Launching the last week of September, Edition01.com is an e-commerce site conceived as a destination for exclusive capsule collections by luxury designers. Estefania Lacayo and Jessica Wilpon Kamel, who have been friends since their college years, are banking on the high-end consumer’s demand for exclusive merchandise. The two spent the last year enlisting labels, including Donna Karan, Doo.Ri, Narciso Rodriguez, Peter Pilotto and Calvin Klein, to create special product specifically for Edition01. “If I buy a Lanvin dress, I love it. But then before I get to wear it, everyone in Us Weekly has worn it already,” said Lacayo. “When we sell something, no one has worn it before.”

Every product on the site will be limited edition — extremely limited in some cases — hence the company’s name. “If it’s a piece that’s really couture, I’m literally buying two dresses,” added Lacayo. “Some designers like Zac Posen or Proenza Schouler, they’re so expensive. Wholesale prices are, like, $800, so it will come down to 10 or 12 styles.” Most sales will feature around 10 to 25 units and all merch is priced comparably to the designer’s average retail price, which, according to Lacayo and Wilpon Kamel, was a very appealing part of their pitch to design firms. “Designers don’t sell to that many people online,” said Lacayo. “They want to go online and experience it but they’re scared of going through discount shop sites.”

This story first appeared in the July 28, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Designers aren’t the only interested parties. Lacayo, who has more than 10 years of retail experience, most recently as a consultant for luxury designers, and Wilpon Kamel, who has a fine art background, brought on a slew of investors, including SV Angel, High Line Venture Partners, the Sagrera family, Sterling Equities, Joanne Wilson, David Tisch, Alex Zubillaga, Kal Vepuri and Ken Lerer.

If the idea of designing yet another collection on top of an already grueling delivery schedule sounds implausible, the duo have worked with designers to minimize potential production nightmares. Most of the collections involve reissuing an existing pattern in a new color, fabric or print, or making mild adjustments to the cut. But if the designer prefers to design something completely new, that’s an option, too. “If they want to branch out into a lifestyle product or do something different for the holiday season, we’re a place they can go to,” said Wilpon Kamel. “We really want to be more of a place for trials or testing new things, being innovative in fashion and design on a higher platform. Those things don’t have to happen with Target or H&M.” One of Edition01’s upcoming exclusives, for instance, is a bag collaboration between ready-to-wear designer Bibhu Mohapatra and Celestina.

Donna Karan is slated as Edition01’s launch designer, who created a capsule collection of fall dresses; after that, new looks will go live every Tuesday and Thursday. Lacayo and Wilpon Kamel are still working to perfect their site’s membership details and supply and demand because, as Lacayo puts it, “There’s nothing worse than going to a site where everything is sold out.”

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