Svbscription Ups the Ante for Men’s Subscription Shopping Services
Thinking outside the box is good for brainstorming, but subscription-shopping services have been grappling with what goes inside the box to set themselves apart from the rest of the rapidly growing pack. Now, Svbscription, a shopping service for men established earlier this year, hopes to up the ante with a true luxury experience for men who love the luxe life.
Svbscriptions first box, a travel-themed set, sold out in six weeks, and those lucky enough to snag one of the first shipments discovered an entirely new way to shop.
For starters, members received a custom-made wooden crate to be opened with an included mini crowbar. Inside was an array of Malin+Goetz products, a Steven Alan beach blanket, Want Les Essentials de la Vie journal cover and Special Delivery T-shirt (a NY-based, made in America brand of high-end undergarments). The travel shipment also included a magazine (not a pamphlet or card), created exclusively by Svbscription to highlight the brands included, and a special invitation to concierge service Mr & Mrs Smith, a luxury hotel service which allows its members special perks upon check-in and amenities during their hotel stays.
The company, founded in May, 2012 by Andrew Apostola, Marc Goldenfein and Samuel Wheeler, is now taking reservations for its second shipment. Collectively, the trio pulled from their experience at TheVine, Aux Armes Etc., Barneys, Herm¨s and more to create a service for men that isn’t aimed at the everyman, but rather for a more discerning sort in search of not only one-of-a-kind products but, also, a custom experience.
Svbscription is a luxury lifestyle service. The other subscription experiences we are seeing are very mass market, said Andrew Apostla, co-founder and CEO of Svbscription. So we feel that we’re unique in that we are catering to a membership base who have higher levels of taste and aesthetics. Sophistication, attention to detail and exclusivity are built into the experience and the price.
When a Svbscription subscriber receives his “parcel” in the mail, it’s been carefully — and we mean with surgical precision — curated around a central theme. “We work directly with designers and brands to come up with products and experiences that will be included in each parcel,” said Apostola. “This means that everything is connected. Not only do our members [receive] great products, they get a sense that we’re informing them as to how a modern man can interpret very well worn themes. ”
While the first Svbscription parcel involved the theme of travel, because Apostola and his team are anything but obvious, there wasn’t just a map or compass-themed cufflink in sight.
“With our first theme travel, we found that a lot of the iconography that links men and travel that we see today is caught up in ’50s and ’60s nostalgia,” said Apostola.
The next Svbscription box (it’s already sold out, so you’ll have to wait until the next one) revolves around the theme of study, though we suspect that few of Svscription’s subscribers actually go back to school. Priced at the upper tier of subscription services ($300 per box or $1,100 for a yearlong membership), it’s not aimed at the same demographic as say a, Birchbox (which provides deluxe samples for $20/month for men; $10/month for women). Even Trunk Club (which supplies guys with stylist-selected, full-priced designer clothing) would likely be deemed far too pedestrian in its offerings, despite its high price.
“The experience of receiving something that is limited run or released prior to the public or his peers, in a finely crafted parcel, with every sense of detail examined, that is a luxury experience,” added Apostola. “Similarly, with the professional structure of modern life being so predicable and repetitive, it is rare to experience genuine surprise that isn’t negative. So walking into your building and having your doorman hand you a parcel addressed to you containing unknown objects and items from all over the world produces a sensation that you, too, are worthy of precious and luxury items in your life.”
Or perhaps you just want to fantasize about having that doorman who knows your name and hands you Indiana Jones-style wooden crates filled with manly treasures. That’s cool. It just might be that a Svbscription package makes you feel one step closer to that. If the brand’s sold-out first run and nearly sold-out second crate are any indication, the company has tapped into a category ripe for the picking, whether it’s the aspirational quality, luxury of the products, the novelty of the crates, members-only intrigue or all of the above that entices members to sign up.
“Luxury is an ever-changing set of human desires and social symbols. As such, there is no general consensus. What we think of luxurious today is definitely not what our parents thought of as luxury,” said Apostola. “Similarly, luxury can be defined by your class just as much as it can by your bank balance. For our guy, who reads about the service and becomes a member, he’s intrigued and seduced by two modern forms of luxury: scarcity and genuine surprise.”
While the Svbscription service is only for gents at the moment, Apostola assures us that in the future, ladies will be able to get in on the action, too. Until then, guys can revel (for a wee bit, at least) in something of their very own.
For more information or to subscribe, visit www.svbscription.com
Photos courtesy Svbscription