Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
When Arun Gupta founded peer-to-peer resale site Grailed back in 2014, he was filling a hole in the menswear market. A frequent user of forums dedicated to men’s fashion, Gupta felt that enthusiasts like himself (some might call them hypebeasts) needed a better place they could both talk about and purchase the type of limited-edition streetwear finds he was always on the hunt for — his holy grails.
Just a few years later, Grailed is a thriving community with power sellers and shoppers, plus a well-executed editorial arm aiming to educate those who want to know more about their favorite brands or discover new ones. The community is accessible and inclusive, catering to experts and newbies alike. In the coming months, Grailed will expand its footprint even more: The brand just officially announced in a video this afternoon that it’s launching a separate women’s site in early summer 2017.
At launch, the site will be seeded with pieces plucked from contacts within the industry, friends, insiders, and sellers already active on Grailed; women’s brand director Kristen Dempsey says she hopes to see labels like Comme des Garçons, Alexander Wang, Saint Laurent, and Ann Demeulemeester.
Then (hopefully) the site will take on a life of its own. “Grailed has a lot of different styles existing within the site, so we think women’s similarly won’t skew in any one direction,” Dempsey explains. “We want it to have something for everyone.” That seems to include women interested in high-end designers as well as women into sneaker and streetwear culture, plus people just looking to pick up some cute basics from brands like Madewell and Vans. The jury is still out on whether or not we’ll see many hype pieces on the women’s site hours after they sell out elsewhere.
But where Grailed created a platform for a burgeoning community of menswear enthusiasts because none existed, it’s hard to say the same thing about the brand’s upcoming sister site; in 2017, there are scores of e-commerce sites speaking to women who follow high-end fashion.
According to Demspey, there’s still a need because the places where women can buy clothes are not the same places where women can talk about clothes. “People want to have more intimate transactions,” Dempsey says, citing the number of women selling and buying clothes via Instagram as evidence.
She went on to describe women she knows who have a pile of items at home they don’t wear anymore but are reluctant to sell at a consignment store because the items are too special. “They’re looking for the right person to sell them to.” If the new site accomplishes its mission, it should be a lot easier to find them.