- Wone is a company that sells expensive gym clothes, with $320 leggings and $200 T-shirts.
- You need to pass an application process, which then gives you one week to make purchases.
- The company’s co-founder defends her products as luxury items, but some people find the prices shocking and the application process invasive.
If you want to buy $320 for leggings at Wone, first you need to get through an application process.
Once you apply, Wone employees will Google you to see if you’re deserving of purchasing their “luxury activewear.” Some applicants never make it off the waitlist.
“We actually Google everyone,” Kristin Hildebrand, Wone’s co-founder, told Women’s Wear Daily. “The thing is we want to know who our customers are. It’s very different than having a mass of customers, e-mail marketing and Google ads. That’s not who we are as people or is aspirational for us as a company.”
If you’re accepted, you have a week of access to purchase products. Aside from $320 workout leggings, Wone sells a sports bra for $150 and tops at around $200. Everything is black. it’s not clear what Wone looks for in applicants, and representatives for Wone didn’t immediately respond to INSIDER’s request for comment.
Hildebrand launched Wone in the spring, and its first collection sold out. She previously worked at Nike as a creative director, and co-founded Wone with her husband, Ryan, who has a background working at various financial companies.
Hildebrand says the brand is deliberately meant to be exclusive. The fabric, she said, costs five times more than the material used in Nike’s products. They’re garments, claims Hildebrand, that would be used by professional athletes.
Despite only word-of-mouth advertising, Hildebrand said Wone is on track to sell 15,000 items by the end of the year.
“We’re trying to be a brand that does things differently from the rest of the industry,” she told Fast Company. “Our goal is to build personal relationships with our customers, and so we are keeping the brand deliberately small and niche.”
To some people, though, the prices are shocking. And Wone’s practice of personally Googling every customer feels invasive.
If I’m buying $320 leggings they better go to the gym and work out for me https://t.co/bjcmj8CQJi
— Katey Psencik (@psencikk) October 9, 2018
$320 for leggings? No. https://t.co/LirX36TQns
— Courtney Forrest (@courtyforrest) May 11, 2018
There’s a lot to unpack here if you can get past the fact that these leggings cost *$320*
— Kami Mattioli (@Kami) September 17, 2018
“You have to apply to buy Wone’s $320 leggings, and you can bet founder Kristin Hildebrand will Google you first.” ???????????? https://t.co/wHZ9BmuFW3
— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) October 9, 2018
Instead of using digital advertising to assess demographic information about potential customers, Hildebrand Googles the people she’s interested in selling her items to. Unlike other retail companies, Wone has almost no presence on Instagram. It has just one post, a blank white square.
“My goal is to blend real, human contact with all the benefits of the internet,” Hildebrand told Fast Company.