It’s been a fascinating journey so far. Back in December 2010 we embarked in our first buying journey around Asia, with the aim of opening our very own, all-cool ebay store. It’s now been a little more than 6 months since we opened our store. Let me tell you one thing: having a clothing store is a lot more complicated and time-consuming than one would think. And, at the risk of sounding cliche, it is true that a lot of the learning process is done by screwing up. From poor buying decisions to delivery disasters, you name it, we’ve probably done it. Here are some of the interesting buying facts we’ve gathered in our first 6 months as fashion entrepreneurs:
- Our best-seller so far has been our ‘cool chambray shirt’. When I saw it at a store specialised in shirts of all kinds, I instantly loved the simple shape, the sober collar and buttons, the purity of the chambray fabric; the shirt exuded stylish minimalism, reminiscent of 1990s Scandinavian simplicity. We sold out very quickly, and to be honest, I completely understand why: i have yet to find a chambray shirt that ticks all the boxes, like this one did. My only regret is that I didn’t keep one for myself - Denny didn’t let me (the bastard).
- Second on our best-seller list is our Striped Long Sleeve T-Shirt with Suede Elbow Patches, which comes in navy blue or cream. This style was also a no-brainer for when when I saw it at a fashion fair in Seoul. The fabric is amazing - a thick, ribbed and comfortable cotton. The suede patches give a great vintage feel to the garment. The fit is slightly relaxed, so it looks perfect tucked in a wool mini skirt, or simply worn over skinny jeans for a nautical look with a twist. We only have one cream top left, so this is your last chance to snap one up, it will go very quickly!
- Another very good seller has been our Boyfriend Checked Shirt. We bought it in the same store that did our chambray shirt. Among their wide array of tartans; we picked a fabulous deep blue shade with blue, green, and white checks. I never get tired of check shirts, particularly this season, as relaxed androgyny is a key silhouette. I wear mine opened - I did keep one for myself (Denny may or may not know about this), over a girlish mini for a great casual autumn look.
- As days are getting shorter and colder, our jumpers and coats have been picking up. Our Crewneck Preppy Wool Jumpers have been popular; they’re nicely fitted and look great layered over a peter pan collar shirt. I also wore mine a lot this summer, throwing it on on cooler nights with my denim cut-offs. I’ll reproduce this look this winter by adding wool tights, chelsea ankle boots and a leather satchel. They come in light grey, charcoal grey and light blue, in a lovely soft wool.
Our Quirky Polka Dot Jumper is also selling well, in fact we only have one left. When buying for my store back in December, I knew that polka dots would be a major trend for Autumn-Winter ‘11. I was looking for a polka dot print which had a bit of an edge. I found just that at an independent Korean label called New York Blues; their collection - combining bold colours and prints and clean shapes - really stood out for me.
- Our coats - after a slow start - are now doing well. I am admittedly obsessed with outerwear - I have douzens of coats of all sorts at home, so nothing short of perfect will do for me when it comes to cover-ups. We found so many great coat options when buying our collection around Asia. For Autumn-Winter ‘11, I wanted something tailored but still very much relaxed, which I could throw over casual outfits and would make me look like a stylish, androgynous but still feminine college girl. One of the option I ended up selecting was a classic Tailored Top Coat, in both dark green and brown. I initially preferred the green one, but am now seriously eying up the brown; indeed it is quite rare to find a flattering brown hue, but when you do, you end up with a look that has a very easy heritage feel to it, with a quiet nod to the 70s.
Our second coat option is a slightly shorter, almost blazer-like Tailored Belted Overcoat. It has the same college-girl-on-her-way-to-the-library appeal as our other coat, but is a more feminine interpretation of the definition of cool outerwear. The beige/grey melange colour, the pin-tuck tailoring and the breaded brown belt give it a definite vintage feel. More importantly perhaps, it looks like nothing else I’ve seen in the shops in England, or even - let’s not be modest here - in my many shopping trips around Europe.
In my next post, I will review the products – in no way less amazing than the ones review above - which have proved more challenging to sell.
Don’t forget to shop our great products in our ebay store!