THE HOOK OF LE LOOP

The on­line store’s con­cept: cu­rated and dis­counted de­signer wear with an op­tion for “re-loop­ing” your buys.

Herworld (Singapore) - - NEWS - – RT

Cu­rated and dis­counted de­signer wear for sale, and re­sale.

There was a time when we could “lease” a new or used book and re­turn it af­ter read­ing it, for a tiny bit of cash in re­turn. The premise of Le Loop is ex­actly that – ex­cept the prod­uct is one-off de­signer wear sold at a frac­tion of its orig­i­nal re­tail price ($120-$1,140); and it can be re­turned for some cash even af­ter you’ve worn it nu­mer­ous times, as long as it’s not more than five months af­ter your pur­chase.

Sin­ga­porean Liu Tingzhi, 27, launched the on­line store (www. le-loop.com) in July to help fill the big waste gap – mak­ing, sell­ing and dis­pos­ing of – that the fashion in­dus­try and con­sumers have cre­ated.

She had her first ex­pe­ri­ence of fashion waste af­ter work­ing at Alexan­der McQueen (as one of the de­sign­ers in his team) and Er­dem (where she was an em­broi­dery and prod­uct de­vel­oper). The three years spent at both la­bels, cou­pled with as­sist­ant­ships at Ce­line, Dior and Lan­vin, put her in the thick of the fashion pro­duc­tion cy­cle – which had as­pects she dis­agreed with.

“Fashion moves re­ally, re­ally fast. We spend long hours work­ing on one col­lec­tion, and once it’s over, it’s time for the next,” says Liu. “Then the de­signs go mostly to the top 1 per cent of the elite, or re­main as left­over stock that is put away or marked down for clear­ance sales. It’s a huge waste.”

That waste – new de­signer wear from past col­lec­tions, not vin­tage or preloved – is where she cap­i­talises and cu­rates from for Le Loop with the help of two Lon­don-based part­ners, who source from bou­tiques and pri­vate sell­ers.

She se­lects a va­ri­ety of de­signs from dif­fer­ent de­sign­ers that would go well to­gether in one col­lec­tion, “which could be a dress from Diane von Fursten­berg’s F/W ’17 and a run­way piece from Tibi’s S/S ’15”.

“We imag­ine what the Le Loop woman’s life­style would be like. What events would she go to? Does this item work in an of­fice yet look cool enough for a party af­ter­wards? We keep our cli­mate in mind while try­ing to push the bound­aries a lit­tle with some ex­per­i­men­tal and off­beat styles.

“Le Loop also gives you the op­tion of try­ing new de­sign­ers, which you may not have con­sid­ered be­fore be­cause they might have been out of your bud­get,” says Liu.

An­other thing she un­der­stands fully: “Some­times, we may not feel the same way about what we bought six months ago.”

This is where Le Loop be­comes even more in­ter­est­ing: It be­comes Re-Loop – Le Loop stuff that you no longer like and want to pass on to some­one else who might. The re­turns from Le Loop (even with mi­nor wear and tear such as stitches com­ing loose, and small re­mov­able stains) will be par­tially re­funded – and the ear­lier you re­turn them, the bet­ter your re­turns. If you give back an item within the first month of pur­chase, you could get up to 60 per cent of the price you paid. Re­turns made in the fifth month see re­funds of up to 20 per cent.

Re-Loop-ed items then go back up on the site with a tag in­di­cat­ing they have been Re-Loop-ed, and a note about their con­di­tion.

“With Le Loop and Re-Loop, we are able to ex­tract the full value of each gar­ment and ex­tend its life by pass­ing it on to the next cus­tomer.”

Diane von Fursten­berg wrap dress, $380. Alice Mc­Call dress, $280. Rachel Comey pleated blouse, $350.

What did Liu Tingzhi learn when she worked for de­signer brands for three years? There’s a lot of waste. And Le Loop is help­ing to mit­i­gate some of it.

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