This website is a favourite of men who are looking for cult items which have disappeared or will soon disappear. Grailed A new round of investment has just closed.
He is a man of vision, the man who searches for fringed suede boots. He has seen the vision. He pursued his vision to the end of the Earth. They are finally found on Grailed.com.
A fashion fanboy, a person who has the time and money to buy the best items at a steep discount, will go where to search for his (holy?) grails.
Arun Gupta and Jake Metzger created Grailed in 2013 to allow people to buy, sell, and swap clothing and accessories.
As a sign of times, many of the Paris fashion week’s designers are fans of the market, including Matthew Williams, Alyx creative director, and Virgil Abloh (the new men’s artistic directors of Louis Vuitton).
Grailed charges a 6 per cent commission for sales between members, plus PayPal fees. This promise has attracted not only customers but also fans. Venture capital has also shown interest in Grailed, just like its fellow re-commerce competitors. Although the company’s investment is smaller than those of other online resellers like Vestiaire Collective, Poshmark and RealReal, Grailed’s emphasis on men makes it stand out.
Index Ventures, a venture firm that previously invested in Net-a-Porter and Farfetch as well as ASOS, Farfetch, ASOS, and Goat, closed a $15 million investment round for the site last month. Thrive Capital, Simon Ventures and others, who participated in previous funding rounds totaling $4.1 millions, also joined the round.
Index Ventures general partner Danny Rimer said that Grailed’s organic growth and success is due to the millennials’ desire to find cult clothing. It’s evident in the response of the community to their actions. We want to recognize that.
Since its inception, Grailed has grown to be a bustling thoroughfare of designer goods, where vintage pieces from the Paris runways of Raf Simons and Comme des Garcons nudge up against drop-fresh Supreme and Off-White, the “It” items of the moment and gone-but-not-forgotten status symbols long since vanished from shelves.
Grailed and its app are visited by hundreds of thousands every month. According to comScore (which measures online traffic), Grailed had 11,000,000 page views in May. Grailed’s numbers indicate that both page views and users are higher. According to the company, the site was profitable last year for the first time.
Grailed was founded by Mr. Gupta (29), who was a chief executive. He was just starting his “fashion journey” online in his 20s. He eventually found the suede FBT Bearfoot PiziFolk moccasin boot by Visvim. After years of searching, he bought Grailed.
He said, “Back then, 2013, or even earlier,” that guys couldn’t discuss fashion in real-life. “It’s not like the women who chat with their friends about what fashion they are buying and then go shopping together. These communities of fashion-minded people have been created online.
He learned from forums such as Styleforum, Superfuture, and Reddit threads. Here, obsessives debated the merits and bartered pieces and discussed collections. He was a self-trained programmer and a veteran of start-ups by the age of 19, and felt he could create a better interface to facilitate those sales.
So he did. 31-year-old Mr. Metzger was a friend who joined to handle branding and marketing; 29 year old Mr. Connor became chief technology officer.
Grailed is a good place to look for the object of your old obsession or recent obsession. It’s where the long tail of vintage products meets passionate and growing markets.
Grailed’s strength lies in its community. Most of the listings are generated by users. Grailed does not fulfill any of its listings (with the exception of Grailed 100 which is an editorial content round the items). Shopping on Grailed isn’t the seamless experience that e-commerce retailers expect customers to have.
The site allows users to describe and label their products. This can make it difficult to find specific items. Photos may be professional or night-vision quality. Shipping rates can be very high and price negotiations can become difficult.
Although the company offers buyer and seller protection, claims must be resolved by PayPal. Grailed’s moderators go through the site looking for counterfeits. However, there are still complaints about inauthentic products.
Grailed’s, as with any online community, can be quite fractious.
Metzger stated that “they can be a bit prickly.” (Mr. Gupta laughed, but declined to comment. However, Grailed’s virtue is that it makes designer goods more accessible to everyone. As a hub for obsessives, you will have to endure the occasional ridicule from veterans and educate the neophytes.
This education is not just for buyers and sellers but also for the editorial content Grailed creates: Grailed 100, news briefs, master classes in notable designers and brands, Stussy and Prada and Grailed 100.
“I wish sometimes that the fashion community was as knowledgeable about clothing as the Grailed community,” stated Mr. Williams of Alyx who has used the platform.
Grailed is able to connect directly with a young, engaged market and it can reflect, more or less, the market’s moods. It is particularly strong in skatewear and street wear, which are the most popular styles of the moment. Supreme releases new products on Thursdays. Supreme founder James Jebbia declined to comment about his feelings on the site.
Grailed will continue its growth with the new investment. Grailed now has 37 employees and a refrigerator full of matcha. This is typical for a millennial start up in 2018. The workforce is evenly divided between marketing and customer service.
It intends to improve its technology and personalize its offerings to better manage the many products that it offers. The company also plans to expand internationally, explore events, and interact with its community. It’s not hard to imagine Grailed hosting a convention down the road.
Grailed is still trying to figure out
Grailed is still trying to figure out how women fit in its vision. The women’s market has untapped potential. Heroine.com, a women’s clothing site, was launched in October 2017. It is still finding its feet — “in brand-building phase,” as it calls start-up-ese.
Mr. Metzger stated that he felt it was a bit too upmarket. According to Mr. Metzger, Kendall Jenner is the current Heroine. She mixes high fashion and streetwear.
Grailed has its critics. Even those who started it are not immune to them. Eugene Rabkin was the founder of StyleZeitgeist. He criticized Grailed for undercutting the primary market and, in doing so, taking away from independent designers’ livelihoods. (Grailed claims that the platform is complementary to designers and increases demand.
For one, Mr. Williams didn’t voice concern. He said, “I don’t really care about profit-generation in that way.” “If we can make enough money to sustain the ideas we have, then we’re really happy.”
Grailed is the home and hive of the type of customers he designs for. He said, “You’re really speaking to the actual customer.” “And a future client.”
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