The fashion swap site Bib + Tuck launched in November 2012 as a private, invite-only community and opened up to the public late this summer. The startup is now pushing its product with the release of its first app today, while sharpening its aesthetic perspective through a new rule, implemented today, that users can only sell items from a list of approved brands.
Co-founders Sari Bibliowicz and Sari Azout said they were aiming for an Instagram-like app experience that also fulfills all the functionality of the website.
Users can list items quickly and add filters to their images along with product info. They can also search by price, brand, condition, and category, and also follow other people’s closets. So, yes, it’s a bit like a shoppable Instagram.
Swappers can also message each other within the app, a web feature that the Saris said had taken off in a bigger way than expected. The purpose of messaging is to build a community feel and also make transactions smoother. It also gives a greater degree of transparency to the entire experience.
With the updated list of brands that users can trade — designers like Acne, Alexander Wang, and Opening Ceremony — Bib + Tuck is ramping up the curated nature of the site, despite the fact that products are crowdsourced. There is also a list of labels that Bib + Tuck will not accept (H&M, Forever21, Old Navy). Indie lines, mid-range brands (J.Crew, Free People), and vintage products that don’t fall on either list are approved or rejected manually by the team’s merchandiser. It’s a blurred line between being a peer-to-peer marketplace and a retailer with a buying team.
Consignment startups play up their community angle and similarity to an ecommerce site to varying degrees. Tradesy, for instance, falls in the latter camp, while Poshmark clearly focuses on making connections between shoppers.
Bib + Tuck has invested heavily in developing its brand, hiring a creative director right off the bat and supplementing their ecommerce with editorial content. The site features stories on influencers like designers, stylists, and photographers, which include photos of the items they have on Bib + Tuck along with an interview.
Much as the founders are working to establish a particular tone, Bib + Tuck is at its core about community with editorial layered on top. Site members post their real names, professions, and Instagram and Twitter handles.
“When you’re buying something you’re looking at who’s selling it. What does that person do? You’re getting insight into that person’s world… You know that this jacket is from a musician in LA, and she wore it on tour, and she’s letting it go and wants someone else to appreciate it,” Azout said.
According to the founders, the typical Bib + Tuck shopper is in her mid-20s, very culturally aware, and a fan of mixing high and low brands; 70% of them have a personal URL. Their biggest markets are California (25% of users), New York (40%), and Miami (10%). Of their 30,000 members, about 15% are actively posting items for sale. 10% of those have bought upwards of 15 items on the site.
The site monetizes on selling additional “Bucks” (the Bib + Tuck currency) to users who want to cash in on their credit, and about 20% of transactions involve Bucks purchases at this point.
[Image from Bib + Tuck]