While TikTok may reign supreme as the app most embraced by the chaotic arms of Gen Z for absurdist comedy and hampering the current U.S. administration, there’s another app that’s been a bit of sleeper hit. Founded back in 2011—RIP simpler, precedented times—Depop is the app-based online marketplace that’s become a hub for fashion inspiration, a styling bible and of course, the shopping destination for the discerning style-concious individual.
Taking a scroll through the app’s Instagram-esque interface, nearly everyone can find a subgenre of Depop sellers offering exactly what you want. On Depop, archival Issey Miyake pieces sit alongside pre-loved Carhartt and vintage Levi’s. Enterprising DIY-ers offer every variation of tie-dye hoodie you could imagine and scrunchies that wouldn’t look out of place in a VSCO snap. We got tiny sunglasses aplenty, ’90s baguette bags galore, you want to shop from influencers and celebrities? Depop’s got far more than 20.
And this online community is only growing. Dara Petlueng, Depop Australia’s curator, the app doubled their user base in 2019, primarily by word of mouth. Tbh, it’s not surprising. There have been multiple moments when on an absentminded scroll I’ve discovered the deadstock trousers I’m looking at are actually literally on a friend’s body because I’ve accidentally stumbled on their account. As well as the all-important vibe, sustainability awareness has also likely contributed to Depop’s popularity.
Syrup sat down to get behind the explore page with Petlueng to get her take on what she reckons keeps people coming back to Depop for more, despite the infamous ~drama~.
What’s involved with being a Depop curator?
At Depop, we have a dedicated curation team that monitors the brands and items our users are searching for and listing most frequently, and we use that to guide what pieces are featured on our Explore page. In doing so, we’ve empowered our community to set the trends as they appear in-app, rather than having our curators who tell our community what is worth their attention.
As Australia’s curator, I spend a lot of my time looking through the most recent listings to find and select the best and most unique inventory to feature on the explore page, which gets refreshed every day. I also work on creating the ‘Meet The Sellers’ profiles that can also be found on the explore page as well as contributing to curating the content within our marketing newsletters and socials.
What are some of your favourite styles/trends that are popular on Depop?
I am loving the ’90s-style Matrix leather coats that seem to be abundant on the app at the moment, such a classic silhouette that I feel will never go out of style. I am also embracing the preppy trend of sweater vests as I feel it’s a great layering piece to have that is super adaptable/transeasonal.
Do you notice trends and different styling methods coming from Depop first, or do they start on Instagram/IRL and make their way over?
We see trends on Depop two weeks to two months ahead of the mainstream fashion industry. There’s also such a strong aesthetic that Depop is known for and our sellers really support via their shops and stylistic choices.
Why do you think Depop’s been so successful with a younger audience?
What is unique about Depop is that we’re not just an e-commerce platform, Depop is a community. It’s not about the item, it’s about the people. People are buying into people. People want to identify themselves with something they can relate to and get excited about while aligning with their beliefs of an inclusive, diverse and creative platform.
With Depop being such a progressive and forward-thinking brand, I can definitely see why people are excited about joining and building something of their own with the support of a growing community of like-minded individuals around them. Which is why our growth has been primarily driven by word of mouth in Australia—our users doubled in 2019.
Do you think people’s increasing focus on sustainability has made Depop more popular?
Definitely, I think people are more aware than ever of the impact the textile and fashion industry has on the environment. As a result, we see more people making choices to consciously consume and seek out methods that align with their values and ethics. Because we’re a resale platform, we extend the life of millions of garments. Our community of creative entrepreneurs are reducing waste and making resale cool.