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#StartupStories: Fashion X Entrepreneurship

An interview with Delphine Lefay, co-founder of OnTheList

Launched in January 2016 by two French entrepreneurs, Delphine Lefay, and Diego Dultzin Lacoste, OnTheList specializes in a brand new concept of exclusive discounted shopping of all sort in Hong Kong.

OnTheList organizes members-only flash sales around the city, offering past seasons items from premium brands. Since their launch at the beginning of the year, OnTheList has organized 12 flash sales with different brands like Karen Millen, ba&sh, Sinequanone, Vilebrequin, Berayah, Anteprima, Dr. Martens, Tods, Havaianas, Superga, etc. With the aim to provide the best discounts to their members still in a convenient location, OnTheList holds events in the shopping district of Central and Causeway Bay, as well as the hottest venues in Hong Kong like PMQ and Lan Kwai Fong.

Hong Kong startup OnTheList being interviewed by W Hub, Fashion meets Entrepreneurship    

Fashion X Entrepreneurship

Having worked with fashion brands before, both Delphine and Diego know that dealing with past season inventory is one of the pain points for all the brands. Delphine points out that the concept of flash sale is not something new in Europe, but when they arrived in Hong Kong, they noticed the local community was not familiar with this idea. Seeing a lot of brands struggle to clear their last-season items, they decided to step in.

Delphine worked for Unilever as an intern, which she says helped her to understand the structure of a business. She joined FAGUO in France, a French eco-responsible fashion brand, reporting directly to the two founders. Delphine found working for FAGUO to be an amazing experience, and the founders inspired her entrepreneurial spirit. When she came to Hong Kong to develop the distribution network for FAGUO in Asia, she realized an obvious gap in the market and decided to start working on her own project.

Delphine and Diego organized their first sale for ba&sh, a French brand, relying on word of mouth, with their friends helping them to distribute flyers to their network. The event went well beyond their expectations and from there, they could see the opportunity and demand for flash sales in the city.

”Being an expat and hacking the local market has been a challenge for us,” says Delphine. “However, everybody loves attractive brands.” Coupled with the big discount OnTheList can offer, they see a lot of people showing interest in their flash sales. Delphine says that seeing more than 4,000 people showing up in their 2-days sale has been one of the best moments in her entrepreneurial journey.

Hong Kong startup OnTheList being interviewed by W Hub, Fashion meets Entrepreneurship

Helping people in need.

To help to solve more problems in society than just what to wear, OnTheList also collaborated with fashion group Electric Sekki to donate remaining items to Crossroads Foundation at the end of their flash sale. “We are living in Hong Kong, and the city has given us so much, so we would love to contribute more to the Hong Kong society. We mentioned our idea to Electric Sekki and they kindly accepted to donate the leftovers. We are really happy and excited about the collaboration and we would like to invite more brands to join us in the future!” Delphine adds.

Hong Kong startup OnTheList being interviewed by W Hub, Fashion meets Entrepreneurship

#TEAM

OnTheList is a team of six at the moment, and for each event between 10 to 40 part-timers are hired to handle the Flash Sale. Delphine points out that recruiting good profiles is always challenging but they were very satisfied with each member. Although they each have their own character, they work well as a team and everyone is striving. This spirit is what keeps the team moving forward, and Diego and Delphine invite the team for a weekly lunch to enjoy themselves and talk about anything but business.

Delphine says that the startup journey with OnTheList has been incredible, and looking into the future, she is excited to work with more desirable bands to collaborate on flash sales. “I am looking forward to seeing the number of people knowing about our project growing, and seeing more people coming to our events.”

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