Apprecier: fashion for women of all ages

- There's an amazing economic trend going on in the fashion world. Women hit a shopping slump once they reach their mid-40s even though many of them have more money to spend than ever before. The problem? Fashion brands aren't marketing to them, because those brands don't want to be considered "old."

But Apprecier, a new fashion website for women of any age, is trying to change all that. Cindy Weber-Cleary, co-founder of Apprecier, says they don't even talk about age on their site. But that may be the only thing they don't talk about on Apprecier, a joint venture between Weber-Cleary (former fashion director at InStyle Magazine) and Stephanie Stahl (a former executive at Coach and Revlon).

A friend introduced them, last May in what Weber-Cleary describes as a blind date that went really well. The pair realized it was high-time someone started talking about fashion for women in their demographic. According to Stahl, that demographic represents a huge market: over $35 billion. But she says, when you talk about fashion for that demo, there isn't a lot of great stuff out there. Weber-Cleary agrees that this generation of women has a lot of disposable income, but no one is speaking to them in an encouraging way or showing them a great edit of clothing.

Their first challenge was picking a name. Stahl says they landed on Apprecier because it's what they're all about. The definition: to increase in value and enjoy.

Weber-Cleary and Stahl launched Appercier in beta last fall. The site went live just a few weeks ago, finding fabulous fashion for women who aren't 20 anymore.

Weber-Cleary says a lot of those women are asking for sleeves because it's hard to find dresses with some sort of sleeve, especially for special occasions. She says it's not about whether you have good arms. Often it's about appropriateness, and wanting to be dressed a little more discreetly.

Apprecier offers women a range of ideas when it comes to fashion. Weber-Cleary offers style advice in a section called Insights.

A Trends tab shows you how to work hot new looks into your wardrobe.

Profiles highlights women of great style and substance. One of their first profiles was Arianna Huffington. Weber-Cleary says she cold-called, or rather, cold-emailed Huffington, not expecting to get an answer, but Huffington said she loved the idea. Count her in!

Let's not forget this is a shopping site, too, featuring more than 600 brands and links to 200 online retailers. Stahl says they do the work for you, so you can come to Apprecier, find 10 amazing little black dresses without having to go through 90 others that are great for somebody else, but are no longer what you're looking for.

Weber-Cleary and Stahl say their next step is to add universal checkout so that people can purchase directly from their site.

But don't worry if you're a woman who doesn't have more money than ever to shop, Apprecier has clothing for a range of styles and budgets.

www.apprecier.com

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