Online independent designer network Not Just A Label, which represents
more than 40,000 emerging designers and their portfolios, is transitioning
from a business-to-business platform to a new direct-to-consumer e-commerce
platform to help “save a generation of emerging talent”.
The move it states is in response to the effects of the global
coronavirus pandemic on the fashion industry, as well as a chance to start
what it is calling a “retail revolution” to save the future of fashion
Not Just A Label founder and chief executive Stefan Siegel said on the
brand’s website: “Allowing our pool of designers to sell direct to the
consumer is the future to fashion design, to commerce, to trade shows, to
fashion weeks, to unsustainable practices. Not Just A Label is the future
Launching on July 22, Not Just A Label plans to connect its 40,000 plus
emerging designers with global customers following a technical partnership
with Singapore-based Techsembly. The platform will “do away with the
middlemen” and facilitate a capital-light and highly profitable sales
channel for emerging designers who have been impacted by the downfall of
the brick-and-mortar retail sector.
Not Just A Label to offer emerging designers a way to sell their
Announcing the platform on its website, Not Just A Label stated: “The
fashion industry has long needed significant change, not just a radically
new trend, but a full-throttle disruption. In recent months, the global
health crisis has cast a spotlight on this need.
“With the shuttering of department stores and boutiques terminating
wholesale, the cancellation of fashion weeks, even a designer’s ability to
safely work alongside their design teams, the entire landscape has been
severely impacted. The loss of access to resources and revenue has forced
many emerging designers to question whether or not their businesses can
survive. In a capital-driven industry, when there is will without way,
ideas often cannot afford to see life beyond the sketchbook.
“The fashion industry needs a fresh strategy to survive, a strategy that
will save the hand-made manufacturing found within the collections of
independent designers, to save the consumer’s pocketbook, to save the
health of our planet, and to save fashion.”
While Not Just a Label currently features more than 40,000 global
designers from more than 150 countries, the e-commerce launch is expected
to feature around 500 designers initially and will be similar to
marketplaces like that of Etsy, with the designers responsible for their
own fulfilment and shipping, with Not Just a Label taking a percent of each
retail sale to cover the payment system and digital marketing.
Not Just a Label was founded in 2008 as a platform to support
collaboration among emerging designers and showcase them to the industry,
it features designers including Swedish-born brand Hi On Life, British-born
designer Emma Wallace based in Hong Kong, and footwear designer Susana
Madrid, and has the potential to sell product exceeding a gross merchandise
value of 1 billion US dollars.
This isn’t the first time Not Just a Label has ventured into retail, the
platform hosted a pop-up shop in New York in 2015, and earlier this year,
it launched membership tiers for designers, allowing them to include their
e-commerce links on the site.
“The future of fashion will have an updated look, an improved way of
doing business, a more sustainable way to shop, and an easier way to make
industry connections,” added Not Just a Label.
Image: Not Just a Label website
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