Fall Risk: Old School E-Tail Cool
Premium NYC streetwear brand Fall Risk’s May launch was a sell-out event. Rallying against the convenience-based aspects of e-commerce – including one-click purchases and anonymous shopping – fans had to call its design team on a dedicated phone number to place an order.
Fall Risk launched its inaugural limited-edition collection via a digital showroom. The brand’s retro approach to shopping is mirrored on its website: 90s-inspired hyper-pixelated fonts; images in an Instagram-like gallery resemble 20th-century adverts, with some models styled like Barbie dolls; a countdown in the top-left corner reveals the date of the next drop. To order, consumers had to call 212-982-RISK. For other tongue-in-cheek campaigns, see Retail’s Infomercial Micro Trend.
To garner maximum hype, only 50 pieces of the high-end collection (sweatshirts start at $395) were produced. Indicative of the success of scarcity marketing and the consumer appetite for such launches, the collection sold out in a day. This approach, as discussed in Retail Expo 2019 and detailed in the Graft & Gratitude section of Brand Spaces 2019/20, will have mileage for independent brands similar to Fall Risk.
The move away from an abundance of choice and access towards IRL interaction, scarcity, and novel versions of retailtainment underscores a new wave of e-commerce. As highlighted in Making Scenes, these forms of engagement chime with the newest generation of shoppers: Gen Z.
Going forward, the brand is planning to rethink where it will sell each new drop, mentioning hotels, vending machines and unexpected shops such as florists as possible retail channels.