Going through your Instagram feed, you may chance upon lovely concept photos where ladies have their hair coiffed up and are wearing vintage clothes. If you’re wondering where to snag the clothes so you could do your own version of an IG-worthy vanity post, you just need to know one word: ModCloth.
ModCloth is a sweet destination for those who have a penchant for the classic and the retro. The selection is cute and varied: not only do they have vintage clothing full of florals but also accessories, footwear, and bags, even home décor! If shopping online has been frustrating on your part because of the limiting sizes, giving ModCloth a chance is worth it because it is one of the most inclusive stores out there. Plus, it has one of the tightest communities online; ModCloth actually listens to its circle of fun, vintage-loving ladies for its releases.
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Born out of love for thrift shopping
Retro-loving fashionistas have one name to thank for the goodness that is ModCloth. That name is Susan Gregg Koger, the company’s co-founder and chief creative officer. Like her customers, Koger shares their love for vintage clothing. She was way into it even as a youngster, that she has even scooped out clothes that don’t quite fit her. She eventually found a genius solution to keep the clothes—by renting them to friends.
Thrift shopping is a leisure activity for that has stayed with Koger even in adulthood. With the help of her then boyfriend Eric, she created a website where they can sell her finds. The now wife-husband duo saw that there was great potential in this endeavor, and then took a leap of faith together after graduating from the university to commit themselves to the business full-time.
As it turns out, it was a risk worth taking because it became a business with million of dollars in worth, and was soon acquired by Walmart, although it still has autonomy in the collections it introduces. Now, Koger travels to and from the company’s three offices to meet with her team that has grown significantly from what once was just a two-man team. In addition to a website, the company also has a retail store in Austin. ModCloth’s joining of Walmart, however, will make way for more physical locations.
No need for touch-ups
ModCloth may be up and running because of the fun there is with dressing up and looking good, but for the company, this doesn’t mean that they have to advertise using models with features that are digitally altered in order to look better. Featuring unrealistically flawless people on their campaigns can pose unhealthy expectations and low self-esteem among customers. As much as possible, ModCloth is all about keeping it real, because for them, there is nothing more beautiful than real.
ModCloth led the way for other retailers when it became the first fashion company to sign the Heroes Pledge for Advertisers. By signing the pledge, ModCloth promises never to use Photoshop to change a model’s features for the purposes of enhancing or removing it. In 2016, ModCloth even hosted an event in Capitol Hill that is related to the cause. Koger spoke with Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in support of the Truth in Advertising Act.
The company also has certain features on its website to encourage women to be proud and comfortable with themselves. Among them is Style Gallery, which is where customers can send in their photos while wearing clothes purchased from the store so they can be featured on the blog. As a result, shoppers can see how ModCloth’s offerings would look like on a real customer than just admiring them on models’ bodies.
A community-driven team
ModCloth’s success can be attributed to many of the things it keeps doing right, which includes listening and considering the concerns of women who choose to shop with them. The network of the company goes beyond leaders and employees to include patrons in the dialogue.
Among the decisions the company has made that was influenced heavily by its audience is the removal of the term plus size on the site, which other shoppers feel excludes them from the rest of the customers. A survey was conducted which revealed that shoppers feel embarrassed when they have to browse through plus-labeled items. What ModCloth did instead was to use a more inclusive term, extended sizes, which includes clothing for both horizontally and vertically challenged customers, as well as tall patrons. The company believes that fashion is for everybody and every body, so it is only important to offer garments that are made for all shapes and sizes.
ModCloth also began its program Be the Buyer in 2009 where customers decide which items should be carried by the company. The decision is made through voting, with those garnering the largest amount of votes made available at the website for purchase. Another is Make the Cut, a contest where ModCloth’s creation next creation will be based on user submissions. Selected designs were featured on the company’s Spring collection in 2012, with a bonus of having the designer’s name featured right on the garment. Meanwhile, Fit For Me became a platform for shoppers to get opinions from others regarding the fit of a certain item. Measurements are included in the review so that a potential buyer can make a sound judgment before finishing the purchase.
The company ModCloth is among the most inclusive of stores there are, stocking up on vintage designs and exclusives that are made for all sorts of shapes and sizes. A shopper can also go for ModCloth for other needs such as footwear, bags and other accessories. The belief that fashion should be for everyone is deeply embedded within the company, which is why it is targeting to reach more women without the limits of distance and of traditional sizing.