Introducing the website which is transforming the way that we buy designer fashion
Ever dreamt of discovering a fledgling designer at a click of a button? Wish you could own an item of affordable, beautifully crafted clothing, which isn’t sold en-masse on the high street? Then MonDéfilé.com might just be the answer to your prayers.
Established in October 2011, the Parisian-based site is the first online retailer and manufacturer created exclusively for emerging fashion talent. Marked by a unique interaction between customers and designer, each month MonDéfilé selects a group of talented designers to create an item of clothing or accessory, which is inspired by one of the season’s popular trends.
The designs are then put to the public vote and the winner is given a permanent place on the site. The result is affordable, innovative clothing, which is moulded by what we really want to wear; and this month (you’ll be relieved to hear) the company celebrates its official international launch. Sign us up.
We chatted to Founder of MonDéfilé, Jeanne Coëffé, about what makes her company so innovative in today’s fashion market.
What inspired you to create MonDefile?
Since I was 18 years old, I always dreamed of starting my own company. After graduating from HEC Paris Business School in 2006 and working in Paris, London, and Beijing for four years, I felt like I had acquired enough experience in order to take the leap and launch my own fashion business.
I have been interested in fashion for a long time and always liked to discover new young designers. When I had the opportunity to talk with these designers, I realised a definite need on the part of emerging fashion designers to get support with the publicity, selling, and production of their collections. This is how the concept of MonDéfilé was born as the first online retailer and manufacturer for emerging fashion designers.
What is significant and unique about your public voting system?
We believe that the voting system is crucial to MonDéfilé’s concept. It encourages interactive participation between the creator and the consumer, and ultimately affects which designers are offered a permanent position within the MonDéfilé community. This means that the garments, accessories, and jewellery collections which are produced for MonDéfilé are designs that our customers and consumers specifically want to wear. In this system, the consumer really feels involved in the emergence of new fashion designers.
Why is it important that the site has a monthly collection turnover?
The monthly collection turnover allows MonDéfilé to offer its customers fresh new designers on a regular basis. Every month, MonDéfilé selects a new theme based on current fashion trends which the selected designers are required to use as inspirations for the design which they will put forward into the public voting system.
This constant rotation of designers, trends, and themes means that the designs offered on MonDéfilé are always as current as possible. On top of that monthly designer contest, our will is to keep on collaborating with the designers already elected by our community. Once a designer is elected, we therefore offer him/her the opportunity to design a small collection (from 5 to 6 pieces) which we will promote to our community. Some of our designers have already designed 4 exclusive collections for MonDéfilé.
As a company, what does MonDefile offer that high street stores/designers lack?
MonDéfilé strikes a balance between the philosophies of designer stores and high street stores. Our online community nourishes emerging talents, listens to its customers, ensures the highest quality production of every collection, and takes care to offer discounted prices, meaning that we are able to sell luxury designer pieces at more affordable prices.
What do you think French design has to offer the UK?
As one of the world’s fashion capitals, Paris has always been a centre for style. Some of the most important designers in the history of fashion have emerged from Paris, from Chanel to Dior, and MonDéfilé constantly strives to give the designers of today a platform and a voice. After significant success over the last two years in its native France, we feel that it’s time to share MonDéfilé’s talented designers with the rest of the world.
Words: Joy Starkey