Le Souk, an online material sourcing network, announced Thursday a new venture into denim, with an exclusive partnership with Kingpins New York.
The venture will allow buyers to access denim mills directly through Le Souk’s online portal, creating a virtual trade show or showroom. Buyers will have the opportunity to view high-resolution, optimized images of denim samples from participating mills that show the texture and likeness of the fabrics without having to be present at the show.
Suppliers are vetted by Le Souk’s team in order to gain access.
Le Souk teamed up Kingpins New York to bring suppliers a limited trial available at the recent show. Once enough suppliers sign up, buyers can then access the website from both the Kingpins’ website and Le Souk.
Le Souk works by mills signing up and sending samples to the company’s showrooms located around the world from Copenhagen to the recently opened New York City location. Le Souk photographs the samples and holds them in showrooms to send out to potential clients. Buyers can view the samples online, see them in the showroom, or receive them from Le Souk, alleviating some of the responsibility of the mill.
The website is a supplier membership platform where Le Souk provides mills with as many qualified buyers as possible, and the buyers receive prices quoted directly from the mills.
“Here any buyer/brand can immediately sign up for an account—they have specific data points that must be filled out such as full name, company name, tax ID and specifics on what they are looking to source,” said Katrina Duck, Le Souk director of business development. “After the buyers have signed up, we conduct phone consultations which allow the user a concierge level sourcing service from our team.”
Kingpins online will allow buyers to connect with mills in a new way, through live chats and other perks like custom sourcing requests, real-time updates for buyers to view, special privacy settings to give special access to specific buyers, as well as transaction tools.
With the help of Kingpins, Le Souk hopes to feature the majority of mills exhibiting at the show online and make available for buyers to view by next year’s New York show.