The Web retail space has become a very personalized and informative marketplace where consumers can learn about far more new products than when they pop into local boutiques. One company taking the approach that women want to have professionals help curate and discover new items just for them, JustFab, has grown its monthly shoe-showcase-subscription program into a style-centric club that everyone wants to join.
Now focusing on shoes, jewelry and handbags, JustFab has revealed that its two-year-old, e-commerce start-up has passed six million members and just experienced 50% growth from Q4 2011 to 2012 Q1.
The Los Angeles-based fashion company is also adding roughly 500,000 new members each month – all looking to find amazing fashion pieces for an attainable $39.95 per piece.
With this growth announcement, JustFab is also opening up its service to those that aren’t ready to take the plunge and be a monthly member they can purchase the items at a non-member rate of $49 or $69 per item – still a average savings per item of close to $20-$30.
Co-CEO of the company, Adam Goldenberg, explained to me in an interview that while the subscription model has been a great system, the company didn’t want to make people new to the site skittish.
“Our average member shops with us 30 times per year,” Goldenberg said. “So we have a powerful connection with those willing to jump right in and subscribe, but we really wanted people to every option possible to see our products and try out the service.”
Goldenberg and his co-founder and co-CEO Don Ressler started JustFab by self-funding the initial $30 million and landed a $33 million Series A round back in September. That same month the company also announced that it had signed on Kimora Lee Simmons, the fashionista behind Baby Phat, as the president and creative director.
Though based in the US, JustFab has just launched in Canada and is gearing up to become a force to reckon with in the German market as well.
How it works
All you have to do is create a profile by picking from a variety of images – by choosing the ones that best fit your style. The platform prompts you to choose from bohemian and business casual options and even a line-up of celeb red carpet outfits in order to offer the best styles that fit your shoe and accessory desires.
Customers are also encouraged to rate shoes they see on the site based on style and color so that, in the future, it can tailor your preferences better.
JustFab has a stable of stylists picking out the latest trends to offer people with different tastes and provide not just the items, but also the rationale and combinations suggested behind the choices.
Currently the young company has 150 fashion consultants creating personalized boutiques and are available online for consultation 24/7. You know, in case there is a serious fashion emergency.
Goldenberg even divulged to me that as the company has built out its online community of stylists and member, many of the people online have posted items they bought, pairings and fashion situations to get expert advice.
JustFab’s demographic sweet spot is women 24-35, but they do have a broader appeal (thanks to the specialized style themes) to women 18-40.
JustFab is in the same space as ShoeDazzle and offers items at the same price point, but Goldenberg explained that his company differs from its competitor primarily because it is growing its site into an entire style source.
"We like to think of JustFab as a fashion magazine tailored to our clients with the perk that you can buy the featured items and not break the bank," Goldenberg stated.
The growing demand around online fashion
High fashion has usually been unattainable to the masses because of the price-point, the physical access and the knowledge. The Internet has changed that around completely. Now everyone can know (up to the minute) fashion trends. Everyone can also get anything delivered to their door in a matter of days. And most fashion houses can start cranking out affordable versions of couture in weeks rather than months.
So now fashion has become the hot commodity online as VC's scramble to back the best bets and online retailers try to expand their reach to include fashion items.
At the beginning of the year, the design retailer Fab.com announced that it acquired the community-selected marketplace of designers: FashionStake. In the past two years, Fab.com has done a lot of innovating and pivoting to find its niche and was handsomely rewarded with more than $50 million of funding from venture big boys such as Andreessen Horowitz, Menlo Ventures and First Round Capital.
Now that the company has the capital to start acquiring other design, fashion and daily deal sites, things are getting quite interesting.
Just last week, a new company, Style For Hire, set out to bring the curation and personalization of having a stylist to the masses. The young supportive fashion company, co-founded by celebrity stylist Stacy London and Cindy McLaughlin, launched with 135 stylists in 24 cities in the U.S. today. In cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Boston; Style For Hire wants to match you up with a stylist that understands your aesthetic and can help you get all those needed elements into your wardrobe.
The company offers multiple services, including closet audits, closet shopping, and personal shopping. So whether you are about to enter the workforce, change professions, you've just lost the baby weight, you are shopping for the wedding, or just need a boost in you winter apparel, Style for Hire professionals could be the solution.
The rate per hour ranges from $65 to $300 and the average length of an appointment is 2.6 hours. The company started with a soft launched about a year ago, and is already seeing 46% of clients re-book two or more times and 22% came back three or more times within the year.
The company has raised $1.5 million in funding from Golden Seeds thus far.
The public might just be runway ready very soon at this rate.