First ‘Swappable Department Store’ comes to New York City

The swap will be taken to a new level this April. The first “interchangeable department store” comes to New York City.

In a partnership announced today, Global Fashion Exchange is partnering with Walker Hotel – at its newly opened TriBeCa location – to deliver the SwapAteria experience from April 22nd to 30th, daily from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

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The experience is open to both guests and the public to promote swapping as sustainable consumer behavior – a practice that is typically relegated to more informal methods.

In every room or “swap closet” there are curated vintage collections and second-hand items from brands such as Gypsy Sport, Maison Murasaki, The Canvas, Jetzt für Morgen, Carmen Gama and Carolina Bedoya: Make Aneew.

GFX is supported by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, the Brooklyn Style Foundation, the New York Fair Trade Association and Fashion Revolution in the project that includes the acquisition of the second floor of the Walker Hotel TriBeCa (almost 20 rooms in total).

“Our partnership with Walker Hotels is our first hotel partnership and supports our mission to bring trading to the masses and provides a unique opportunity to change the way we approach fashion,” said Patrick Duffy, Founder of GFX.

Activation takes place via a real-time tracking system called SwapChain, a blockchain-enabled data source in collaboration between the Lablaco technology platform and GFX, which shows the history of every item of clothing contained in the closets. Guests are asked to pre-register with a free account. For the exchange of goods, guests receive a voucher that takes into account the condition of the item, the selling price and the craftsmanship. The token serves as currency for the swap and can be used for another equivalent item and exchanged within the duration of the SwapAteria session. Items with an original value of up to $ 149 receive one token, $ 150 to $ 499 two tokens, and $ 500 to $ 1,000 three tokens.

The story goes on

Brand is not king, as SwapChain merchandise is still valued in real time by the human eye to match artisanal merchandise with heavily marketed brands to “diminish” value.

But Duffy assured me, “You will not go into Bruce [Weldyn]and swap a t-shirt for a Balenciaga bag. There are levels. “

“As a retailer, I strive to increase sales at full price. Margin is a priority and to protect margin is to present and sell the dream, ”said Bruce Weldyn, a seasoned store director for companies like David Yurman and Gucci. He sets up a swap shop with a completely black theme as the color dominates his wardrobe. “I would like to say goodbye to this event at Walker with a thorough understanding and recommendations to retailers on how to successfully combine full price sales with sustainability in fashion.”

How did a boutique Art Deco hotel chain come to trade on such a big scale – by handing the keys to multiple rooms that can be reconfigured at the discretion of each artist? The choice is a push for sustainability and “experiential hospitality,” said Atit Jariwala, Founder and CEO of Bridgeton Holdings (Walker Hotel TriBeCa, Walker Hotel Greenwich Village, Marram Montauk).

SwapAteria is one of many new Earth Month initiatives to inspire guests at the Walker Hotel after the lull in the pandemic (when the chain’s Greenwich Village location was closed for months from March to summer). The hotel chain also runs activations like a local-led city tour that highlights community members and key employees, a creative meet-and-greet, and a custom in-room CBD.

“We are definitely very happy about it [SwapAteria partnership] Right now, and we’d like to continue, maybe even remodel the hotels in different locations, ”said Jariwala, who contacted Duffy with the suggestion after they were introduced and invited him to stay in the Walker during the construction of SwapAteria . find out what’s still going on.

Designers and consulting firms are already asking what happens after things simply sell. Ultimately, the experience aims to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to educate consumers about sustainable fashion and fair trade – anything else, as Duffy said, is additional experimental feed.

After swapping at London Fashion Week and the first “swap shop” in New York at The Canvas, Duffy feels like he’s hit the swap moment.

“I knocked on the door forever about swap and sustainability. … As soon as we added the data component, the [SwapChain] – That’s when things started to develop, “said Duffy, who believes that SwapAteria, although experimental in nature, could become a” retailer blueprint “in the future.

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