Digital marketplace brings one-of-a-kind trends

With a new generation of shoppers storming the storefronts, the fashion horizon is shifting. Young shoppers are disrupting the status quo of retail by prioritizing self-expression over familiar labels.

In the quickly evolving world of fashion, retailers have to lure their customers by supplying fresh inventory and staying on-trend. This is a daunting task for smaller, independent retailers as they struggle to compete with the more venerable department store. Traditionally, department stores have maintained autonomy in the retail industry by having more purchasing power, well-established reputations and access to designer labels.

At last, Independent retailers are able to gain an audience by selling products that generic department stores don’t have ~ niche styles that impart individuality. This revolution can be credited to the popularity of social media. As the global sharing of trends becomes ubiquitous, consumers worldwide are able to expressly curate their closet by easily discovering exciting, unique styles on Facebook, Instagram and mobile shopping platforms. Independent fashion is making headway, and digital wholesale platforms such as Modalyst are playing a major role by lending retailers purchasing support with a social layer.

With a myriad of options made available to end consumers, retailers must act quickly in stocking new, one-of-a-kind inventory. Unfortunately, anyone familiar with purchasing wholesale knows this is no easy task. Manufacturers require high minimums in order go into production, leaving independent retailers with mass-produced, excess inventory and limited budgets to allocate. This is where digital marketplaces such as Modalyst become a key player in empowering independent retailers. By using a platform that opens the lines of communication between emerging brands and independent retailers, buyers are able to peruse the marketplace to make new discoveries.

Independent designers typically require lower minimums and accommodate direct-to-consumer/drop ship transactions. This conveniently affords retailers more ways to extend and allocate their budget. With low minimums, retailers can experiment by purchasing more varieties to see which products resonate with consumers without being weighed down with extra inventory; they won’t have to take blind risks that may break the bank. As a result, consumers are given more options to discover unique pieces.

As designers become more accommodating to direct-to-consumer, otherwise known as drop ship transactions, online retailers have freer reign to curate a niche market. The drop ship model allows online retailers to offer products without purchasing inventory. The designer, instead, is responsible for shipping products to the end consumer. Drop ship is an increasing trend among young retailers because zero inventory equals zero risk. This foolproof model allows retailers to create a marketplace by experimenting through trial and error and attending to the exact needs of their customers.

The breakthrough of independent fashion is gaining momentum as a young generation of consumers and industry leaders pave the way for more variety and cultivate self-expression. As digital marketplaces such as Modalyst lend support to independent designers and retailers, shoppers worldwide will have more access to unique products and more fashion choices! For more information, visit

By Jill Sherman | Modalyst CEO

Jill Sherman spent 12 years in the fashion industry expanding Prada throughout the Asia Pacific and U.S. markets as a merchandiser, managing the buying team at Harvey Nichols and working as a fashion assistant at Vogue magazine. Modalyst is a curated, online b2b marketplace connecting designers and retailers. Modalyst gives small retailers the same buying options as larger retailers and emerging designers’ opportunities to sell products to new retailers.