Lost in the Romantic Antics

Screen-shot taken from Byronesque.com

Byronesque, aptly named after romantic poet Lord Byron,  just launched their e-commerse site connecting consumers around the world to high end designer vintage. They hope to create an authentic online experience with shoppers, and connect them with inventory from existing stores in Paris, London and New York.

They also plan to develop “the Back Room,” where industry professionals receive exclusive content, access to their image archive, first look at new items, an invitation to private sales and a tailored shopping service. Most authentic vintage stores have a “back room”, which usually consists of items that are not for sale but are of value to designers and fashion industry professionals.

Byronesque wants to differentiate themselves from sites such as Modcloth and Nastygal, which are considered thrift sites more then vintage sites. They have executed this by carefully choosing merchandise, product shots and pricing it accordingly.

Their website, however, is far too dark and drab. Even though they are trying to brand themselves as romantic, consumers will be less likely to by online items if the product shots are too dark. It’s like buying something from a poorly lit store. I can not even remember when I’ve even been inside a poorly lit store.

Stores usually mis-price their  merchandise, and Byroneque’s goal is to correct the pricing accordingly. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that half the fun? I personally love going to vintage or thrift shops and finding something perfect and then looking at the price and going “what a steal!” I can guarantee none of their customers will walk away saying that.

The one saving factor of the site is that the CEO, Gill Linton, thinks that consumer consumption is far too fast and aims “to slow it down and create something better, something polarizing.” Now that I can agree with!