While there’s been a slowdown in store openings in this part of the region, one area that is continuing to boom is e-commerce. While the West has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to shopping online (who else is obsessed with shopbop.com?), Asia has seen more fashion retailers decide to forgo bricks and mortar stores in favour of an online presence instead. And who can blame them, especially with rents continuing to rise.
As a result we have seen more curated fashion boutiques sprout up online. Many of these are run by some of the region’s savviest entrepreneurs who pride themselves on knowing the local market and its customers. They are also aware that they need to differentiate themselves from their Western counterparts and as such have created sites that have a unique point of view, exclusive products and services that are aimed at capturing the jaded Asian consumer.
Here are a few websites that have popped up on our radar recently.
Singapore-based Inverted Edge launched only a few months ago but is hoping to lure in fashion lovers who are searching for Asia’s next big fashion star. Currently available on the site are brands like Hong Kong based Daydream Nation, Demoo Parkchoonmoo and Nineteen Eighty from Korea, and Major Minor from Indonesia. In addition to stocking ready-to-wear collections, they also offer exclusive capsule collections and pre-order limited editions
Capitalising on Asia’s love for designer accessories, Bkrm offers “selectivity without a waitlist,” allowing customers to access hard to find designer handbags and other products. Expect a curated selection of luxury handbags and accessories that often come with waiting lists in stores, plus a vintage section which features everything from Chanel belts to Hermes disposable cameras.
Owner Sasha Dennig scours exotic locations like Greece , Turkey and Thailand for her online boutique which is dedicated purely to accessories. The emphasis here is on handcrafted pieces but there’s also plenty of edgy choices from hammered gold chokers to neon necklaces (a la Shourouk!) It’s better than raiding your grandma’s jewel box!
Launched by a former fashion executive, this site id dedicated to the growing contemporary market here in Asia. Each season the site will introduce 20 to 30 brands, some of them well-known and others that are up and coming. Highlights for the coming season include Markus Lupfer, House of Holland, Emma Cook and the minimalist Italian brand Lucio Vanotti.