By  on September 30, 2011

APC has become serious about e-tail — and figured it was time to redesign its 15-year-old Web site in the process.

Live since mid-August, the new site with French, English and Japanese language versions marks the first time all of the Parisian brand’s offerings will be available online, including men’s, women’s, accessories, home, beauty, collaborations and music are available online. It’s a major leap from the prior limited selection, as well as a natural progression from its long-term mail order business, according to founder Jean Touitou.

“I hate that cities are invaded with nothing but clothing stores and banks. That was my reason to push mail order and now online sales,” he said, already wholesaling to e-tailers like Net-a-Porter, Mr Porter and Lyonstate.

So far, dresses and suits lead the women’s and men’s categories, respectively, online. Navigation is more efficient since products are sorted by color and category, and women are using the color filter feature to build fall stories in mustard poppy and coral, according to Justine Bui, Web site and mail order manager.

“We’ve also seen an increase in sales by men, who shop looks rather than individual pieces,” she said.
Other Web site additions include moving the year-old blog APC Journal to the home page, posting digital look books previously accessible only to fashion editors, and photographing formerly flat items on models. Shoppers also have the option to share favorite looks via Facebook and Twitter, though that’s where Touitou draws the line on social media.

“I don’t feel good at all about other social media. It’s of zero importance for us,” he said.

Touitou commissioned Paris-based Petronio Associates, the creative firm that works with brands like Yves Saint Laurent and Chloé, and publishes Self Service magazine, to redesign the Web site because it had never done one. His justification is that Petronio didn’t have the bad habits that result in all Web sites looking alike, and both consider beautiful design the main objective.

Now it’s back to brick-and-mortar expansion. Besides store openings in Manhattan’s West Village this fall, with Brooklyn, San Francisco and Chicago in the next couple years, Touitou plans to add more locations in London, Paris and in cities in the Far East.

“But again, no massive invasion anywhere,” he said.

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