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Stylebop Fashion Director Leila Yavari. Photo courtesy Stylebop.
Welcome to Brands You Should Know, a new series where we talk to the people behind some of our favorite lesser-known shopping sites. Today, we chat with Leila Yavari, the fashion director of the Berlin-based site Stylebop.
Not to be confused with Shopbop, Stylebop is dedicated to curating high-end, hard-to-find designer wears. You could find your entire dream closet here, not to mention enough Pinterest and Polyvore fodder to last a lifetime. Though the site launched in the US back in 2006, Stylebop doesn't advertise in the US and has therefore remained under the radar on this side of the Atlantic. Here's Leila on working for a family-owned business, sourcing hard-to-find designers, and the Valentino pumps that stole her heart.
Are your offerings tailored for American shoppers on your US site?
Stylebop launched in 2004 in Europe and has been available to US customers since 2006. Our initial goal was European expansion, to be followed by growth in other markets, such as the United States and the Middle East. We definitely tailor our brand portfolio and our specific buys for US shoppers, especially with the more obscure European and British designers we carry.
In terms of demographic and taste, who is your typical customer?
Our typical customer is a modern sophisticate with a very distinct point of view. She's looking for a combination of luxury, cutting-edge, and contemporary brands that tend to be harder to find.
What's your favorite piece/designer on the site right now?
I am currently obsessed with the Valentino Leather/PVC Rockstud Pumps. Valentino has managed to strike a chic balance between an inherently feminine aesthetic but with tough, edgy appeal. These pumps really embody both the punk-luxe trend—with the see-through spiked embellishment—as well as the PVC accessory craze seen both on the runway and on the street.
What does Stylebop offer that no other site has right now?
Our curated fine jewelry department offers brands such as Nikos Koulis and Sophie Bille Brahe, which are extremely hard to find. We carry ready-to-wear labels like Fausto Puglisi's eponymous label, London design darling David Koma, as well as Elie Saab's elegant evening creations.
What's the biggest challenge the brand has faced in e-commerce?
E-commerce is an ever-evolving platform, so sometimes it's difficult to keep up with the rapid growth. Stylebop is a family-owned business, which is rare in the international fashion market place. We strive to constantly maintain growth and profitability while keeping financial independence.
Aesthetic: Street-style star.
Strong points: Hard to find items and designers.
Weak points: $25 shipping. Ouch.
Brands: Your standard luxury favorites (Valentino, Prada) and hard-to-find designers (Delfina Delettrez, Fausto Puglisi).
Price range: Many items are in the hundreds of dollars full price, but do go up to 70% off in the sale section.
Shipping: All US orders are sent by UPS Express (1-3 days) for $25.
Returns: 14 days.
Bonus: Stylebop's pre-summer sale is happening right now, with designer items up to 50% off.