Roberta Benteler, of Avenue32, is so confident and so in love with swimwear that she frequently sports it as a top when she’s out and about. Once upon a time there were just a few hot spots when it came to shopping for luxury online. Enter Roberta and her sister, Maya. The German born pair had become frustrated with their inability to find young labels, both online and in brick and mortar stores.
At that time, Roberta was just a typical, fashion loving, 26-year-old working in finance. Their shared frustration was enough to encourage them to set up their own retail site, based in the UK, to promote lesser known brands and make designs readily available to a wider circle of shoppers.
Now, in 2017, the brand has grown enormously, due in part to their expanding team, and their social media strategy which is engaging and includes collaborations with high profile fashion influencers. Of course, it helps that Roberta Benteler had picked up quite the following on Instagram and is regularly spotted at Fashion Weeks mixing with the top brands and designers.
There really is nothing better for a business than a founder who is always spotted looking pristine.
Perhaps the most incredible thing about Roberta, and what makes her stand out from other influencers, is that she had no real experience in the fashion industry. Her career was tied in private equity, but her longing was to be in fashion. It was the financial crisis that gave her the kick she needed to make her dreams a reality. She had no experience, thus found it difficult to find a fashion job. She turned to a designer friend and secured a short internship, which was just enough time to spark her idea about Avenue32. That internship made her realize just how difficult it was for young designers to get their stuff out there in front of a wider audience.
She took her plan to the family and got started signing up young designers. In a stroke of genius, she took designers on a consignment basis, allowing them to sign up more designers and showcase their goods right away. Business started slowly, but the Bentelers didn’t give up! They built up a customer base by effectively using social media to advertise and market. By using this model, they have gotten to know their customers and have a good read on what it is they want from them. You see, they have taken the opposite approach of big retailers. They attract daring customers who aren’t looking for typical fashion staples, they think outside the box.
The buying team at Avenue32 is now five strong, and they are constantly on the lookout for new and creative pieces that will inspire even the least creative amongst us. If you’re a quirky fashionista then Avenue32 is the only retailer for you.