posted by Marie Dalton - Head of European Marketing11 Mar 2013

Alice Hastings-Bass and Rebecca Glenapp, both 29, founded LUX FIX together in 2011. The site offers members weekly online pop-up sales with 25% off current season items from 90 big-name designers such as Pringle, Chalayan, and Markus Lupfer. It also hosts weekly “pick of the crop” selections of clothes and accessories picked by the designers themselves.

When Alice was working as an analyst at Goldman Sachs, she noticed the bank’s post room was dominated by packages from one place; “It was full of deliveries from Net-A-Porter. What struck me was that there are women out there who have absolutely no time but still want to look good. There is a huge inventory online but it’s hard to discover, so we wanted to come up with a service that introduces brands to such customers and at the same time increases sales on the brand’s own website.”

The idea that drove them to give up their job and start LUX FIX was the realisation that customers were interested in “the story behind” the pricey clothes they were buying. Glenapp, who was working for digital consultancy Aston Group at the time, explains: “It’s what luxury is about — in a recession people don’t want simply to buy a bag. It should have a story, and people want to hear from the designer.”

From the start, the biggest challenge for LUX was the chicken and egg problem — how to build a brand before having a website. “When we were just two girls with a piece of paper, it was hard work,” explains Hastings-Bass. But a contact at the British Fashion Council was a useful boost in helping the duo source designers, and the fashion firms were all interested in the traffic surge to their own sites.

“Once we got the site up and people saw that we were working with brands such as Hannah Martin and Peter Jensen, brands started approaching us themselves. Nearly every meeting was — and still is — successful because of the unique relationship we offer the designer,” Hastings-Bass explains. “We direct traffic back to the designer’s website, and it gives the designer an incentive to give us the top pieces.”

LUX FIX has two revenue streams: the first is generated by products sold on their site’s boutique, and the second from taking a commission of the sales they generate for the designers from their own online stores. Expansion beckons as the duo — who pride themselves on focusing on British brands — develop an international appeal. Of the site’s 20,000 members, 50% are from outside the UK, with a quarter coming from the US.

Tags: News (268), The Zoo Project (28), Fashion (69)

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