Luxury should be defined by the quality of the product.
The luxury industry is at a crossroads — modern technology has transformed how we shop, and consumers are more informed than in years past. Luxury brands that used to be able to count on mystique and premium materials alone are now forced to resort to artificial scarcity and hype to justify their high markups and preserve profits.
Luxury now is about status and marketing, but it wasn’t always this way. Luxury once represented exceptional materials, beautiful design, and excellent craftsmanship. But, as the industry has evolved, quality has become secondary to the bottom line and the marketing machine.
Italic was born to challenge this notion and to return to a more egalitarian past: a world where an aspirational lifestyle and beautiful products that people would consider luxuries are made accessible to everyone. We believe that luxury should be defined by the quality of the product, not by the logo or the price tag.
An Antiquated Supply Chain
The luxury industry intentionally keeps its operations secretive to lead consumers to believe that they have exclusive access to better materials, designers, and manufacturers.
After spending years visiting hundreds of the world’s best manufacturers behind luxury brands in Asia, America, and Europe, we can definitively say that this couldn’t be further from the truth. A closer look reveals that most fashion, home goods, and beauty brands will use the same manufacturers as mid-market or even sometimes fast-fashion brands. Like any brand, luxury ones optimize to minimize costs and maximize profits.
The result is that manufacturers get relentlessly squeezed on lower and lower profits lest they risk their luxury clients bringing volume to competitors. At the same time, these brands spend more money on marketing to justify the high prices. And their customers are left unknowingly paying eight, ten, or even twenty times what a product actually costs to make.
The luxury experience is a facade for “heritage” and “quality” masking an otherwise unexceptional, antiquated supply chain.
The Better Way
A lot has been said about “cutting out the middleman” in recent years. In the early days of online commerce, new brands removed retailers from their distribution strategy and instead sold directly to their customers, taking that margins to increase profits while also reducing prices. As time passed, however, more brands came online and shifted the price back toward higher prices and profit margins.
Technology has dramatically improved so many parts of our lives, but the stark reality is that customers today are purchasing the same quality, using the same supply chain, at the same prices.
We’re inspired by the work and mission of a lot of these online brands, but want to take it one step further and remove both brands and retailers from our supply chain. Italic aims to connect consumers straight to the source. We believe that if we equip the world’s best manufacturers with a new global supply chain that bypasses brands & retailers, they are incentivized to deliver equivalent or better quality but at dramatically better prices for customers.
With modern technology and a global network of manufacturers, we pioneered a new supply chain to operate more efficiently and equitably that generates much greater shared value for not just ourselves, but also for our manufacturing partners and customers.
True Luxury, Radical Value
The first question we always get when people learn about Italic is that it seems too good to be true and that we must be compromising somewhere along the line. It’s easy to see why — unless you’ve spent time in retail, it’s understandably difficult to believe that quality isn’t inherently expensive.
Our team is composed of luxury and technology veterans who know how to build and deliver an experience and product on par with the best.
Everything starts with products. We are on a never-ending quest to improve our product quality. We accomplish this by sourcing and partnering with the world’s best manufacturers, using rare and technically-superior materials even if they cost more, and developing beautiful, elegant designs that stand the test of time.
We seek to deliver an exceptional experience akin to one you would expect from any luxury brand or retailer. This means delivering and refining all processes in service of our customers, starting with a delightful shopping experience, then with fast, reliable shipping, and ending with support that puts our customers’ needs first.
Italic wouldn’t work if we didn’t have a pricing policy that leveraged our unique supply chain in accordance with enabling Italic to thrive in the long term. While Italic is not and never will be “cheap,” we seek to be radically lower (by 50-80%) than our closest competitors for equivalent quality across all of our products.