Basic Space: The Influencer-Led Shop That’s Like Depop (But Better)

Basic Space founder and CEO Jesse Lee talks us through the app where you can shop pieces previously owned by Sami Miro, Sophia Amoruso and Emily Oberg…

Basic Space: The Influencer-Led Shop That’s Like Depop (But Better)

by Jennifer Lynn |
Published on

No matter how much you love markets and indeed online or app-based marketplaces, there’s no denying that they can be a little… overwhelming. Yes, we’re thinking about all the Sundays we’ve lost trying to hunt down that vintage Burberry needle in a haystack of H&M trenches, not to mention hours spent falling down Depop holes far deeper than any we’ve navigated on Instagram. Enter Basic Space, the highly curated new app from LA-based marketing guru Jesse Lee, which counts Sami Miro, Emily Oberg and even Diplo among its sellers.

Basic Space: The Influencer-Led Shop That’s Like Depop (But Better)

Taking the idea of influencer marketing and giving it complete transparency – unlike the somewhat murky waters of YouTube endorsements or Instagram #ads – Basic Space has the creatives and celebrities in clear seller mode. Some sell pieces from the brands they head up, like LPA’s Pia Arrobio, while others are shifting a mix of designer vintage and pre-loved items from their own wardrobes. The goods are collected from their sellers by Basic Space’s team of five, taken to their LA HQ for photographing and listing (with the seller able to review pricing before they go live), and shipped worldwide as soon as they’re sold.

Comparing Basic Space’s seller growth model to Soho House membership, founder and CEO Jesse says, ‘We’ve carefully selected the sellers on there. They’re all either personal friends or friends of friends. Like membership at Soho House there’s no real criteria; you can’t just be a billionaire or just be super cool and creative. It’s a combination of the right factors and what you can contribute as a member.’

In fact, so far, only one person who has approached the Basic Space team without invite has successfully become a seller. ‘The only person who has approached us and that we’ve accepted is Sophia Amoruso,’ says Jesse. ‘I have mutual friends with her and of course, we’d want Sophia to be a seller, so we accepted her and she’s already selling many great items.’

Indeed she is. The Nasty Gal founder – who is no longer associated with the store and now runs online community Girlboss – has a ton of designer vintage for sale. Harking back to her early days as an eBay vintage seller, Sophia’s listings include a 1980s Chanel camera bag and leather pencil skirt, as well as more current pieces by Alexander Wang and Sandro. She’s already sold at least 15 items, including another Chanel bag, and a D&G dress.


Debrief Basic Space Products

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Basic Space Products

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Basic Space Products

Over on Sami Miro’s feed, there’s everything from bargain brand of the moment I.AM.GIA to Balmain, while Diplo is selling some of his own Mad Decent merch alongside pieces from the adidas Originals by Alexander Wang collection. Kith Women creative lead Emily Oberg is your go-to gal for rare sneakers, denim and the occasional Gucci handbag.

But Basic Space isn’t just about buying and selling fashion. In fact, the listing Jesse is most excited about is not wearable at all: it’s a car. ‘[Photographer] Purienne’s vintage Rolls Royce is up on the app and it’s definitely what stands out as the most interesting item we’ve listed so far,’ he says. ‘It’s a 1967 and he’s had a couple of offers in the past, so he decided to list it.’

It’s sellers and items like this that Jesse hopes will stop Basic Space becoming too specifically targeted towards one consumer. ‘I think our target audience has been, and probably always will be, a millennial demographic that’s both male and female,’ he says. ‘At launch we knew there would be more female-centric traffic coming through, because women are more accustomed to buying things on mobile, e-com and marketplaces, with vintage especially. It makes sense that someone like Sophia Amoroso is going to be a popular seller.

‘What we’re trying to encourage is more male creatives and influencers, musicians, we even have a couple of chefs and we’re going to start onboarding athletes. I think it’s less about the product categories and more about us continuing to make this group of sellers a bit more whole. A lot of gender-neutral product, people from fashion, food, travel, photography, film, entertainment… just as long as they’re really unique and authentic.’

See: 11 Items That Will Breathe Life Into Your Tired Wardrobe


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Wild Honey Tee, £15

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Vinyl Chance Flare Pants, £25

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Do You Believe Tartan Coat, £50

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Finish It Off Floral Dress, £25

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Bag It Leather Fanny Pack, £20

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Dot To Have Your Love Polka Dot Dress, £40

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Charlie Studded Bootie, £35

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Wide Leg Frayed Jean, £30

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Pink Positive Ruffle Top, £18

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Wild Streak Zebra Blazer, £40

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Petal To The Metal Mini Dress, £25

And there’s good news for fans of Basic Space with a birthday coming up: the app has a built-in gifting functionality, where other users can check out your ‘liked’ items and buy them for you. ‘It was a very conscious decision to build that in, because we wanted to make Basic Space social without it being a social media platform,’ explains Jesse. ‘There’s also a functionality so that, if somebody tries to gift you something, you can deny it. It could be an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend that you don’t want to talk to, or keep in mind that some of our sellers – like Diplo – may have fans who could get crazy and try to send him stuff. There’s a good level of protection, but we think the gifting function is going to prove really fun.’

All pretty cool – so why ‘Basic’ Space, when the app and its sellers are anything but? ‘The xx are one of my favourite bands and if you go back to their first album they have a song called Basic Space,’ says Jesse. ‘I’ve always admired The xx for being so deconstructed and simplistic, but still beautifully curated, both musically and aesthetically. There was a natural link between Basic Space the song and how we designed the app.’

Intrigued? Download Basic Space from the App Store now

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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