How much do people pay for social proof and brand identification when it comes to luxury brands? Quite a bit, apparently. A new D2C brand, Italic, is trying to target the consumer base that wants luxury quality at a reasonable price, and is willing to sacrifice the brand label to get it.
In a pivot away from the typical way of the D2C’s nowadays that puts a premium on branding, sustainability, and ethics, Italic is instead uplifting product quality as their greatest asset. How do they do this? They’ve got luxury manufacturers on their side. They work with manufacturers who provide materials for brands like Prada, Alexander Wang, Williams Sonoma, and more to create high quality products without up charging for the branding. They even create similar designs that offer consumers a true alternative. (Of course, making it just different enough to not infringe on copyright claims – but this is a big hurdle for them).
Their product offerings range from apparel to accessories to home products.
How big of a discount are we talking?
I’m gonna tell you an example that demonstrates how big the markup is on luxury – i.e. how much opportunity is there for Italic. They are selling a version of an Alexander Wang leather jacket – similar design, same exact materials – thats luxury counterpart is $2,995. Italic’s price? Just $280. Hearing that alone sold me.
When they first launched, they offered a member and non-member price, with the latter being more expensive of course, but now they have fully transitioned to a members-only model. Members pay $100/year for access to these special prices. This was a calculated move that they’re betting on working. Similar to Costco memberships, they’re hoping people see the possibility to save themselves well over $100/year to make this decision worth it.
Italic is betting on the value of quality
In selling luxury at cost, with no middleman markup or branding upcharges, they are hoping to “democratize luxury by getting rid of inflated prices.” Sure, there is a large portion of consumers who define quality by the legendary designers who’ve crafted these products and the status symbol that wearing a logo gives them. Italic is not attempting to co-opt those people. Instead, they’re betting on people who value craftsmanship and high-quality, durable materials.
As with all decisions, your best shot at success is focusing on what matters to your ideal clients. Based on their priorities, they perceive your company and your value differently than others. Italic seems like they are on the right track to address a unique need in a unique way.
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Hannah Michelle Lambert is the Digital Marketer at Worthix, as well as the host of the monthly CX News Recap segment. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan.