Commencing today, Heroine will aim to differentiate itself from contenders in the market — including US-based The Real Real and the French Vestiaire Collective — by positioning itself as a community-driven site that will host networking events and encourage cross-user interaction via its editorial feed.
“Like Grailed, we are for enthusiasts, by enthusiasts,” Kristen Dempsey, Heroine’s brand director, tells BoF. “The people who are behind Heroine are just as nerdy and specific about clothing as our community — folks can use it as a space to exchange ideas with other enthusiasts and discuss items of clothing or written articles.”
Spurred by the number of female Grailed users requesting a women's version of the site, Gupta and Dempsey will apply lessons from Grailed — which launched in 2013 as a resale site for cult items within the menswear sphere and currently has over one million users posting 200,000 items for sale every month — to Heroine. Whereas Grailed’s niche is within the realms of streetwear — popular brands include Supreme and Raf Simons — Heroine’s will be hard-to-find brands, including Undercover and Paul Harnden.
The inventory spans archival and current fashion, and the site will launch with over 2,000 listings — from vintage Maison Margiela boots ($799) to Levi’s x Off-White staff coats ($750). Like eBay, orders on Heroine.com are fulfilled by sellers, where purchases from The RealReal are fulfilled and authenticated by the e-commerce site in branded packaging. But unlike its competitors, which charge a high commission, Heroine will only take a 6 percent cut of sales. (Vestiaire, for example, charge 18 to 33 percent, while the The RealReal charges 30-40 percent). Heroine’s operating costs, however, are kept to a minimum — the site doesn’t have the expenditure of authenticating, shipping and packaging. “I wonder how other sites can charge so much,” says Dempsey.