Ellery, Josh Goot, Dion Lee and Christopher Esber are among 10 Australian brands that have been picked up by prestigious etailer Moda Operandi, which allows customers to buy clothes direct from the runway rather than waiting months before they arrive in a store.
The round was led by new investors RRE Ventures with participation from existing investors New Enterprise Associates, New Atlantic Ventures and Conde Nast.
In November, the one year old startup will begin stocking in season merchandise for more immediate purchase and receipt.
Currently, customers have to wait between six weeks and five months to receive items they order from the site.
No one thought anyone would purchase luxury items online, but we help our customers feel comfortable by offering style advice through editorial content and personal stylists.
Cofounder and Chief Executive Officer Aslaug Magnusdottir says that the Moda will offer a modest amount of in season product with a very curated selection of brands to start.
The concept of the trunk shows is to make every single style on the runway available, so that if you saw it on the runway, you can come and buy it from us, Magnusdottir explains.
The in season product will be a curated selection based on information we get from our trunk shows.
Recognising that many runway designs either dont get taken up by retail buyers or, even if they do, take months to reach regular retail outlets, Moda Operandi gives designers and shoppers a speedy e commerce connection to trade in pieces that might never otherwise see the light of day.
That will continue to be a core part of our business, but we realize our customer shops both via pre order and in season.
Even if she buys a great deal off the runway, theres always the need for last minute purchases.
The move will also open up opportunities to reach new customers, namely those who dont feel comfortable pre ordering a piece of clothing four months ahead of time, or are seeking more instant gratification, she adds.
Magnusdottir says the company has already seen strong sales in English speaking countries including the US, Canada and the UK, and is pushing aggressively into Brazil and the Middle East.
The startup partnered with Vogue China in February, inviting readers to come and shop the site after reading about the runway collections in the magazine.
Moda hasnt yet launched a Chinese version of its website yet, but is working on translating its site into Mandarin and opening a warehouse in Asia to facilitate shipping in the region.
We asked Magnusdottir if the company had considered a brick and mortar play in China, given that ecommerce currently represents such a small fraction of business to consumer retail sales there.
We see it as an online play, though clearly the Chinese market in terms of online sales is not nearly as developed as the US market, she said.
But over the next five years its likely to catch up with the US and become even bigger in terms of size and luxury sales… And given the local problems with counterfeit product, there tends to be much more trust when it comes to international players.
Prior to its Series C, Moda raised $10 million in Series B funding almost a year ago to date.
Alan Whitehead is a fashion journalist based in Los Angeles, California. Alan has a passion for fashion stories and loves writing about fashion news and fashion opinions that matters most to its audience. Alan spends a lot of time discovering and researching latest fashion industry news stories in order to make sure the latest and greatest stories are brought to you first on Stylerchic.com.