Meet the 70s fashion enthusiast who is using curated images and smart retail strategies to build a dedicated consumer base on the shopping app Depop.
Ever since our favourite Instagram stars started sharing carefully-styled outfits on their feed, we’ve wanted to shop just about everything in our social media feeds. Unfortunately, Instagram’s platform doesn’t support a shopping feature (yet), so we’re forced to use reverse Google image search, tap for credits or trawl through comments to track down these must-have styles.
Or that was the case, until Depop launched – a thrift-shopping app/oasis for millennials, with all of the low-key charm of Etsy combined with an addictive interface that references—what else?—the double-tap attention-grabbing sinkhole of Instagram.
With a more streamlined uploading process for sellers than Ebay, users can simply take a picture and then post it to the app. Like Instagram, users can build up a personal feed featuring the products being sold by people they’re following and sellers can create their own stream of products that create their own mini shop. You have the option to follow friends, celebrities, or strangers, so as to be among the first to find out when they post new wares.
Already popular with bloggers, the site now has close to five million downloads. Mass retailers including Asos, Monki, and Goodhood have been testing the platform by selling off samples,dead stock and past-season product, and even celebrities like Dita Von Teese is selling strappy lingerie on it.
But the site is proving most profitable for small brands and clothing enthusiasts, like Mia Williams aka MadSeventies, who has been building a following on it by selling exclusives and one-off vintage pieces.
In the images, which also appear on her Instagram, Williams ensembles follow a strict Seventies style. Just like her alias states, she’s obsessed with everything in and around the era, which her wares— from high-rise denim fits to Stevie Knick’s-esque blouses, and tons of printed shirts —reflect. Her talent lies in her ability to source deadstock from the ’70s, which arrives new to the customer in the original packaging from a past era. Most of the brands she finds are no longer manufactured making them as rare as endangered species. With a following of over 26K, and selling up to X items per day, Williams has quite a promising business under her belt.
To find out how it all started, where she shops for vintage and how she manages the business we spoke to Mia to find out more:
WGSN: Where does the name Madseventies come from?
MW: My friends and family called me ‘mad’ for loving the 70’s so much and the fact that I love anything inspired by the 70’s.
WGSN: Why did you start a Depop account? What do you like about Depop as a platform?
MW: A friend recommended using the app and it was a great way to recycle clothing in a fun way. Also I had more clothes than cupboard space, so I decided to sell great quality items that I didn’t need anymore. Selling your garments on Depop is a great way to showcase your clothing and style. It is easy and fun to use, allows instant communication between the seller and buyer and you are able to link up with other social platforms, for example Instagram. I have tried selling on different platforms however I feel Depop has the best audience for fashion buying.
WGSN: How did you build such a big following?
MW: Originally I started only with a few followers but from the get-go I wanted Madseventies to have a consistent update of clothing creating a small community. The second most important thing was to have great quality garments at affordable prices with fast delivery. I also think the genre of 70’s clothing is quite popular, but challenging to find. I have been told by others that my unusual poses create a striking image too.
WGSN: How much attention goes into styling and the look of the images?
MW: I always make an effort to combine each garment with other clothes that compliment it and show the buyer it is possible to mix vintage with modern pieces.
WGSN: How do you go about sourcing your garments?
MW: Over the last couple of months with Madseventies I’ve created great relationships with clothing suppliers of old vintage fashion. This is a great way to promote 70’s fashion and support other businesses. I have found amazing locations across London and I love going to vintage markets on weekends to find those hidden gems and I also like to support charity events.
WGSN: Do you find there are more women starting Depop accounts, is there a lot of competition out there? And how do you stand out from the crowd?
MW: Generally I have seen more women joining Depop and selling fashion clothing however there are men using the app too. There are many successful sellers, but I don’t see them as my direct competition as I just try to focus on Madseventies, however there are over a few million users and therefore it is important to stay ahead, be consistent and find those gems. To stand out from the crowd you need to be aware of current fashion trends, have a good working ethic, and advertise or portray your clothing differently to create second-time around buyers.
WGSN: As a seller, how important are reviews and individual attention to the buyer?
MW: Reviews are very important as they give confidence to other buyers about the quality of the garments, fast delivery and customer service. To add an extra touch to your packages from a postcard or a note to say thank you, always goes a long way.
WGSN: How has your Madseventies account and your process of selling evolved from the start until now?
MW: The Depop team has always been very helpful with good advice. If you have a good amount of quality garments to sell, the Depop team will put you on the ‘explore page’, which will help you gain potential buyers and followers. The buying and selling process has become a more regular thing so I have become more efficient and knowledgeable about the process.
WGSN: Have other businesses or companies approached you because of your account?
MW: Yes, this has opened a lot of doors and opportunities to collaborate with different shop brands locally and a few upcoming designers. I have also been asked by a few companies to manage their social media platforms .
WGSN: What advice would you give to new starters on growing their following?
MW: Firstly you need to be passionate about what you selling, display it in a good way and think out of the box. Create good relationships with buyers as well as the Depop team, adding props and accessories to create a different dynamic to your images works well too. It is important to have a shop name that represents what you selling too.
WGSN: What aspiration do you have for Madseventies as a brand? How do you see it evolving? You mentioned growing number of followers and create capsule with a brand?
MW: I would like to grow Madseventies and emphasise being unique and to show that you can buy a great outfit for a reasonable price. I also want to highlight 70’s fashion, because I think it was the most eccentric and fun era to get dressed in. I am currently in the process of working with local designers to create 70’s inspired garments that are one of a kind. Essentially taking the same concept of Madseventies to another fashion brand to grow their business alongside mine.
Love this? Read more about the Depop app here.
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