Tuesday Sep 25, 2012 by Susan Johnston - Contributor, VentureFizz
Last week, Boston-based apparel company Zoora announced its relaunch as Bow & Drape, an ecommerce brand that will allow users to customize dresses based on six core dresses and separates. Bow & Drape has launched a Kickstarter campaign with the goal of raising $30,000 to fund its final pre-production samples.
All of Bow & Drape’s garments will be made in the garment districts of Boston or New York City, which Founder & CEO Aubrie Pagano says, “speaks a lot to the quality of what we make. We take a lot of pride that they’re made here.”
Bow & Drape’s user experience will draw on some of the lessons Pagano and her team gleaned from Zoora. “We really tried to create this delightful shopping experience where someone can be a part of the dress-making process,” she says. “It’s in a lot of the details of what we’re doing, everything from the videos that we have where we show you our factory in NYC to the little surprises that we have in our boxes when your dress arrives. We’ve tired to incorporate some of those finer details that we couldn’t in Zoora.”
Pagano says they also “took analytical feedback as far as how people want to interact with customizing garments and also what the right customer is to go after.”
While Zoora targeted young women with a contemporary style, Bow & Drape is designed for more mature and sophisticated shoppers. “[With Zoora] we learned that there’s a crop of more sophisticated women out there who don’t want contemporary clothes,” adds Pagano. “They’d say to us, ‘if your dresses were a little bit longer, I would buy one of everything’ or ‘I’m a mother of the bride, I need something simple and classic.’ They inspired the new collection.”
Pagano describes her ideal shopper as “someone who’s sophisticated enough to know what they want or don’t want.” The items that make up Bow & Drape’s debut collection were designed by NBC Fashion Star contestant Sarah Parrott. “She’s sort of validated in the marketplace as somebody who knows how to make beautiful things,” adds Pagano. “They’re beautiful and people can cocreate off them.”
Using Bow & Drape’s photorealistc online platform, users will be able to customize items by choosing from a variety of fabrics, trims, sleeves, and other options for more than 3,000 unique combinations, which pieces starting under $200 each. In addition to the Kickstarter campaign, Pagano says they’re looking into a friends and family round for additional funding.