ELuxury.com, the designer e-commerce site launched in June 2000 by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, will close the retail portion of the site over the next six months.
A spokeswoman at LVMH confirmed the San Francisco-based e-tailer is in the early stages of transitioning the site into an online magazine focusing on luxury markets. She said the reason for the closure of the retail operation was not based on the site’s financial performance, but rather because many of the brands it sells have developed their own online presences. ELuxury.com was a pioneer in online luxury retailing, offering designer apparel and accessories, beauty and children’s collections from such brands as Christian Dior, Pucci, Celine, Marc Jacobs, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Tod’s and an exclusive Louis Vuitton boutique. Sources said eLuxury has shown consistent sales growth overall — experiencing double-digit increases from 2007 to 2008.
“Starting in mid 2009, eLuxury’s new mission will be to create an ‘e-window’ into the world of luxury, by serving as an information reference for luxury in fashion, art de vivre, leather goods, wines and spirits, watches and jewelry, gastronomy, cars, yachts and services,” the spokeswoman said. “To that end, eLuxury intends to develop collaborations with the most prestigious names in the world of luxury media, as well as the main contributors of the luxury world.”
The company plans to close the retail portion of its business completely by June and plans to move many of its employees over to other positions within LVMH.
Some industry sources said they were surprised with LVMH’s choice to appoint David Asher as eLuxury president position in August. One source said that while he had almost 18 years of experience in luxury retail, having worked at Holt Renfrew, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, he had little experience in e-tailing, unlike his predecessor, Ann Helper, who was with eLuxury since its launch. The LVMH spokeswoman confirmed Asher will stay with the brand to spearhead plans to transform the site.
Sucharita Mulpuru, an e-commerce analyst for the Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc., said she was shocked to hear of eLuxury’s decision to close its retail business. “I’m honestly really surprised,” she said. “It seemed to be doing so well.”
Mulpuru said that with the luxury market hurting overall and stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus suffering in this economy, she predicts there will be many more store closings, both online and offline. “Anyone who isn’t strong in this environment is especially vulnerable and will not survive,” she said. “But I really didn’t see this one coming.”
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
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The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion