By  on January 9, 2012

LOS ANGELES — The founders of Revolveclothing.com have partnered with Los Angeles retailer Elyse Walker to launch ForwardbyElyseWalker.com, a site that aims to give a personalized touch to high-end shopping on the Web.Walker’s Pacific Palisades store, which opened in 1999, has grown into a 6,500-square-foot destination for women in Los Angeles’ upscale beach communities who crave fashion forward pieces from Prada, Lanvin and Alexander McQueen. Among her regular clients are Jennifer Garner, Kate Beckinsale and Giada de Laurentiis.Walker launched an e-commerce site in 2010, but a chance meeting with Michael Mente and Mike Karanikolas, the founders of Eminent Inc., which owns and operates the contemporary e-tailer Revolveclothing.com, prompted them to create a new site together. An evolution of both ForwardbyRevolve.com, a higher-end site launched by Eminent in fall 2008, and ElyseWalker.com, ForwardbyElyseWalker.com will replace the two sites with a more editorial and behind-the-scenes shopping experience.“Mergers can be risky, but partnering with Elyse allowed us to achieve our long-term vision a lot sooner,” said Mente, who said that Forward By Revolve had struggled trying to sell designer-priced wares during the recession. “She has relationships with brands we have been trying to get, and we have the infrastructure and in-house editorial team she was looking for to take her e-commerce to the next level.”The new site combines edgy photography with styling tips and a companion Web magazine to guide shoppers.“Our store is one of the largest accounts for Stella McCartney and Balenciaga. Having said that, I can’t grow my brick and mortar business much more than eight to 10 percent a year, but I believe the future growth is in e-commerce,” said Walker.The new site will offer pieces ranging from a $140 Kelly Wearstler scarf to a $3,000 J.Mendel gown and a $5,000 Nancy Gonzalez crocodile tote. “Our bread and butter will always be lines like Alexander Wang, ALC and 3.1 Phillip Lim,, but we want to mix with that with Rochas, Rick Owens and Fendi,” she said.While the bulk of merchandise is women’s clothing, Walker plans to expand the men’s offerings from the current 15 to 18 percent of the business and to add more shoes and bags. She will also begin selling jewelry ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 in the next three to six months.Mente estimated first-year sales at $10 million.

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