Raiding Avenue 32

Raiding Avenue 32

It seems that every day a new fashion e-commerce start-up is popping up.  Every day somebody is trying to give us a "curated" online shopping experience, something that is "edited" or "carefully selected" because we the sheep-like customer need to be spoon-fed by the "taste-making" powers that be.  Note the quotation marks cradling these oft-used buzzwords.  I'm probably in the minority but I personally don't need an online shopping editor fairy godmother to guide me through my day-to-day e-shop browsing.  I'm very much someone who likes to dig into a seemingly insurmountable pile of product, wading through to try and uncover a gem, hence why eBay, Yoox and Etsy are a few of my favourite destinations. 

However, I do appreciate an unconventional brand selection, one that stands out from the norm and that applies to both online and bricks and mortar stores.  Avenue 32 has finally come good for me and rather than cherry picking from the site, I've found that pretty much all of it is right up my strasse.  I say 'finally' only because Avenue 32, the relatively new e-shop founded by Roberta Benteler and ex-Browns buyer Erin Mullaney, did already launch a few months ago and in all honesty, it was slim pickings when it went live.  I am also an annoyingly impatient sort that clicks through a site, passing judgement in about two nanoseconds.  A few months down the road though and Avenue 32 is stocking some of my favourite young designers in addition to picking out pieces from established designers.  I really respect Mullaney as a buyer and she's one of my favourite person to quiz during fashion week about what she's seen that she likes so I knew I'd be sucked into Avenue 32 eventually.  The premise is that the site offers designers their own designated online shop front, something that isn't so relevant for say a well-stocked designer like 3.1 Phillip Lim or Preen but is useful for younger designers like Eudon Choi, Yasmin Kianfar and Calla.  Every designer also gets a little Insider page, an little image-based summary of what the designer is influenced by or what their aesthetic is about.  Mulleany and Benteler have also gone out of their way to secure exclusives for the site as well as statement pieces from the collection, which distinguishes Avenue 32 from its competitors.  Statement pieces or not, it's good to see designers like Boudicca, Giles and Tim Ryan represented on the site, incidentally none of which are on Net-a-Porter, the big daddy barometer to measure against in online fashion etailing. They've also got a pleasingly hefty selection of Mother of Pearl and Chalayan, in comparison to other stockists online. 

I know there's a lot of product here and I'm never sure it's very smart to do the "Hey isn't all this product that you guys can't afford in these tough times, absolutely AMAAAAAAZING?", but seeing as I was going through a Nancy Honey moment, I couldn't help but pit her Woman to Woman series of photographs against what Avenue 32 has to offer in not just one collage but nine.  I must really like the site if I dawdled about on Photoshop for two hour, right? 

Tim Soar cropped airtex waistcoat £535, Thakoon Addition seamed trouser £285, Tim Soar dogtooth culottes £480, Joseph glen checked skirt £395, Lizzy Disney small leather cuff £120, Aperlai snakeskin loafers £370

Paper London multicoloured Intarsia Cape £225, Palmer // Harding sleeveless waist shirt £330, Mother of Pearl speckled shirt £310, Mother of Pearl mint pencil skirt £355, Manuela Dack beaded stingray belt £190

Thakoon Addition t-shirt layered print blouse £290, Tim Ryan fringed maxi skirt £1360, Vilshenko ivory Russian blouse £405, Sara Battaglia orange mochila bag £570, Roksanda Ilincic orange and tan swimsuit £315

Preen white pixel lace blouse £700, Peter Som china blue floral dress £665, Chalayan embroidered black bolero jacket £2265, Peter Som floral black trousers £485, Hermione de Paula t-shirt £140, Chalayan black frame scarf dress £2265

Preen broderie anglaise skirt £1405, Calla double print t-shirt dress £385, Eudon Choi metallic top £370, Calla coral pleated organza skirt £600, Pauric Sweeney pink mini bag £785

Mother of Pearl cashmere jumper £390, Mother of Pearl brown leather rucksack £705, Ohne Titel print skirt £330, Mother of Pearl sneakers £405

Marie Mercie chamonix hat £270, Ellery leopard print coat £936, Maria Francesca Pepe stud and screw cuff £70, Eudon Choi wide-legged trouser £440, Saddlers Union canvas bucket bag £515

Hillier hedgehog necklace £350, Boudicca silver chiffon shirt £636, Palmer // Harding corrugated mesh shirt £825, Giles swan print skirt £550, Todd Lynn demi pleat skirt £580

Eudon Choi leather jacket £1130, Felipe Oliveira Baptista black jacket £900, Body Editions knit bodysuit £270, Maria Francesca Pepe charm ring £50, Manuela Dack stingray print leather £520


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  1. Cheryl from BusinessChic

    2012-04-12 at 3:20 PM

    Ooh I remember Erin saying that she was working on this secret something when she was in Melbourne for Fashion Week last year! How exciting to see it’s up, I must go gander now.
    Btw I much appreciate how you’ve popped in the “strasse”- I’m much for use of more foreign words in English sentences and like how you’ve done it. Super!

  2. Joana Gomes

    2012-04-12 at 3:40 PM

    So glad you wrote about this since I love many of the designers they have there, one of which being Mother of Pearl. It’s always exciting to see the works of newer designers, but so hard to find if not completely inside the industry..
    xo Joana

  3. Nathan Niche

    2012-04-12 at 3:56 PM

    yay for featuring mother of pearl, one of my fav uk brands! and once again u’re amazing for featuring new designers and all these great pieces of clothing!

  4. Haidee

    2012-04-12 at 4:40 PM

    I love the colours so chic

  5. elizabeth

    2012-04-12 at 5:17 PM

    LOVE how you put this together!!

  6. Joy D.

    2012-04-12 at 5:49 PM

    These sites always overwhelm me but I still shop them. The Giles Swan Print Skirt is fantastic except for the price.

  7. Serdane

    2012-04-12 at 5:57 PM

    Obsessed with the loafers on the first picture !

  8. Duck

    2012-04-12 at 7:41 PM

    Oh God, another online emporium to drain my finances. I too scoff at these “edited” sites in general – who can do my shopping better than me??

  9. maya.autumn

    2012-04-12 at 8:39 PM

    so glad i saw this because my brain had just ran out of inspiration.

  10. Etrala London

    2012-04-12 at 10:56 PM

    Thank you for showing the designs of new and young designer… We need suport and most bloggers always show “designs” (-to say something-) of mass market labels as H&M, Zara and so on… They are really big and don¬¥t need so much ad.
    Hope one day being in your selection!
    Good night! 😉

  11. saigon

    2012-04-12 at 11:26 PM

    could pick put many quality stufff here. love the backgrounds as well. but somehiw the clothes seem hidden behind them

  12. DNA (designers+artists)

    2012-04-13 at 2:10 AM

    Love the collage, this new site is certainly worth checking out.

  13. Rebel

    2012-04-13 at 11:04 AM

    Another bored banker wife dreaming of Natalie’s career. As Susie said, every day they are popping up, the Fashionstakes, Wondermodes, Lookks, Asos Marketplaces, TouchOfFabulous…mostly Venture Capital backed these ventures try to hop on the bandwagon set off by others, trying to scale their ideas and make a fast exit (= big bucks). In the first 3 months of 2012 over 7 of these have already shut down again. Even if Susie says curation is not what we need, gatekeepers are exactly what we need, not only on the content site, but also the rubbish which calls themselves ‘revolutionists’ in any sector. This article smells like paid advertorial, and as fake as their marketing, Avenue32 will come and go like the seasons as it does not make sense from a commercial point of view, we do not need another online store selling Phillip Lim nor Celine…

  14. susie_bubble

    2012-04-13 at 11:28 AM

    I can GUARANTEE you that this is NOT a paid advertorial. You can verify that with Avenue 32. I’d have to declare any advertorial that was paid for on the blog post, so please get your facts straight before making that accusation. I wrote about Avenue 32, despite having reservations about it in the beginning and I’m pleased to say, that finally, it has impressed me. I wrote about it because I trust Erin’s opinion – she is not a bored banker wife. She is a hard working buyer who has cut her teeth at Browns and has I think, a great eye, evidenced by the number of designers that I put in those collages that don’t have stockists elsewhere.
    Yes, you’re right – we don’t really need another site selling Phllip Lim but that is about as banal as it gets because if you bothered to look through the site, you’ll see that they do sell quite a number of designers that aren’t well-stocked but deserve to be. Eudon Choi for instance whose A/W 12-3 collection was really quite accomplished, but doesn’t have the press/PR hot air blowing up around him. Manuela Dack, who has very much impressed from just having done a few tradeshows on her own. I could go on…
    I get your gripes with venture capital-backed sites and yes, they are two-a-penny now. I don’t feature a lot of them so when I do, I can assure you there is a reason! You making accusations of this being a paid advertorial is just frankly laughable when you know that sites like Avenue 32 don’t really have the budget for that. I mean, even NAP doesn’t do that much online advertorial work (display ads, yes, paid advertorial- rarely).
    Also, erm… you do know that Celine is hardly stocked anywhere online in their apparel as LVMH have very strict stockist restrictions when it comes to the ready to wear of Celine?

  15. Edina Tattaglio

    2012-04-13 at 12:55 PM

    1. that skirt
    2. that dress
    3. that swimsuit
    4. that blouse
    5. that dress
    6. that sweater
    7. that coat ( trousers if I had more centimeters )
    8. that skirt ( both )
    9. that bodysuit
    BTW : I´ve seen you on FTV . You was amazing !

  16. Huliganjetta's fashion blog

    2012-04-13 at 2:20 PM

    Nobody likes sites with too much advertising. But most of blogs are overloaded by ads.
    follow my Huliganjetta

  17. sophie

    2012-04-13 at 3:31 PM

    As someone who rarely looks at designer sites (i get my inspiration from thrift shops and army and navy) I just had to see what the fuss was about, and yes I was pleasently surprised by the diverse and eclectic mix, inspiring? Yes would I buy from there eh possibly just don’t believe the hype

  18. Anon

    2012-04-13 at 3:33 PM

    Ha ha! The hypocrisy of slagging off blogs with ads as you ‘advertise’ your own on someone else’s blog. Classic.

  19. MEAT

    2012-04-14 at 1:00 PM

    There are some seriously amazing pieces here. It’s nice to see sites that don’t have the same stuff you see in every editorial or on-line shopping site.

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