Fashion Boundary is an online slow fashion retailer founded in 2019 to unite independent designer labels under one roof and showcase their unique pieces. The fashion industry really needed a platform for talented designers to promote their brand in a supportive, collective space, with focus on good quality, interesting, wearable and timeless pieces. The essence of slow fashion.
The mission is to support emerging designers and independent slow fashion labels.
”We collaborate with designers from all over the globe who dedicate themselves to their trade. Browsing through Fashion Boundary you will find a curated collection of clothing, handbags, shoes and jewellery from a variety of brands both small niche labels and popular big brands. Overall, we advocate slow, stylish and sustainable fashion. At Fashion Boundary we source labels who value ethical means of production and strive to use sustainable materials. We want to offer our customers pieces that are of the best quality, made to last and are a better choice for the environment.”
Recently, Fashion Boundary launched the sister label Topmask, the gorgeously soft, breathable mask made for everyday use. Designed in Australia and carefully crafted with comfort in mind as they cup the mouth and nose with the perfect amount of coverage and breathability. As a Melbourne based brand, wearing a mask every day can be uncomfortable so they have come up with the perfect one so you can feel safe as well as stylish.
An interview with CRISSY ZHANG , founder + CEO of FASHION BOUNDARY
Where did you find your passion for creating a digital marketplace and your own brand?
I have always been interested in fashion, ever since I was a young girl. After a long time as an interior architect, I decided to take the leap and pursue my entrepreneurship in the fashion industry.
Fashion Boundary came from an idea I had been thinking about for years, I was tired of seeing trends come and go and constantly keeping up with ‘what’s in’. I think it’s time for consumers to ditch contending with fast fashion and instead, focus on good quality, interesting, wearable and timeless pieces. (Slow fashion.) There’re so many beautiful one-of-kind products and unique designs that aren’t exposed to a wide audience. That’s where Fashion Boundary comes in.
Why would a brand should choose Fashion Boundary to be part of?
Fashion Boundary is a great platform for independent designers to be exposed to a global audience. As a business owner myself, I know how difficult it is to get your name out there and stand out from the crowd. We like to think of ourselves as a directory of unique global brands that our customer can discover.
At Fashion Boundary, our featured designers are really important to us, we like to celebrate the founder/co-founder’s profiles and stories, we also aim to understand their missions and values. By launching our Designer Talks, we will let our customers understand more about the interesting story behind each brand.
How fashion nowadays helps and motivate you to start a business and a movement like Fashion Boundary?
Like, I mentioned in my previous answer, I was tired of seeing the same trends everywhere and the same big brands in popular e-commerce stores. I was looking for something different. I wanted to create a space for little businesses to shine.
It’s so exciting to find small businesses making something unique and beautiful, it’s the designers that really motivate me. Some of their designs are items that I have never seen before, you can see the love that they put into their work. I love to see them succeed. Also, being involved with so many designers and young businesses inspired me to create my own label, Fashion Boundary Label.
The mission of Fashion Boundary Label was to achieve stylish, sustainable, long-lasting and affordable garments for women of all sizes to have in their wardrobe for years. This collection was inspired by nature, architecture, interior design and art. Pure Mirror garments are trans-seasonal and built with love and to last. The aim to achieve an interesting design with high quality, design for use as well as for longevity.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you select the brands to be part of Fashion Boundary’s e-commerce?
Brand curation is such an important part of our Fashion Boundary e-Boutique business. We curate a selection of high-quality products for our global customers who live and breathe independent brands. When we select designer pieces, we choose beautiful, unique and wearable items that we know our customer will love. We believe that good quality pieces should be cherished and taken care of.
When we research new brands we’re looking for quality products. We ask ourselves, would our customer wear it? Is it in her price range? It is new and exciting? Has it been sustainably produced? Where is it made? Each brand is considered, researched and discussed whether it aligns with our values.
We also look at the development of the brand. We want to understand more about their marketing strategy and exposure level. Our ideal young brands would be around 3-5 years in the market. We really care about the people involved in each small brand.
How do you want people to feel when they choose to buy from Fashion Boundary and why they should buy?
I want them to feel like they’re supporting a young business in Fashion Boundary and the brands featured on the platform. I encourage them to look into our Brand Stories and Designer Talks which we have on our website for customers to learn more about the brand they’re buying from, including where the product is made, what technology they’ve used and the inspiration behind it etc.
We’d like our customers to have a more personal connection with their Fashion Boundary item and to know the background behind each piece.
In which way the e-commerce is different than other platforms from the fashion buying industry?
There’re so many big e-commerce fashion retailers that offer 10,000+ products, as a customer, it is easy to get lost with too many brands and products, or take too long to choose the products they are searching. For us, it’s important to keep our brand curation small, niche and boutique that customers feel more engaging. We sourced some brands that haven’t been exposed in English speaking countries, so that has become a unique part of Fashion Boundary. Our focus is on small independent designer brands that are environmentally conscious. To lay a foundation of sustainable ideology is a uniqueness of our platform.
What do you think are best-selling brands, in general?
We generally find that brands who make unique, practical things do really well, this may be that they do knitwear really well or only sell good quality socks. The brands that our customers respond to usually focus on one thing and do it really well. Brands that have their own niche and invested deeper on the product development as well as established for a while. A good marketing investment can help a brand to be popular for a short time, but the products themselves will help the brand to play a long term battle. Also, brands that have consistent awareness. For example, the brand attended big fashion shows like NYC fashion shows will bring traffic and conversion for our site.
How fashion tech is changing nowadays, considering the COVID19 situation worldwide?
People’s lifestyles are constantly changing which means their shopping behaviour is transforming. More and more people have switched to online shopping from a mobile phone for convenience and ease, especially during COVID-19. It’s important for us to keep up with the needs of our customers and give them great user-experience. I’ve personally shopped online for the last 15 years and it became essential for my lifestyle. It is amazing that I can find unique products I cannot buy from local stores but easy to get them from global online retailers. Fast and convenient. I strongly believe that digitalization for a brand establishment is the future.
What do young designers need right now from the fashion industry to grow up and to be ready for it?
The golden key is your product development, every young brand needs great products to support. Your products reflect your brand’s identity and of course, they have to be recognized by consumers.
This brings us to my next point, one must reconsider marketing strategies. I think it’s important to know the world we’re living in right now, especially during COVID-19. An online presence is really important and the option for global shipping I believe is necessary. Also, this is a really unusual time, as some parts of the world, many customers aren’t purchasing like they used to. Overall I think the main thing is for designers to stay true to their brand and to be authentic.