Grailed Case Study

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“At first we were managing all file uploads ourselves–that was the largest bottleneck in our entire app–but we wanted to leverage a 3rd party solution.” – Futureproofed with Filestack

As CTO Julian Connor describes it, Grailed has quickly become the premier peer to peer marketplace for luxury men’s clothing. “It’s a marketplace for high-end menswear which connects two groups of guys. One group is made up of guys who have a lot of amazing items they don’t wear any more and the other is made of guys who want nice things at a discount. At Grailed we bring these groups together to create a thriving community of both enthusiasts and those who are just getting into clothing.” Grailed’s marketplace has been extremely successful so far and will surely gain even more traction when their upcoming mobile app is released.

"...we handle millions of images a day..."

“Grailed is an image heavy app…we handle millions of images a day. At first we were managing all file uploads ourselves–that was the largest bottleneck in our entire app–but we wanted to leverage a 3rd party solution,” explains Julian about the problem they were trying to solve. “We were looking for an image service that could handle all of our image content.”

Grailed was initially attracted to Filestack (then because it seemed like the easiest overall solution. The picker’s ability to upload from a local drive, social media or a user’s web cam, all valuable features for their app, saved them a measurable amount of work by not having to integrate this themselves. And integrating the picker into their site, despite doing a custom integration, was seamless.

It wasn’t until after they started using Filestack that Julian realized it could be the platform that would allow him to overhaul their existing process of image handling, resulting in measurable money and time savings for the company.

Converting on the fly

Grailed’s original image handling strategy centered around storing multiple versions of the same image (e.g., original, thumbnail, etc.). Not only was this cumbersome, but it was difficult and expensive to scale. After reading reading through Filestack’s docs, Julian figured out an entirely new paradigm for image management.

“We changed our strategy to store one file and convert on the fly when served,” explains the CTO.

“This strategy makes images forwards and backwards compatible. If you convert 3 ways on upload, you’re locked into those decisions, which might not be a big deal now, but could be difficult to work with in the future,” advises Julian. The strength of this strategy is clear: “in short, it future proofs the content for our site. We don’t really need to plan around images for the foreseeable future.”

Partnership has it’s privileges not only credits Filestack with providing them a framework powerful enough to handle millions of images a day, but also with providing a high level of support. A feature of our paid plans is implementation support, something Julian and his team made good use of as they continue to grow their marketplace and its reliance on Filestack.

“Having access to your engineers is very important to us,” says Julian, “Most of the issues we ran into were either quickly resolved or prevented because we were able to work closely with your team.”


Filestack has proven to be a advantageous partner for solving a number of key design, performance, and scalability problems for Grailed’s rapidly growing marketplace. By creating an image management strategy based on the dynamic delivery of a single stored image, Julian and his team have virtually eliminated the technical debt normally associated with media rich sites. Filestack’s picker proved to be a seamless integration that yielded a long list of user-friendly features without eating up valuable developer hours. And the industry-leading support from our implementation engineers ensured a maximum return on their IT investment.

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