Atterley, the online marketplace for independent fashion boutiques, has appointed former British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman as a strategic adviser.
Shulman spend 25 years at the helm of the flagship fashion magazine and joins Atterley as it is mid-way through a crowdfunding campaign on CrowdCube.
The company, founded by entrepreneur Mike Welch, is looking to raise £400,000 to fund technology developments, adding to its team and global expansion.
It says that orders on its platform increased by 250% during the period from 1 April and 17 May as consumers switched to online shopping during lockdown. The service has also proved a lifeline for independent boutiques, of which there are 250 on the platform, enabling them to trade when their stores have been closed.
Shulman said she was excited to be joining the business in an advisory capacity: “I admire the way that Atterley works to support the independent boutiques that are such a crucial and enjoyable part of our fashion chain. When online and bricks and mortar can work hand-in-hand it’s a winning outcome for both the retailer and the customer. I look forward to seeing more people taking part in the Atterley.com experience and accessing the ranges of well-priced, well-sourced fashion.”
Welch said: “Alexandra joins our team at the perfect time. We are growing quickly and have plans to step up boutique recruitment, engage fashion brands and grow consumer outreach. We see ourselves as a fashion reference point for consumers as well as a retail destination. Alexandra has indisputable reputation, connections and passion for the industry and we, along with our independent boutique owner partners, cannot fail to benefit from her support.”
He added that the crowdfunding campaign provided “an incredible opportunity for our customers and boutique partners to own a stake in Atterley as the business begins to ramp-up.”
Welch, who had sold his online tyre retail business Blackcircles to Michelin for $100 million in 2014, established Atterley in its current form in 2016.
It had previously been a multi-brand online boutique set up by former Jigsaw designer Katie Starmer-Smith, but despite backing from William Currie Group and former Tesco chief Sir Terry Leahy, it entered into administration in 2016. Welch bought it and relaunched using a Farfetch-style model but at a more accessible price level for consumers.