Lyon + Post: Don’t Pay Up Front for Fashion

Many e-commerce shoppers order multiple sizes of a style online to try on at home before returning the pieces that don’t fit. Refunds are requested, sometimes in the amount of hundreds of dollars. The practice results in big credit-card bills for consumers and logistics headaches for e-tailers.

Start-up e-commerce site Lyon + Post, headquartered in San Francisco’s Financial District, is one of a number of companies that offers a don’t-pay-upfront deal to its shoppers. Bungalow, which is headquartered in Las Vegas, and Trunk Club, headquartered in Chicago, allow their shoppers to try on clothing before buying, but the consumers are required to become members first. (Some of these sites say that inspecting membership requests can weed out fraudsters.)

Lawrence Wisne, Lyon + Post co-founder, said that his site required memberships to create a “more streamlined online shopping experience,” not to control fraud.

Lyon + Post says it has an added point of difference to this model. The site, which officially debuted on March 25, does not employ stylists to assemble boxes of clothes for customers based on their fashion preferences, said Colleen McKinnie, the Los Angeles–based fashion director for Lyon + Post.

“Our members have the freedom to choose,” McKinnie said. “We’re targeting a woman who knows what she wants.”

Consumers are invited to shop for the 20 or so brands, such as Joie, Paige, Current/ Elliott and Diane von Furstenberg. Lyon + Post will look to attract more attention from stylish shoppers by offering high-marquee items. McKinnie said it is one of the only U.S. vendors offering the reportedly highly sought-after “Flirting Shoe” from the Chiara Ferragni Collection.

Wisne also worked as a software architect for women’s fashion site Popsugar and