Shop Talk: Modcloth

Photography: Ashley Batz

When Susan Gregg Koger — the passionate, personal-style-obsessed founder of ModCloth — began selling one-of-a-kind vintage pieces at the young age of 17, a one-of-a-kind company was born! From the dog-friendly work environment and playful photoshoots to the various inspiring ensembles passing through the door everyday, the quirky San Francisco ModCloth office and team sure know how to find the perfect balance between work and play.We got a chance to speak with Turi from ModCloth’s PR team about it all the fun!

ModCloth Co-Founder and CCO Susan Gregg Koger—looking extra fabulous for her birthday—with her pug, Winston!

Can you tell us how ModCloth first came about?
Susan, our co-founder, has always had a love for vintage. She started thrifting in high school. She’d discover pieces she just couldn’t pass up but that weren’t necessarily in her size. Her boyfriend (now husband), Eric, helped her set up a website to sell all her vintage finds, and ModCloth was born. When Susan and Eric headed to college in Pittsburgh, PA, they continued the business, running it out of Susan’s dorm room. The one-of-a-kind pieces started selling out, so to keep up with the demand, ModCloth began providing vintage-inspired pieces from indie designers. 

A stylish meeting in session.

Fashion Writing Team Lead Molly holds up a garment for a team brainstorm.

When did Susan’s passion for vintage and one-of-a-kind pieces begin?
Susan has always had a love for vintage, but her passion really began in high school. Growing up in Florida, she was able to hunt down unique finds donated to thrift stores by retirees who had moved south.

Behind the scenes of a ModCloth photo shoot!

The lovely model, Lily, getting glammed up for a photo shoot.

Did Susan begin selling vintage pieces on a whim, or did she set out to make ModCloth a business from the start?
ModCloth started as a way for Susan to share her vintage finds with the world. She’d find these pieces that wouldn’t work for her, but that she knew someone else would love. Starting the business was really a natural evolution. Because Susan was just 17 when she started the business, she was really able to turn the development of ModCloth into part of her education. She majored in business at Carnegie Mellon University.

Model Lily, Blog Writer Erin, and Blogger Relations Strategist Turi are all smiles!

Describe the “ModCloth Girl.”
The ModCloth girl is an independent, positive-thinking, free-spirited girl who loves crafting, DIY-ing, and discovering that perfect, unique vintage find. Whether she’s a mom in Missouri or a career woman in New York City, one thing is for sure: she loves to stand out and express herself through her style. 

Fun little figurines adorn a desk at the ModCloth office.

ModCloth supports quirkiness!

An inspiration board behind Annie, the resident stylist’s desk.

How would you describe the office culture?
Everyone here is friends, and there’s always something fun going on — whether it’s a ‘Grub and Garb’ day (themed lunches where everyone dresses up) or tea time each afternoon at four. ModCloth is also a place where you don’t have to be afraid to be yourself — no matter if you’re a nerd or a rock star. 

ModCloth finds inspiration from stylish ladies all across the Web!

ModCloth’s mascot, Winston, charms the camera.

What is currently inspiring the ModCloth team?
For the holidays, we’re inspired by the whimsical, magical, wintry experience you have as a child. Think snow drifts that look like they’re made of powdered sugar, polka-dot reindeer, and snow-capped pine trees.

But here at ModCloth, we’re already thinking about spring, and we’ll be producing our first private label items in 2012! We’re inspired by everything retro, particularly 50s and 60s silhouettes, flirty dresses, and high-waisted trousers. You can check out Susan’s inspiration board here

Huey the pup. Isn’t he adorable?

A ModDog gathering—all tails wagging!

What 3 items (from ModCloth) are on the top of your holiday wish list?
Only three? That’s hard! For a holiday party, the Winter Waltz Dress is the perfect retro stunner. Definitely want that. And for glitter lovers everywhere, we’re coveting the Wowie Zowie Heel. Lastly, for that staple statement necklace, gotta have the Accessory Amore Necklace.


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Author: Abby Vancisin

Abby is always on the hunt for affordable fashion, beauty and décor. Abby and Taylor are not related—that they know of ... Follow along on Instagram!