About a year-and-a-half ago, four-year-old luxury flash site Gilt.com stumbled on a new business opportunity.
After being approached by a host of designers looking to launch capsule collections that would extend their brands, Gilt Groupe realized it could capitalize on its e-commerce model to grow its own brand. The company developed full-price, exclusive, curated offerings that remain on its Web site for longer than 36 hours — the standard time period for a flash sale.
“We thought this was a great idea,” said Jyothi Rao, general manager of Gilt’s women’s division. “It’s very hard for a smaller brand to buy that type of media.”
While Gilt has launched exclusives with big names like Helmut Lang and Kate Spade, Rao is referring to the company’s ability to put emerging brands in the spotlight.
“I do see this becoming a larger part of what we do going forward, but our approach is that it has to be the right collaboration, the right partnership, the right product,” she said. “We really want to give our customers access to exclusive product. It’s about creating special events for them, and I think brands more and more are seeing the value of marketing to a membership base like this.”
Gilt’s newest offering, an exclusive capsule collection of Brian Atwood spring handbags, fits Rao’s criteria. Set to hit its virtual stores at noon Wednesday, Atwood’s collection, comprised of four styles, will remain on Gilt’s site through Sunday.
“This is our first handbag collection. We’re really selective about who we get involved with,” Atwood told WWD. “You have this huge audience. It makes it more exciting.”
Traditionally a footwear designer, Atwood’s foray into bags has materialized into a colorful collection of snakeskin clutches and hard-cased minaudières that mix tortoise shell, resin and metal inlay.
“They are not inexpensive,” said the designer, who noted the collection’s $1,050 to $1,795 price tags, “but they are gorgeous.”
Atwood hinted that a small men’s capsule collection of shoes is in the works, as well as a line of handbags under his B Brian Atwood label, which is licensed to The Jones Group.
“This collaboration is part of a broader relationship with Brian,” said Gilt’s Rao. “Who knows where his brand will expand to next?”
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)