mar6sdlogo.gif My own tastes usually steer me toward comfort over fashion (I’m working on it) but if you have more refined tastes, you might want to check out, Smashing Darling, a new textile-focused online Indie boutique. They’re just starting out, but already, they have some fab listings.

mar6dress.jpg This dress from Punkin NYC retails for $250. I found a similar dress (in polyester to Punkin’s cotton) from Saks for $195 and this one from Banana Republic for $128.

mar6tie.jpg This handmade silk tie from Rachel Park Designs sells for $85. For comparison, ties at Saks seems to run between $89 and $170. Ties at Banana Republic about $60.

mar6bag.jpg This handbag from Thistle Downs sells for $94. Comparisons were hard to find since this is wool, most others were leather, and I use neither, but for the sake of consistency: here’s one from Saks for $1,200 and one from Banana Republic for $248.

Like I said, though, I’m far from expert when it comes to high fashion. I encourage you to check out Smashing Darling and compare for yourself.

They’re a young organization, and I expect they’ll be adding new things every day–particularly since, as with etsy, anyone can open a shop. I asked how they plan to differentiate themselves from Etsy. Their answers are below the fold.

(And for those of you who didn’t catch it in the comment below this post, Mary points out that there is now an Etsy Luxe group for shops that sell higher-end products (members listed here).)

We see our site just as you said more geared to the fashion market, a little more of a niche, rather than everything handmade, as on Etsy. They have a great site and I send people there all the time. I think we all need to do our part to get the indie movement off the ground, and re-educate the public about buying from individual designers, or farmers, artists, crafters, etc.

Other features that may be different from Etsy

Collaborations, this is an option we gave to our designers to encourage them to work with each other, to help promote each other and to push each other in directions they might not have gone if they were working alone.

Fashion shows and interviews, this feature in the designers stores helps to promote the products and I think users are curious about the designers and now they can see taped interviews and fashion shows.
Favorites, this feature in the designer store let’s a designer choose others on Smashing Darling as a favorite of theirs. This helps designers promote each other and their stores.

Multiple stores, on our website a designer can have as many stores as they would like.

Free to create a store, a designer can upload as many photos as they want for free, there is 18% service fee if an item sells.

We collect payment,The payment system was really important to us because we wanted to make it as easy as possible for the consumers. One cart one payment no matter how many designers you are buying from.

Vintage, we think this is important because this was the indie of the past. There was a time when most of fashion was from independent designers.
Sample sale, this is also I think a unique area that we are still building, but I know women love to go to sample sales to by designer items.