Would you buy high-fashion items without the showy label? New luxury goods startup Italic hopes you will.
Italic is betting big that consumers might be more interested in the quality and design rather than the showy label and brand name. Italic launched their factory to consumer showroom to give shoppers access to factories making products for luxury brands.
In the traditional model, retailers will buy products at factories, then sell them at a markup. Italic breaks that mold and lets the factory sell directly to the consumer. Italic provides the sales platform for the factories and generates revenue via a cut of each sale. Italic sells these items at a fraction of their retail cost. Founder Jeremy Cai calls his startup “the real version of direct to consumer.”
The startup has partnered with the 15 factories that produce goods for brands like Gucci, Prada, and Louis Vuitton.
Italic is membership based. For $10 a month, members are eligible to purchase 2 luxury items per month.
The savings on some items are substantial: a leather tote from a Celine manufacturer that lists for $3,000 goes for $145. The factory that makes EssilorLuxottica glasses that would retail for $175 will only set you back $70 and the factory that works with JBrand is selling a leather coat for $425 (which normally sells at JBrand for $990).
Traditional luxury goods are associated with fancy labels and brand names, so going “brandless” in this high dollar category might take some consumer education to break through the “brand” barrier.