Simon Beckerman Talks What's Next For Depop
If it wasn’t already obvious, we’re a little Depop-obsessed. For a crew that’s just recently landed from across the pond, Depop wasted no time establishing itself as the fashion app of our dreams…and believe founder Simon Beckerman when he says they’re just getting started.
From an Italian style magazine to a fashion-forward app and back again (they’re poised to launch a dedicated editorial team at Depop), things are coming full circle. Milk.xyz sat down with Beckerman to talk Depop’s origins and where it’s headed next; check the full interview below.
How did the initial idea for Depop come about, and how did you take it from there to a full-fledged company?
Depop started in 2011. I was working with my previous company, which was a magazine about fashion design and lifestyle culture in general. The magazine was more a less a younger version of Dazed & Confused. We were in Italy; I was born and raised in Italy so the magazine was published there and in Italian. In 2011 we were struggling because of the internet and we needed to shift our business online because advertisers were moving there, so we needed to find alternatives of revenue and so I basically had this idea of creating a marketplace for people who were reading our magazine could use to buy and sell their stuff and mainly all the creatives, the stylists, designers, the small brands, these kinds of people, and we would take a percentage of that. When I was designing this store the idea was that it should’ve been mobile and social because I wanted the users to see what their friends were buying, liking, selling, etc, because the basic concept is that you convey the product socially. So basically that’s how this was born.
And how has it evolved since then?
As soon as I had the idea I found some investors, this was in Italy, we started building a prototype and that took us a year. In summer 2012, we did a soft launch in Italy and it went very well so we started bringing on board the creative and interesting people in Italy. As soon as the app was starting to pick up we found some investors from the UK and Germany and they invested in us so we moved to the UK at the end of 2012. We launched officially in the UK summer of 2013. From there on it’s been a slow gradual lean growth but it’s going super well and it’s picking up very fast. UK is our first country, Italy is going very well, and we are launched in the U.S. We just reached our six million users who downloaded the app mark, which is really good.
Everyone in New York is talking about it!
So there’s quite a few resell apps and shops out there—what makes Depop different? How do you guys set yourselves apart?
The vision behind Depop is to create a platform not only where people can buy and sell but discover the most unique and inspiring things all over the world. So our main mission is to help, as I said before, all these creative people not only to sell but also to be discovered. So what we are creating is something around the marketplace. So in a sort of way the magazine we were creating before is inside Depop. We see ourselves much more than a marketplace but also going towards media somehow in a more—if I may use this word—modern way, so yeah, it’s not only a place for people to sell their used stuff.
And whether it’s buying or selling—what are your expert tips for how to use Depop the best?
I would say just go with the flow. Very much like Instagram, you hop from one account to another and opposed to Instagram we can see in Depop profiles what the people are actually liking. If someone for example doesn’t have anything for sale I suggest to click on the “like” tab to see what they’re liking and most likely there are some very interesting items there. So my suggestion is to treat it like you are walking in an infinite market and just go from one account to another and get lost. That’s probably the most fun way to use Depop.
What was your vision for Depop’s place in fashion when you started? How has that changed or evolved since then?
The most exciting thing we are doing now is opening an office in Los Angeles. Los Angeles is growing so fast and it became already our second city after London. So, people in LA are loving Depop like people in London and New York, so we are opening an office there and I’m super excited. The office we are opening there probably will be a space where we would have events and invite people and do all sorts of initiatives and festivities, and that’s something I’m super excited about. The other thing we are introducing, some interesting features for example would be a more tailored explore section. So basically we will have an explore section in our app, so it won’t be only things that we manually curate but also things based on your taste. So finding the things that you might want to buy so things will be easier to find in the future. Another feature that we are excited about is we are implementing a shipping systems so we will have labels that can be printed that will be worldwide soon and in the U.S. system we will add some features to make it easier. Another exciting thing is editorials: we are curating now a proper editorial team and we will treat Depop not only as an app but like a proper magazine.
Images courtesy of Depop
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