Refashioner & Resale
Refashioner was the first online redistribution engine, and now it's the first again: The first resale site not trying to profit from your clothes. Here's how I went from doing it all "properly" to the opposite: a labor of love. It's all been very interesting.
I invented Refashioner in February 2009, and launched a year later. Or rather, the build was six months late, so we got amazing press, eg...
and all we had was a splash page...
Then when we launched in July, the site immediately crashed: too many transactions! Dumbly, I have no screenshots, just the home page >
And the general vibe (illustrations by the great Peter Arkle) >
We hired a developer to build v.2.0. This is not how it's done. You need your own CTO. The new home page looked something like this >
Before we even (re)launched, we won Project PopUp, Bloomberg's competition for NYC Fashion-Tech. That's me grinning at the mayor>
It was a lovely site. Every garment had a story >
We had thousands of members. They stalked each other--literally. That's what we called it when they linked closets >
Some were quite well known >
Tons of gorgeous things flowed through. Always with stories>
And occasional insanity (we suggested a reduction. Didn't hear back)>
We had a Manifesto >
Unfortunately, the site was prone to breaking >
I knew we needed our own CTO, but now I fully understood why. We were locked out of our own site: a very common situation. Be warned!
And that was when the crazy rush to market happened. Like this >
Those are slides from my 2013 pitch deck. We're told Venture Capital investment equals success. But once you take their money it's: profit or die. I thought about what that meant. I saw how they viewed it, purely as a numbers game, and also how these numbers do not add up. (Indeed, several of the above have closed down.) I felt like a failure. But also not. What drove me was not this >
What drove me was --still is-- a dream of a giant shared closet. Having fun and creating shopping magic, not buying into the luxury marketing insanity, the planet-and-people destroying "fast fashion" trade.
So I just stepped away, became a B-Corp, threw up a placeholder site>
...And built this one (rather slowly) myself. Now it really is personal fashion.