Andrew Curran, co-founder of etailer My-Wardrobe.com, has launched Lovehats.com, which he claims is the first global online boutique for premium millinery.
Curran, who co-founded premium etailer My-Wardrobe before departing in 2010, is working with milliners including Céline Robert, Cozmo Jenks and Philip Treacy and aims to have 30 designers on board by April. Prices range from £85 to £2,200.
The site, into which Curran has invested £250,000 of his own money, has launched in seven languages and five currencies, along with two mobile apps and a Facebook app.
Curran said: “We’ve built a framework for our partners to be stocked on Lovehats.com while preserving our cash for advertising and maintaining a digital platform. The plan is to share sales and merchandising information with our partners.”
The business expects 20% of revenue to come from the UK and aims to break even by its third year.
Curran said the inability of online shoppers to try on hats has been the greatest barrier to the development of ecommerce in the millinery sector.
Central to the site is a hat app with which users can upload pictures and try out virtual styles.
“People buy hats when they need to, and so the higher the customer engagement, the more the brand is reinforced in the consumer’s mind,” he said.
The website, which launched in February, has already clocked up 18,000 visits and 15,000 unique users.