Although fashion has always been political, Heroine, a new destination for womenswear enthusiasts, seems to embody all the democratic values that we are thirsting for in today’s world. Ahead of its launch at 10AM EST, we caught up with Kristen Dempsey, Heroine’s brand director, to give us the breakdown of what the site is all about and the first look at their site and editorial point of view.
Tina, Symone, and Brynn shot by Rebekah Campbell to kick off the launch of Heroine.
Why all the hype? Heroine is Grailed’s sister site. In case you aren’t familiar, that’s the curated marketplace for lovers of high-end, secondhand menswear and ultra-hyped up streetwear. Since its launch in 2014, it has famously attracted a whole slew of fashion influencers like A$AP Rocky, Playboi Carti and Kanye West. It has also become the go-to place for legends like Hedi Slimane to sell items from their own closet (Slimane’s Saint Laurent leather jacket posted for $20K earlier this year).
The new site is like Grailed, but different. Besides just carrying primarily womenswear, it’s also taking on a new approach to secondhand that’s indicative of the new generation of consumers. “I’ve worked in luxury retail for six years and have definitely seen the pinnacle of the industry … but there’s this new kind of consciousness that’s happening right now,” explains Dempsey. “It’s definitely political, but I think it’s sneaking into all areas of life.”
Tina wearing Vivienne Westwood Corset, Comme des Garçons Tricot Tulle Skirt.
That new consciousness that she refers to has been part of the brand’s identity since its conception. “The idea came from Grailed users. We had a lot of women using the site and while they loved it, they kept asking when we were going to do something with womenswear,” says Dempsey. “So we voted on it as a company and it was unanimous.”
It’s that community-first attitude that is driving their approach to fashion. “One of the core tenants of Grailed is what they call ‘fire for all,'” said Dempsey in regard to one of the key components carrying over to Heroine. “This kind of idea of democratizing fashion and making it available to everyone.” The product on the site will reflect that perspective, including clothing, shoes and accessories ranging from brands like Chanel to Y/project to Nike.
Brynn wears Simone Rocha Dress and Simone Rocha Tooth Earring.
How they plan to see that through is by emphasizing education: “Heroine is not meant to be an exclusive site. It is meant to be inclusive so that people who are interested in fashion, but maybe don’t have the background, can come to read a master class about Rei Kawakubo or Issey Miyake and can get educated.” They’re also planning to publish articles on designer plagiarism, a trend that has been called out on social media accounts like Diet Prada.
The site is also big on gender and age inclusivity. “Even though it’s all womenswear, it doesn’t have to be women focused. My hope is that we have people of all ages and genders shopping on the site,” Dempsey stated. A point that is also tied to individuality and originality, elements she’s hitting home with ongoing editorial shoots that’ll also live on the site as content is key for the brand’s identity.
Symone wearing Dries van Noten Taffeta Ball Skirt (2017) with J.W. Anderson Linen Top (2017) and Simone Rocha Earring (2017).
Finally, it’s all about empowerment through fashion, which is where the name came from. “Grailed has this amazing mythology behind it – we talk about our ‘holy grail’ item that we’re searching for. I wanted Heroine to feel similar and larger than life.”