A new platform for wholesale fashion brands and buyers will launch in the UK on August 29.
Brand Lab will live stream catwalks shows every day, allowing buyers to see how garments hang and move on real models. Buyers will be able to order directly from the broadcasts, as well as from still imagery and lookbooks, across multiple brands and collections.
New collections will be shown live once on Brand Lab TV and then repeated twice. The videos will have a permanent home on the brand’s landing page on the site, as well as on Brand Lab Replay, equivalent to BBC iPlayer. Brands can add unlimited inventory to their landing pages.
Once broadcast on Brand Lab TV, the videos will be exported and sent to brands for marketing and social media, free of charge.
The site, which offers free access to buyers, offers integrated payment options so brands can request a deposit for forward orders. It operates in multiple currencies.
Brands can specify pack sizes and print runs, in any size they wish. They can also set their own terms and conditions, and the site allows automated credits and returns. There is also a free budgeting tool.
Each buyer who signs up will be verified before being given access, and the site will be password protected to prevent members of the public accessing the wholesale prices.
Brand Lab was founded by Jennifer Drury, former director of Red Storm Fashion Agency, with the backing of Michael Heffernan, owner of agencies TCA Showroom, Double H Agency and Level One Showroom, after they noticed attendance was dropping at trade shows.
“Brand Lab is the combination of 18 months of extensive research into the needs of fashion brands and fashion buyers,” said Drury. “Through a huge technology investment, our unique platform provides a robust solution to many of the age-old problems in wholesale fashion.
“It is designed to increase sales, and make fashion buying and selling an enjoyable and rewarding experience.”
Heffernan added: “Wholesale fashion is changing, and for many years it’s been clear that a solution was needed for issues in the wholesale market.
“Brand Lab is designed to increase sales for fashion brands while saving valuable hours on credit control and order processing.”
The platform is launching with close to 100 brands and expects to have 300 signed up by the end of 2016. Brand Lab declined to name any brands but said they vary from designers who are launching their first collection to large international brands.