There seems to be a lot of marketplaces for “emerging” designers and creators these days, sexy niche online stores with one off undiscovered creations that make our inner hipster do a happy dance. It is important to have places that designers and creatives can go to and sell their stuff, but I fear that the growing trend I am seeing towards this space based on how many people have been sending me releases around this industry, could mean we are in for another “group buying” saturation situation.
Firstly marketplaces online are not new, they have been around for a very long time, so having a new marketplace online where you act as a seller of other people’s products is not really revolutionary in any way. The art in making it successful needs to be around your branding, marketing and your philosophies as a reseller.
Tee Me Up is a new comer to this space, choosing to concentrate just on the sales of, well, t-shirts from up and coming Aussie designers. T-shirts is a huge industry and their focus is purely on NON mainstream clothing.
Glenn Tan, founder of Tee Me Up is putting the world on notice. The long-term goal is to create “The Ultimate T-Shirt Marketplace” connecting T-shirt labels and customers from all over the world!
“The T-shirt is and always will be a universal medium of self-expression for an individual. The days of people wanting to be seen wearing the ‘standard offering’ from mainstream labels is long gone. Tee Me Up promotes being different, being unique, standing out from the crowd and embracing the individual. Visitors to our website will see that we have done that with the labels we have attracted to the site and the variety of tees available. What’s the icing on top? ‘Being Australian’ and supporting our own!” he says.
A lot of what Tan says is right regarding T-shirts being a self expression, I do however disagree with people no longer wanting the standard offering as major brands still sell many t-shirts daily, hipsters and trend setters however will be chowing this stuff down like there is no tomorrow.
If Tee Me Up markets themselves right there is always going to be a handsome supply of emerging designers and customers looking outside the mainstream clothing options, if their shopping experience is flawless and their quality of product remains high, I can see them being quite successful.
Young Republic created a similar platform for Aussie Designers around 2 years ago, and through clever marketing, being part of the Startmate program and really concentrating on user experience they have become one of the leaders in the space of emerging designers, now housing brands from over 600 designers globally.
There is room in the space for a few players, I love that they are all supporting startup fashion – but people need to recognise the name Tee Me Up in order for them to gain traction and entice people to buy the products, and in order to do that, they will need to become a little mainstream. Therefore I would probably remove the anti-mainstream thing from the branding and put the emphasis around new and undiscovered.