In this time of retail sameness, it has been hard for me to get excited about shopping (OK, except for the amazing designer sales of late). I adore Net-a-Porter and Shopbop, but with the news that eLuxury and Active Endeavors are shuttering their storefronts, there is a definite online blackhole at least for high-end fashion. Until now. I was recently introduced to the new site 25Park.com and what can I say? It was love at first browse.
25Park is a different kind of online shopping experience. Each item available on the site is personally hand-picked and purchased
by the company¹s founder, Alison Brettschneider, who has an eye for the unique and covetable. So what besides the
fresh mix of merchandise (Behnaz Sarafpour, Maria Pinto, Brian Reyes, Tracy Feith, Ports 1961 and Yigal Azrouël to name a few designers) makes this site different? You can shop it any way you chose. For those of use who like shopping department stores, without actually going to department stores, the site is set up by floor; designer, contemporary, shoes, accessories and children's. Or you can shop by category or size. The most unique feature is to shop by using the QuickGuide. Click on the beach ball to shop for your trip to St. Barths, or click on the bowtie to shop for blacktie formalwear, click on the dollar sign for a 'bang for the buck. You get the idea.
Every order arrives in a recyclable 25Park beach bag, how can you not love that?
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Alison over breakfast and discuss her site which just launched December 11 and already has cultivated an impressive following.
SCS: What does the name 25Park mean?
AB: 25 is my family's lucky number and my recently deceased dog's name was Parker. So 25Park won with my friends who knew I was having a hard time coming up with the right name…and it sounds very New York. Perfect.
SCS: What made you decide you wanted to jump into online retail?
AB: I'm a huge online shopper. It's just easier to shop online. But, I wasn't finding what I was looking for. I was a becoming a frustrated shopper and thought I couldn't be the only one. It seems like everyone carries the same brands. I saw a need for a one-stop shopping site for working women with children. The site is geared for busy, sophisticated women who want something different, something special.
SCS: Do you have a background in retail?
AB: I worked at Bergdorf's years ago and more recently in a showroom. I had been kicking the idea around for at least four years. I always wanted to open a store.
SCS: So how has it been launching in this economy? Especially when it seems everyone is practically giving the store away.
AB: I have been very lucky so far. We are getting orders from Dubai, South America
and all over the world. We have global storefront that's open 24 hours a day and at the end of the day, there are still a lot of people with a lot of money who want to shop privately online. True, if I had carried the same brands all the other stores carry, yes, I would have had to mark them down considerably. Believe it or not, even in this economy there are still that want something different and are willing to pay retail.
SCS: What is the 'Charite' component on your site?
AB: 25 Park is about women who want it all. Children, career, passion, compassion, peace on earth and an end to global warming. So, we wanted to empower women and children to reach their highest potential in life and help those who are less fortunate. Each month 25 Park will partner with a new charity that has a special mission to help women or children. We will donate $1 from every sale to that organization.
Now do you see why we love 25Park? How can you not?
Shop 25park.com here.
– Lauren Dimet WatersSee the Top Ten Summer 2016 Trends for Women Over 40
Tags: 25Park, 25park.com, accessories, Alison Brettschneider, apparel, Behnaz Sarafpour, Brian Reyes, charity, children, interview, Lauren Dimet Waters, Maria Pinto, online shopping, Ports 1961, retail, shopping, Tracy Feith, women, Yigal Azrouel