The NU BLVCK
NU BLVCK is a new Scottish accessories brand, who promise to "change the way you shop". I've read the press stuff and spoken to one of the lovely founders, Becca Flory, to try and understand exactly how this brand intends on doing that. From what I understand, they will be working with various designers and artisans, such as Ruth Williams and Di Gilpin but won't produce anything unless there is sufficient interest in the product.
Becca tells me more about why they've chosen this business model in particular:
Styling: I'll Be Your Mirror / Photography: Kris Kesiak / Hair: Emma Diamond / Make Up: Colette Murphy / Model: Kirstin Gribbin
Clothes: Hannah Louise Baxter / Barbara Kolaskinski / Elizabeth Martin Tweed
Setting up a new label is hard, especially in Scotland. Setting up a label that doesn't follow the standard click, buy and deliver, model is even harder. From the selection of goods they have at the moment I see great potential in the designers they are working with.
As to how you actually purchase a piece, I think you pledge the cost of the item - say £100 for a scarf - and if they get enough pledges they create the pieces. I'm not sure what happens if they don't get enough pledges - do you get your money back? I'm not sure how that works to be honest. This system is a step further than made-to-order and does require the customer be that little bit more patient and also accepting if their item doesn't end up getting made.
Whilst I personally have no time to shop in this kind of way, I think new business models need to at least be tried in order to see if it can help new labels, who are often starting with little or no money, actually succeed. The traditional system works for customers, but it's failing start-ups unfortunately. Is the way NU BLVCK are doing it the way forward? I honestly don't know, but time will tell.