15/06/2024 7:51 PM

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The Queen Of Beauty

Fashion Subscriptions Pivot to Curation

Macy’s isn’t spinning off its eCommerce division and Amazon is readying its first physical fashion store, Amazon Style, at L.A.’s Americana at Brand mall. Is this the beginning of the end for pandemic-era fashion subscriptions that seem to be everywhere? No.

At least, not as long as people are confused about what top goes best with which shoes.

To keep it fresh, brands are tapping the power of “belonging” that subscriptions done well can impart on members, along with the discounts, incentives and surprises that keep delighting.

In a word, it’s curation.

Personalization of subscription boxes isn’t new. What is new are the growing number of subscription services offering a higher level of customization via data-driven curation.

Action is particularly strong where a hot name in fashion is involved.

See also: Taffi Raises $2M+ Seed Funding for AI-Powered Fashion Marketplace

A good example is Curateur, the fashion subscription company formed by designer and celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe. In 2021 the fashion industry icon recast her preexisting Zoe’s Box of Style offering with a new model built around deep personalization based on member tastes.

Billing itself as “the premier shopping membership” Curateur is the result of Zoe’s learnings from her company’s first pass at subscription boxes early in the pandemic.

The Curateur website states, “We’ve changed our name and reimagined our purpose while keeping all the things we loved about Box of Style. We did this with you, our loyal members, in mind to ease and enhance your everyday life. We’ve made strides to be more than just a box. We are now, and always will be, your trusted partner in curating your life with style.”

The site now sells quarterly/seasonal subscriptions for $99.99 or $349.99 annually for boxes containing typically five items beauty, fashion and lifestyle merchandise categories.

Whatever the price, it’s the emotional hook and sense of being part of an exclusive group that more fashion subscribers are responding to as they regain the option of going out to stores.

As Zoe told fashion industry site Glossy, “It’s the daily questions of: ‘I don’t know how to do my makeup,’ ‘I don’t know how to entertain people,’ ‘I don’t know what to wear to a meeting,’” she said. “It’s these things that made me think beyond the [original] Box of Style. I wanted to create a woman’s entire lifestyle membership. I want to curate every aspect of your life.”

Similarly retooled membership model are cropping up all over, and not all on the high end.

H&M Group launched its Singular Society “membership-based brand” in late 2020.

Per a statement, Singular Society offers “members a carefully curated assortment of high-quality, responsibly made home and wardrobe essentials. Always with a timeless design, responsible production and quality that stand the test of times — at the price of what it costs to make.”

Not yet available in the U.S., the Singular Society “entry-level deal plan” is priced at 9.50 ueuros ($12) and lets customers purchase five products each month, and the “Plus” membership goes for 19.50 euros ($24) and lets members buy 25 products, as reported by fashion news site Stylus.

Category mainstays like Stitch Fix are equally keen on emotional membership curation models.

In the Stitch Fix 2022 Style Forecast, CEO Elizabeth Spaulding said, “We believe the best look is the one that helps you celebrate your unique perspective and makes you feel great — and our role is to be a trusted partner to guide people to explore their own sense of style. We look forward to bringing this experience to even more clients this year through our curated Fixes and our new online personalized shopping destination, Freestyle.”

See also: Saks Shows up Fashionably Late to Raging TikTok Party

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