal of attracting younger consumers.

Jordan Grant, head of creative, pointed to changing shopping behaviors. “The appeal of hype and novelty has diminished, as customers now value quality and meaning over newness,” he said. “The prominence of the seasonless shopper is evident. Mile offers a product assortment that perfectly aligns with the mindset of young, savvy customers.”

For brands and retailers, Mile’s pitch is that it can help them with excess inventory, including from years past, without diluting their brands.

The result is a unique selection and “insider” deals that aren’t offered anywhere else, according to Mile. Even its name, “Mile,” invokes discovery and exploration. It nods to themes like travel, the exclusivity of luxury airlines and their defining milestones.

The business arrives swathed in loftiness — and not just conceptually.

Interested consumers must apply, and only a limited number of applicants will be accepted. That adds to the exclusive vibe, which may even help sell the Mile proposition to the maisons.

According to Tom Wilcock, vice president of product, Mile took nearly a year to develop and beta test. That’s not entirely surprising. It may not take that long to open a digital storefront and develop a companion iOS mobile app, but creating a platform is whole other matter.

Mile offers no-code integration that matches product data, updates orders and inventory, as well as provides revenue transparency.

“In an era where luxury shopping is often synonymous with complexity and opacity, we saw an opportunity to create a platform that streamlines this process,” said Wilkinson.

”Launching this platform was always part of our longer term plan. The timing is now.”

Apparently investors feel the same way as the venture has drawn high-profile backers across the fashion and luxury spectrum.

Some — such as LVMH Luxury Ventures, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s investment arm, as well as the Hermès Family and Stefano Rosso, the newly ascendant chief executive officer of OTB Group’s Marni — invested before, so they’re continuing their support.

Now the list also includes fashion-tech investor Carmen Busquets, cofounder and founding investor in Net-a-Porter and a proponent of luxury e-commerce; Giorgio Belloli, chief digital, customer and innovation officer at Burberry; Dan Greenberg, Mschf cofounder; Larry Warsh, Jing Daily founder; Matt George, former CEO of Yeezy; NFL star Stefon Diggs, wide receiver with the Houston Texans, and others.

Mile is now taking applications from the public, as it launches Wednesday in the App Store in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Europe.

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