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Start-up Material Wrld partners with New Yorkers on first online pop-up shop

Material Wrld, a peer-to-peer marketplace due in beta this spring, launched an online pop-up shop to drive awareness of its new concept last week.

The start-up partnered with New Yorkers including Leandra Medine of The Man Repeller and stylist Chelsa Skees; enabling consumers to raid some of the items from within their stylish closets.

One happy customer tweeted: “Shop the very cool closets of very cool people.” Meanwhile, the tagline of the site itself refers to them as “your favorite tastemakers”.

Eventually users will be able to create their own shop, tell the stories behind each piece they’re selling and follow other people they find of interest. Co-founder Jie Zheng, explains the concept as “a prettier and friendlier eBay with social features”, reports BetaBeat.

Further tastemaker pop-up sales are set to follow during April – and this time on a global scale – while the launch of the full site will include “100 hand-selected sellers and slowly scale up to preserve the quality of our community and content.” The aim is to do so through a referral system.

“We’ll have strict guidelines around types of product that can be sold. So no fast fashion (Zara, H&M, Forever 21),” says Zheng.

Zheng’s partner is Rie Yano, a former digital media marketer for Coach (Zheng comes from J. Crew). “Rie and I have been bouncing around ideas since graduating from b-school,” she explained.

“Last summer, two of our ideas converged during a trip to Montauk. My idea was a P2P marketplace for pre-owned fashion with community elements (like Etsy but not just vintage/handmade) and Rie’s idea was a platform to allow self-expression (e.g. uploading fav items and outfits).”

By Rachel Arthur

Rachel Arthur is Editor-in-Chief of Current Daily, the leading news source for fashion, retail and innovation, and the co-host of its weekly Innovators podcast. She otherwise serves as Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Current Global, a transformation consultancy driving growth within fashion luxury and retail. By background she is an award-winning business journalist and consultant, contributing to titles including Wired, Forbes and Business of Fashion.

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