I have never been one for online shopping. Mostly because I do not trust the sizing, the fabric or the cut and I dread the fact that I might have to send it all back because it does not fit, does not suit me or does not match anything else I have in my wardrobe. The pandemic and constant lockdowns has meant we have had no choice but to shop online with many brands pivoting to offer a better online experience but I was still not convinced . . . till I came across cabi and their Front Row experience. Fashion-savvy women around the UK can now embrace a new technologically advanced way to shop for their clothes and accessories thanks to a new Virtual Personal Styling concept from America’s largest social direct to consumer brand of women’s designer clothing. The proprietary online personal styling service offers women the chance to go on a virtual ‘girls’ fun shopping trip together with friends or family, and allows every woman the chance to have her own free personal stylist, with no fee or obligation to buy.
I have written about cabi before, and how impressed I was with the quality of their clothing and fit, but this new offering takes my love for the brand even further. Front Row is ‘a digital first’ for cabi and the ‘direct to consumer’ world – a unique virtual styling platform, enabling its Stylists to present the season’s collection in an engaging environment. Guests are welcomed into an interactive space alongside a group of friends or family all in their remote locations, where they connect through video and chat, receiving styling ideas and personalised fashion advice from a trained Stylist. I tried this service out with Mandy, a very experienced UK based stylist. It is like watching a runway fashion show up close and personal in your own home, with your own front row seat. As guests view beautifully shot collection videos, they can ‘like’ clothing pieces as they appear, and create a virtual dressing room from which to make their purchases. The service delivers what women want while they shop – an engaging experience, convenient technology, personal connection and professional guidance – at any time they choose. After clients have “liked” their picks and the virtual experience ends, they can access the list of what they liked on the app. They can also see recommendations on other items to mix and match with what’s currently in their ‘cabi closet’. By that it means anything you bought from previous seasons are stored in your closest and the clever app shows you how you can mix and match these with the new season making sure you never buy something that does not fit what you already have. I really liked this feature as it helps you make more informed decisions as to what might work in your ‘real’ closet and Mandy helped me work out what would be best for my size, shape and aesthetic. Mandy also really helped in terms of picking the right sizing, as cabi is an American brand it can sometimes be tough to navigate the sizing but having your own knowledgeable stylist really helps to buy right the first time thus reducing those returns! This service is just so convenient and is available on the cabi app so you can access it anywhere, anytime. I was so excited when my Spring pieces arrived, shame the weather has not yet been good enough to show them all off, but I cannot wait to style the pieces as we come out of lockdown and back to socialising.Another thing I like about cabi is that they give back, which in this day and age is so important for a fashion brand with it being one of the most wasteful of industries. A crucial element of who cabi are and what they stand for is their philanthropic work through the Heart of cabi Foundation. To date, cabi has donated $60m USD (over £40m) in clothing and monetary contributions. Additionally, every May cabi hosts the Heart of cabi Foundation Week in which past season items are collated and used to donate to disadvantaged women in local communities. In the UK to date cabi have partnered with Maggie’s Cancer Charity, SmartWorks, Dress for Success and TLC (a domestic abuse charity). With each of these charities, an event is organised by the UK Stylist community, where they style and make women feel extra special. cabi provides enough clothes to style approximately 50 women each time. Other areas of our philanthropic work that cabi are so proud of include: 17,500 small business loans funded for women in developing countries and 8,800 students in Rwanda provided with hope and opportunity through education through cabi’s Make a Change program, where clients can opt to round up a £1 when they place their order to help this incredible effort. You can find out more at cabionline.uk/foundation.
I can certainly say I am now a digital shopping convert thanks to cabi and their Front Row. It is fun, social, clean, easy and convenient and I have made a friend in Mandy, my stylist, which is also really lovely. I am looking forward to the summer collection and getting to experience this via Front Row so I can add some new pieces to my wardrobe. So why not give it a go – there is no obligation – and even if you do not find anything to buy you are likely to make some good friends. For more info on Front Row and to shop the collection see online.