A little while ago, Aussie platform Akagu caught our eye. Akagu works a little like eBay in reverse. Current season designer pieces from a range of labels are listed on the site at retail value, with the prices dropping periodically. It’s an innovative and engaging way to shop online. But that’s not the only reason why we’re hyping this platform up.
It’s bridging the gap between high quality and low cost
You know that crappy top you bought a while back? The one that was $35 and looked decent for about one wear? Then you gave it a spin in the washing machine and it never looked the same. More often than not, you get what you pay for. But we totally get that on a uni budget, buying higher quality pieces can be a luxury.
That’s where Akagu comes in. Founder Jimmy Zhong knows there’s an increasing demand for smaller-run, independent labels producing higher quality clothing. However, much of the time, the price point just isn’t attractive enough.
“Akagu is aiming to bridge the gap between the shopper’s increasing expectation for high quality at low cost and the designer’s concerns about damage done by discounting,” explains Jimmy.
“I feel like shoppers are becoming a little fatigued by over-consumption of clothing and are seeking transparency over how the clothing was made – but may still be hesitant to pay the premium. There is still a lot of conflict between the shopper and designer label on price, which is where I believe Akagu can help.”
Through Akagu’s reverse auction process, users are given access to high quality pieces at prices they are willing to pay. If something is still too expensive, you just wait a few more hours until the price drops again (and just hope someone doesn’t get in before you).
It’s good for the brands themselves
It’s been a devastating year for some Aussie labels, namely Willow, which shut its doors after over a decade of trade. And despite the fact that Akagu is selling discounted designer fashion, it's actually working to support both the designers and consumers.
“For the designer label, selling through Akagu is an alternative to relying on heavy discounting that can damage brand value,” explains Jimmy. “Our initial sales have also shown an average of 10 per cent on sales margins recovered by our designers. Our platform is also focused on amplifying our designers’ brand and stories.”
If you needed any more convincing, you just need to check out the list of designers who’ve jumped on board before Akagu has even turned one. Think Kuwaii, Livia Arena, Gary Bigeni, Kaliver and more.
It’s constantly re-building itself
Despite this platform’s ability to place quality fashion in the hands of consumers for a discounted rate, it isn’t the only function of the site. “There’s a perception the auction can only be used to help clear dead stock, but actually I feel the auction's greatest potential is in selling new-season stock where there is no historic price attached yet,” says Jimmy.
“This would be a great way for labels to 'test' the market on what price the customer is willing to pay with potential to drive both margin and volume. I also believe this is a much more sustainable way of business for designers and is more exciting for shoppers.”
Akagu isn’t stopping there, either. In the next year, it will be integrating its platform with Shopify and Wordpress. This will enable brands to use Akagu’s auction system on their own platforms.
In the meantime, Akagu has a host of auctions coming up for labels Bausele, Matea Designs, Clemence the Label and Serpent & the Swan. It’ll be the perfect time to top up your summer wardrobe or even nab some Chrissy presents for some very lucky family members.
To join the Akagu community and stay in the loop about upcoming auctions, sign up here.