by John Russel Jones

Galaxy is an online retailer that mixes the personalized model of a Stitch Fix or Nordstrom Trunk Club with vintage shopping. We recently had the chance to chat with co-founders Danny Quick (CEO and previously head of product for Beyoncé) and Nathan McCartney (former SVP of Commerce for Jay-Z’s Roc Nation) about this fun new concept.

“We began to see this accelerated shift to second-hand shopping and its importance to sustainable fashion,” says Quick, “but one reason people don’t shop secondhand is that it’s a lot more work! Depop and eBay are great at what they do, but they have a lot of products to get through. People have resorted to keeping shopping key words lists on their phones and there are videos on TikTok that have gone viral about using the right keywords. It begins to feel like a burden best suited for hobbyists. People find real value in not having to start from zero every time they shop. Our question was how to release that burden and make a lot of secondhand items available without having to have insider knowledge.”

The duo, along with CTO Brandon Brisbon (former senior engineer at Charles Schwab) began building a shopping experience that was more entertainment and preference driven. The company started offering Mystery Boxes last Fall when customers began messaging the support desk asking if there was a discount for a bundle or if there were things it might recommend wearing with an earlier purchase.

“It’s like watching TikTok. Once you’ve shared some initial preferences, the videos get more tailored, providing you with things you may have not thought to search for. Or like Tinder, where the algorithm learns as you swipe left or right,” says McCartney. “The customer begins by taking a simple style quiz, and the algorithm takes it from there. For the consumer it feels like their cooler, more fashionable best fashion is shopping just for them.”

Quick points out that most of their customers are not shopping for an individual, specific item — a need that may be better served by sites like eBay or Grailed — but are usually searching for an outfit for a party or an event. While the majority of the site’s clients are women, menswear is a growing segment. 85% of its customers are under 25 and live on the East and West Coasts of the U.S. Male customers are mostly post-college, 22 to 25 years old.

“These guys have active lives and go out several nights a week. They don’t have the time or energy to sit on their phones and shop.”

Quick points out that getting a box of product that is a complete surprise also adds to the entertainment value of the purchase.

The site works with more than 600 sellers, ranging from Instagram to TikTok influencers who are looking to monetize their wardrobes to hard-core vintage aficionados who are ingrained into the secondhand fashion world and can really help a guy rock a look and provide the backstory on the items. Menswear collections range from cool college kids selling streetwear to vintage T-shirt collectors to others who specialize in luxury brands (a real focus before the holidays).

“We started to realize that we could often track purchase data back to a specific seller. What we saw with the style bundles was an opportunity to match supply and demand in a more efficient way, giving sellers larger per unit transactions,” Quick explains.  

The company does accept some returns but always utilizes that feedback on fit and taste to further refine the algorithm. Users see that value not only on the first-time purchase but even more so on the second or third the boxes get better and more personalized over time.

Galaxy does not use a subscription model, but boxes come in three different options: Low, where one outfit costs $150; medium, with two outfits for $250; and high, $450 for three outfits. Each also includes accessories.

Above photo by Ivan Samkov.