In the fickle business of fashion, a decade can seem like an eternity. To reach that milestone while looking ahead to the next decade, standing tall, is something to shout about.
Acknowledging that customers, partners and employees have helped it get where it is today, e-commerce platform FashionValet (FV) is celebrating its 10th anniversary by reaching out to those who need resources to fight the coronavirus pandemic. It is donating RM100,000 to Imaret, the Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia’s Response and Relief Team.
Bridging those who want to help and groups in need is FV’s way of giving back. In the last six months, it has championed multiple crowdsourcing initiatives and raised more than RM2 million for those working to end Covid-19, with the support of the Malaysian Official Designers’ Association. The money was used to mobilise volunteers at health facilities, provide medical and general supplies to hospitals, and assist friends and frontliners who were quarantined or hospitalised. MODA sewed 140,000 personal protective equipment suits for frontliners.
Encouraging entrepreneurship and giving budding talent a hand are among efforts FV has collaborated in. It sponsored RM100,000 as cash prize for Fashion Pitch, a reality TV show on which participants who qualified could apply for business loans of up to RM2 million from MyCreative.
Leading up to Hari Raya this unusual year, FV served as a listing site to connect more than 5,000 local food vendors and customers, after Ramadan bazaars were cancelled. People could place orders directly via the site and the sellers were not charged a commission.
Providing a seamless experience for customers is a commitment from the omnichannel platform, which had its seed in founder Vivy Sofinas Yusof’s blog, proudduck.com. FV showcases modest, modern designs targeted at a younger clientele. It stocks brands and products from the region and ships them around the world. The emphasis is still local and its staple remains womenswear. An in-house line of cosmetics, scarves, accessories, bags and shoes called dUCk created a stir when it was launched. Today, bridal attire, menswear and children’s apparel extend the platform’s premium range.
Vivy co-founded the brand with her husband, Fadzarudin Shah Anuar, along with a friend in November 2010.
“When we started, we had to do everything ourselves, from stock takes to photoshoots, to packing the items, managing customer service and running a business.” The team of three has grown to a staff strength of more than 180, “a central part in the company’s growth”, Vivy says in a press statement.
She is a key driver of the brand herself, with almost 1.8 million followers on Instagram, not forgetting fans of her reality TV show, Love, Vivy, which aired on Astro Ria. Vivy, a law graduate from the London School of Economics, also works with designers, stars, celebrities and influencers to promote her brand.
A 10th anniversary is occasion to trumpet one’s achievements, and FV has lots to be proud of. It introduced the “Try Before You Buy” option, whereby potential buyers can place an order through the website or app and try the piece of clothing at a chosen store before paying for their purchase.
Not sure what size fits you? Ask the brand’s size recommender. All you need to do is key in your foot and body profile and it will suggest the best size and fit.
Buying online usually means days of waiting for your apparel to arrive. With on-demand GrabExpress delivery, those who cannot wait can receive what they want within three hours of clicking “buy”.
Money is tight for many in hard times. With that in mind, FV offers customers instalment payments with zero interest for up to six months.
With its firm footing at home and its solid customer base, FV is set to enter the global market in the next two years, on the back of dUCk — the first modest fashion brand in the world to collaborate with international labels such as Disney and Barbie. Its dUCk Cosmetics is also the first local brand to enter Sephora.
Looking ahead, Vivy says: “We are committed to driving more value for our customers and we hope to further grow our platform and presence in the modest fashion space globally.”
FV plans to deploy sustainability measures across all its operations, and in its products and packaging, using cutting-edge technology.
It has started moving towards sustainable retail: dUCk’s purple boxes are made from 100% recyclable material and printed with soy-based ink. FV has a purple postbox at its KLCC store to encourage customers to recycle. The poly mailer it uses is biodegradable, so is the packing tissue paper. The company is working on making all its boxes with recyclable materials.
To mark its anniversary, FV introduced Farah, a household name symbolic of an everyday modest woman, who steps out with a limited-edition tote bag and notebook bearing her name. Farah reflects the brand’s confidence that “we can only move upwards from here”.
This article first appeared on Nov 30, 2020 in The Edge Malaysia.