July 25, 2014

Trend Spotting: Pre-Orders for Independent Brands

A major trend in independent brands these days: pre-ordering. Traditionally speaking, fashion is something most consumers purchase long after it’s been conceived of by the designer, shown on the runway, then produced and shipped to retail outlets. These days independent brands are trying a different tactic, and it’s one that I wouldn’t be surprised to see continue for a long time to come. Instead of producing clothing and accessories in the hopes that consumers will buy them during the upcoming season, prominent retailers of independent brands are offering shoppers the chance to pre-order looks.

Two of the most notable companies doing this these days are Moxsie and Modcloth. Both based in the Bay Area (a testament to the region’s innovation in the area of fashion and tech if ever there was one), each has a different way of doing this. Moxsie offers Moxsie First, which allows members the option to pre-order from yet-to-ship collections from independent designers. At Modcloth, shoppers can currently pre-order items from the BB Dakota holiday collection (see the Coolest Girl in School jeans above). Reserve the pieces you want to buy, and they’ll ship out once the collection becomes available.

But these companies are not the only ones trying this approach. Smaller brands such as The Brooklyn Circus are getting into the game. The hip men’s label is offering pre-orders on its holiday Varsity Collection. Order now, and you’ll get your jacket before it even becomes available in the label’s stores.

For independent companies, the pre-order trend seems like a win-win – customers get something they covet before the masses do, and the designers aren’t left with excessive inventory.

I’ll be watching this trend and hope to see it continue among independent brands. It’s not only fun for the shopper, but more efficient and environmentally-savvy, too.

Photography courtesy of ModCloth