It may be a fashion-forward, high-tech website that has been making headlines for its quirky, minimalist approach to fashion, but it has a more complicated story to tell.
In 2012, the website was created by a young student in her 20s and she called it Christian Clothing Blog.
After a year of work, the young woman was able to sell her idea to a larger fashion house.
The brand was renamed Christian Clothing, and today it is worth a reported €50m.
“I thought it would be fun to have a business, I think I can do a lot of things with the money I make,” says Marie-Claude Lejeune, who launched the blog and then took it public in 2017.
The young entrepreneur who set up the blog is not alone in her dream of selling her ideas and selling them well.
Christian Clothing’s founder, Christian Gervais, has a different take on what it is to be a young entrepreneur and how it could be a success.
“If you’re really passionate about something, you’re going to do it, you’ll do it,” he says.
“But the way I see it, what makes me successful is not because I’ve been born with the right talent, it’s because I know how to create and sell things.”
Gervas own business, Gervois, is a bespoke online store for Christian women.
“We sell a lot more than Christian Clothing,” he explains.
“When you think about it, I sell clothing, but also jewellery and clothes, shoes and a lot else.”
Christian Clothing is based in France, and it was founded in 2009 by a woman named Caroline.
Caroline was the first Christian woman to own a business online, after her husband, Philippe, started selling clothes online in 2007.
“There’s something very different about the business model of a Christian clothing store compared to that of a jewellery shop, or a shoe shop, for example,” says Caroline.
“Christian Clothing has a very high standard of quality and quality is very important to me.”
Caroline founded Christian Clothing with two of her friends, both from Paris.
Caroline says she had “no idea” she wanted to start a business until she read an article in a fashion magazine.
“It was just a question of whether I would be able to get funding,” she says.
The money that Caroline had raised would allow her to hire her first staff.
“The only problem was, I couldn’t get funding for the first couple of months because there were no buyers,” she explains.
That is when she decided to take on the job of managing Christian Clothing and sell her products.
Christian Fashion’s business model relies on Christian women buying and selling their own clothes.
“People ask me all the time, how can you do a business like that?
I’m the first person to tell them that you can’t,” says Lejeume.
Lejeunes business model is simple: Christian women buy Christian clothing online and sell it to Christian men.
“What we do is to find the right buyer for the product,” says Gervis.
“And then we contact them to say, ‘you want it, and we’ll send it to you’.
Lejeumes business model works in tandem with Christian fashion companies. “
So there are no buyers, no commissions, no commission on every piece.”
Lejeumes business model works in tandem with Christian fashion companies.
Christian clothing companies like Christian Clothing use Christian women to find Christian men who want Christian clothes.
Christian men, who are typically young and attractive, buy Christian clothes and then Christian women sell them online.
When it comes to selling Christian clothes, Christian fashion houses use a different business model. “
They say, okay, I want to wear this, and I want it in a Christian way.”
When it comes to selling Christian clothes, Christian fashion houses use a different business model.
“All our clients are women who are Christian and they don’t want to get involved in the traditional business model,” explains Gervises business manager.
“Because they know it’s not a business that suits them.”
When the clothes arrive, Christian women sit down and talk to the Christian men in the store.
Gerv is the one who decides what Christian clothing looks like.
“A Christian woman will say to me, ‘I like the colour of this, I like the way this fits me, but what about the style?
How should I dress it?'” says Gergis.
Christian women look for the clothes that are Christian.
“As we see them on a day to day basis, we don’t see them as a luxury item, but as something that is appropriate for their lifestyle,” explains Lejeuses business manager, Anne Marie.
“Some of the pieces are so different from what we