A group of fashion and media moguls have thrown their weight behind new fashion marketplace Student High Street.
Former Fat Face and Crew Clothing chairman Clive Beharrell and ex-Daily Mail and General Trust’s Mail newspapers’ managing director Guy Zitter are among the backers of the platform, which helps emerging brands to sell to students.
Student High Street, which held its launch party last night, is the brainchild of 25-year old Tom Grafton, who came up with the idea while at Exeter University.
Grafton said his aim is to “own” the £3.2bn student market, which he said was underserved.
He said: “There’s no-one specifically targeting students. They don’t want to wear mainstream brands. They’re searching for uniqueness and products that make them stand out.”
Student High Street launched with brands including Allegra, Pretty Lavish and Love Sick London.
Grafton said there was a growing array of brands that were gaining notoriety across UK universities and Student High Street was providing a platform to help these businesses scale up.
Beharrell added: “There’s a big appetite from the brands for what we have to offer, which is not just a platform but support services as well.”
Student High Street has partnered with firms including the UK Fashion & Textile Association and legal specialist Spring Law to offer support to brands.
Grafton has made a series of senior hires to launch the business, including former River Island ecommerce executive Helen Colclough, who takes on the role of ecommerce adviser, and ex-managing director of Vice Media-owned fashion magazine i-D, Richard Martin, who is marketing and digital director.
Student High Street is using student ambassadors to promote its business across UK universities.
Content is also a big part of the platform, and the site features articles on everything from music to food to travel.
Beharrell said: “It’s not just a platform for sales, it’s a forum. Content plays a big part in how millennials shop. We’re bringing all aspects of a student’s world together under one roof.”