A High-Fashion Apparel Startup Wants to Create A Better Uniform For Working Women (Business Insider)

Jessica Lee and Lizzie Agnew are the cofounders of high-fashion e-commerce startup Modern Citizen. Melia Robinson/Business Insider

The article first appeared on Business Insider.

The streets of San Francisco are paved with young men wearing hoodies, jeans, and T-shirts — the tech bro uniform popularized by the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and other tech executives.

In 2014, Stanford graduates Jessica Lee and Lizzie Agnew decided to offer a fashionable alternative for women out of their home base of San Francisco. Modern Citizen, their direct-to-consumer apparel company, provides stylish, professional women with a curated collection of fashion-forward pieces, with many items priced under $100. Cashmere knits, wrap dresses, and relaxed-fit blazers provide comfortable alternatives to the Valley wardrobe staples.

At a time when shoppers are fleeing mall chains like J. Crew, Gap, and Abercrombie & Fitch, Modern Citizen is growing. The company opened its first brick-and-mortar in San Francisco's Cow Hollow neighborhood in August and has plans for an outpost in New York next year. A spokesperson declined to share revenue but confirmed that yearly sales top $1 million.

Business Insider sat down with Modern Citizen's cofounders, Lee and Agnew, to see what the high-fashion e-tailer is doing differently to evade the retail apocalypse.

Jessica Lee and Lizzie Agnew make it sound easy starting a women-run fashion label in the city they call "Man Francisco." The idea was to create a brand for "women like us," Lee said.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Both 20-somethings loved designer labels but could rarely afford them. They didn't want to shop fast-fashion brands because the clothes are made as cheaply as they're priced.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Modern Citizen offers items for professional women who want to dress stylishly but comfortably, without breaking the bank. Most items retail for under $100.

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Read more on Business Insider.

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