The sustainable e-commerce fashion brand plants roots in D.C.
The clothing company Reformation has flipped the script on the standard shopping model with its opening of a brick-and-mortar in Georgetown. “Merging e-commerce with the brick-and-mortar model is something that sets Reformation apart- it’s the overall concept, the tact,” says Reformation’s store manager Ama Obirimainoo. “There’s no store I know in Georgetown, or even in D.C., that’s doing this… the overall looks of the garments are all so different. People are going to be attracted to it because of its’ aesthetic, and also just the whole concept of the store.”
Reformation’s reputation will help it become a new “it” destination for D.C.’s contemporary shoppers. Founded in 2009, the ecologically-friendly brand makes clothing solely from sustainable materials. Products are all made in America, crafted, labelled and shipped from Los Angeles. Reformation’s inventory evokes a breezy, simplistic quality that’s grown from street style sightings over the last decade. Headlines have been devoted to the brand’s famous fans, including models Karlie Kloss, Emily Ratjakowski, and Bella Hadid, singers Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez and actresses Vanessa Hudgens and Dakota Fanning.
What Obirimainoo says rang true on Reformation’s opening day as droves of guests visited the store to peruse the boutique’s offerings while sipping celebratory champagne. Several shoppers with professional-grade cameras rushed to take photos in Reformation’s chic upstairs lounge, while others shopped via wall mounted screens and iPads.
So, why bring it to the District-which is a world away from California, stylistically speaking? “Out of all the city populations that shop at Reformation, D.C. was the fifth,” says Obirimainoo. “A lot of the college students shop there, and since it was number five on our list, it’s almost like a flagship is here because the demand was here.” Based on the range of products available in-store – from Patagonia hats and houndstooth jackets to striped blouses and floral wrap dresses-there are options that appeal to a variety of styles.
As far as boutiques go, Reformation’s model is decidedly modern. The brand only keeps sample sizes of garments on the floor, while all others are held in the back until they need to be tried on. Customers can select products to try in-store using a touch-screen, which are then placed in reserved rooms by employees. The main attraction of the approach is a smaller version of the touch-screen device in each room for customers to request additional items to try on without having to exit. Each fitting room is also equipped with adjustable lighting, as well as a cord for shoppers to connect their phones to and play music.
However, the sustainability aspect of Reformation is its hallmark. In addition to highlighting eco-consciousness in its product lines, Reformation has built unwavering brand loyalty among customers. “I love that you are getting the sustainability aspect of Reformation, and it’s also very fashion-forward,”Obirimainoo says. “It’s hard to find a brand that does that.”
Outside of Reformation, a sandwich board reads: “We’re cleaning up D.C. – at least the fashion part.” By combining its e-commerce platform with a brick-and-mortar location, there is a good chance it will do exactly that.