If there’s an area of fashion tech that’s on its way toward a slow, rolling boil, it’s independent fashion (a topic near and dear to my heart, one I devoted 7+ years to profiling on the recently-halted SF Indie Fashion, but that’s another story entirely). Given my long-standing interest in that arena and my current focus on fashion-tech (which I also cover for these guys and these guys), I was clearly interested in learning more about New York-based startup Bevel, which staged its first San Francisco trunk show last night at Jackson Square store La Boutique.
Erin of Calivintage hosted (she’s the one responsible for cluing me into the company in the first place), and it was great to see familiar faces from FashionistaLab, TheMaykazine and ShopSweetThings there and to meet some new ones from DesignConundrum, Rue and BikePretty.
So what’s the story with Bevel? The company, the product of two Stanford alums, is in the midst of holding a series of I.R.L. trunk shows in preparation for its online launch later this month. When that happens, the site aims to be a platform for virtual trunk shows featuring up-and-coming independent designers. How, I asked Co-Founder Janelle, does this differ from, say, a flash sale or regular ecommerce experience? She told me that the main differentiator will be the emphasis on designers’ craft, their stories – which is exactly what I think makes people want to buy independent designs in the first place. Later in the evening, Co-Founder Courtney mentioned another cool aspect of the company: everything you order will be made for you by the designer. It’s not only a nice touch from the shopper’s side (you get something created for you), but also for designers – essentially, that means there’s no risk to participating in a trunk show. They don’t have to put the inventory together up front and later try to figure out what to do with it if it doesn’t sell.
The official launch is currently planned for Nov. 19. In the meantime, I’ve got my eye on a few pieces from Courtney Lee, one of the first designers scheduled to appear on the site.
More digital style news…