The hoopla over online private sales continues — and might even be justified. Last week was retail veteran Ellin Saltzman’s first in the office of fast-growing private sale company Gilt Groupe. Less than two years old, the firm is poised to generate more than $80 million in revenues this fiscal year, which ends June 30. In comparison, 10-year-old off-price e-tailer Bluefly — which, so far, has not tried the trendy one- or two-day, members-only format — posted revenues of $95 million last year with 85 employees.
Saltzman will consult for Gilt, as she did until December for Bluefly. “I hope to be able to introduce them to many designers and work with them on their assortment,” said the former fashion director for Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and Macy’s.
Known for high-quality merchandise that sells out within minutes, Gilt Groupe is one of a long list of retailers to enter the rapidly growing niche. Started by Louis Vuitton, Bulgari and eBay veterans Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson with $5 million in venture backing from Matrix Partners, Gilt Groupe brought in Susan Lyne of Martha Stewart Omnimedia Inc. as chief executive officer in September. Kevin Ryan, formerly ceo of DoubleClick, is chairman. Other staff hail from Polo Ralph Lauren, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Giorgio Armani.
Meanwhile, Onestop Internet, a Rancho Dominguez, Calif.-based e-commerce service provider with a stable of well-known fashion clients, is expanding into private sales and into Europe with backing from venture capital firm Bessemer Venture Partners.
The already profitable company closed its first round of funding for $13.3 million in October. In December, it bought well-known offline Los Angeles sample sale business Billion Dollar Babes for an undisclosed amount. In April, the company started holding online private sales three times a week and plans to open a European distribution center later this year.
The Outnet, Net-a-porter.com’s off-price store that debuted in April, has also held occasional private sales. The format is said to have been pioneered by Vente-Privee.com, which pulls in $500 million a year and has spawned more than 70 competitors in France, according to BusinessWeek. Competitors here include Rue La La, Ideeli, HauteLook and Editor’s Closet.
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Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews