While launching e-commerce during Thanksgiving weekend may sound ambitious, it was actually a logical and profitable business decision for buzzy New York-based retailer The Frankie Shop. Black Friday and Cyber Monday turned out to be the biggest online sales days in history, and demand for The Frankie Shop to have its own online store has swelled since its owner Gaelle Drevet opened the shop's doors in the Lower East Side in 2014. "People were like, 'Start it. It's easy. Everybody does it,'" says Drevet. "But I wanted it to be right." For her, the wait was worth it. As soon as The Frankie Shop went live online, the brand's pink faux fur coat and burgundy bag sold out "almost right away," followed by the beige turtleneck sweater and knit culottes, which sold out, were restocked this past weekend, and then sold out again.
For the past two years, The Frankie Shop been a one-stop-shop for a certain brand of stylish New York-dweller. Drevet, who used to be a television producer, began her retail career by co-founding Pixie Market, another downtown-cool, fashion-girl go-to, in 2006; in fact The Frankie Shop's flagship was Pixie Market's first home. (Drevet solely works on The Frankie Shop; Pixie Market is now online-only and still managed by co-founder Magda Pietrobelli.) "The reception was very good when [The Frankie Shop] opened," says Drevet. "It kind of worked right away and matched with what people were looking for. It wasn't going-out pieces and frills, it was mostly about understated chic."
The Frankie Shop's aesthetic, which Drevet describes as "a mix between what's trending and what you should have in your closet," also garnered global appeal through Instagram and its solid fan base of followers — more than 23K — and influencers. "It grew super quickly," she says. She began by following certain people whose style she admires. "It's about the quality and not how much you post [on Instagram]. Sometimes it'll take an hour or two for the right post, or sometimes it doesn't. This was always our best advertising to promote the brand and elevate it to a certain level."
Instagram also serves as a great resource for Drevet to find new additions to her store. "We are lucky that we work with designers who are very reactive to the state of fashion," she says. "It's not like before, when you need to buy six months in advance. These days, you can actually really feel what's going on in the air and what girls want to wear now." On The Frankie Shop's site, visitors can choose from under-the-radar international labels, such as Chakshyn from Kiev, Ukraine, and Copenhagen's Just Female; and popular minimalist-leaning brands like Rachel Comey, Rodebjer and LOQ. Price point is important to Drevet, too, and she keeps a close eye on making sure the majority of her inventory spans between $60 and $200, along with a few items that go up to $400.
As for how Drevet will manage the workload between a busy brick-and-mortar and an in-demand online store, she's quick to note that The Frankie Shop is very much attached to its New York-centric location. (This year Drevet also opened a pop-up shop in Paris with plans to extend its stay on Rue Saint-Claude long-term.) "I don't want to make one better than the other," she says. "The goal is to have them exactly the same." But there's no denying that The Frankie Shop's customer base reaches far beyond the Big Apple. Drevet has already shipped orders around the world, including to England, Austria, Singapore and "a crazy furry jacket" to Australia, where the summer season is just getting started.