Approaching the fascinating trends of the fashion industry, the designers themselves are dyed-in-the-wool followers; a scenario that is seen from time to time. Beyond any reasonable doubt, it is a gospel truth that when fashion collides with the technology, colossal expectations of the followers have to be met.
Fashion and beauty are inherently linked and women throughout time and civilizations across the globe recognize this. And fashion companies are leveraging this connection to stay updated with these trends that are followed by the consumer. The advent of 21st century ushered in a new concept of Glocalisation in the business world. And with the technology and noteworthy idea, Refashioner is redefining the trends glocally!
Refashioner is a fashion-related e-commerce platform that offers designer and vintage pieces owned by other people. They redistribute the great pieces in the backs of closets. They keep it highly personal, organizing the clothes by owner and including their stories. They also do a lot IRL: sale/parties, styling, shopping, closet rehab, and vintage: how to buy, keep, date, understand, and incorporate it into your look. Although the team is small, dedicated and flexible, they all multitask and love to get their hands dirty because of the bigger mission they share: to (re)value what we own and wear.
The Artisan behind Refashioner
Kate Sekules, Founder of Refashioner, was a lifestyle/luxury journalist for many years till 2009. “Wanting to trade out my designer/vintage for different clothes, I saw a gap for a curated fashion trading community and launched Refashioner the following year. We were the first in a now crowded marketplace!”
“What drove me was –still is– a dream of a giant shared closet. Having fun and creating shopping magic, not buying into the luxury marketing insanity, the planet-and-people destroying ‘fast fashion’ trade.”
According to Kate, Social Entrepreneurism is everything; being a good human is as important as scaling. She’s awestruck by Muhammad Yunus and admires Richard Branson’s iconoclasm and dedication to tackling the great issues of environment and inequality. Furthermore, Kate shares, “the late Anita Roddick (Body Shop founder) was so ahead of her time. I wish there were more female role models.” She loves the Bill Gates quote about how everyone overestimates what they can do in a year but underestimates what they can achieve in 10 years.
Putting family as her top priority, Kate, being a momtrepreneur, knows that this is for her sanity and joy, and these things are integral to the whole societal shift she craves. Adding further to this, she pointed out assiduously, “However I’m also extremely efficient, learned over a lifetime that’s been more gig economy than salaried! I’m always doing too much and having to compromise, so I just have to be okay with that and not beat myself up.”
On her way to the crest, she had to be scrappy and have “totally made every mistake in the book”. Making new mistakes is still beneficial as it results in learning a lot. During her voyage, she stumbled upon a situation- having the (new, expensive, custom) v. 2.0 site held hostage by a developer–which she learned is horribly common, later. She had to walk away from the whole situation at that point of time, leaving nothing in the hand but the experience and wisdom; the need of CTO. For her, it was terribly painful to rip everything away and see what was left, but she learned she has to work to her strengths, not play a game she doesn’t even like.
So she re-upped on the narrative, personal, visionary, systems thinking, a big picture of it all, incorporating more content and expanding vertically. Refashioner had always identified as purely Fashion-Tech and e-commerce and Kate realized that was no longer relevant. She made her peace with working lean, staying nimble, long-term aims instead of short term gains.
Sharing her insight for being successful, she concludes, “Success must be uncoupled from material gain. The impact is the metric that means the most. To keep to the vision without compromise, to swim against the tide if necessary, those are necessary skills, because if business continues to be all about creating profit for the board, we are a doomed race! I think only women can implement the mega shift in values we need.”
Being spectator of the magical bending of fashion with each progressing day, we are acclimatizing our mindset with the changing trends accordingly. For the fulfillment of better shopping purpose, Refashioner is a newfangled fashion brand that appears to be the desiderata for creating unique and peculiar visual style that best fits one’s personality.
Refashioner is continuing to evolve in highly personal directions, both in terms of the product and how it is approached, and as an endeavor that is very much Kate’s baby. Having always been a writer and editor, she realized that she has to write about this stuff! So a book’s in the works, confirms Kate. Also, they are soft launching two entirely new offshoots this and next year. They are closely related to Refashioner’s core business, but highly innovative.
What Kate always says: Don’t shop less, shop better!