Designer Wardrobe

Designer Wardrobe is a kiwi owned fashion business that started in 2015 as an online fashion marketplace for women to buy and sell fashion.

Over the years the business has expanded to also include a popular rental business with online and in-person rental options. They meet the market demand for outfits to wear on special occasions, including race days, school formals, black tie balls and parties.

One part of the business is renting out thousands of dresses online via their website and through their bricks and mortar shops. The other aspect is a purely online marketplace for women to buy and sell fashion to each other.

Now employing 25 staff, Designer Wardrobe has their head office and warehouse in Auckland, along with two shops – one in Auckland and one in the Christchurch CBD.

Company COO Aidan Bartlett says the business has been working with Dan and Prodigi since their early startup days when they had just three on their team.

"Dan and Prodigi have worked with us right from our startup days when there were just three of us."

How does Designer Wardrobe use IT in their business?

Aidan says "IT is at the backbone of the company. We started out being just online-only, but it crosses over everything we do. We need the platform so that people can trade on the website as well as being able to transact instore.

"So it's vital to the business that we have a really great foundation in terms of IT."

As well as the front end of the website where people can browse and order rentals, and trade with each other, they also have a backend which supports managing the large inventory of rental dresses.

Did you have any specific IT challenges?

"Because we are a marketplace as well as a more conventional online fashion business, we had a number of unique challenges including scaling the business and making sure that our load times are where they need to be.

"Our platform is completely bespoke, built for us from the ground up, so we needed someone who really wanted to have some skin in the game – really deep dive into the platform and be invested in it."

How has Prodigi supported Designer Wardrobe's growth?

Prodigi has grown up alongside the Designer Wardrobe business which Aidan says has been fantastic to have someone so supportive, even in the very early stages of the company.

"Since 2015, Prodigi has been handling all our web infrastructure, which has been absolutely integral to the business's success in terms of making sure load times are where they need to be for our customers, and making sure our uptime is where it needs to be as well," Aidan says.

Aidan appreciates how quickly Prodigi can provide support – no matter how large or small an issue might be. He says the main advantage of working with Dan and the team has been the amount of effort they have taken to really understand the business and what they want to achieve, and providing services that are tailored to those requirements.

"On top of that, having such incredibly fast support has been vital for us, and that has never wavered. And that's one of the main reasons why we don't have any plans to use anyone else."

Aidan comments that Prodigi's rapid response means help is never further than a Slack message away which feels like they are a member of his team rather than an outsourced service.