LONDON — Mary Katrantzou will launch her first e-commerce site later this month — and it’s about time.
“The Web site has said ‘Coming Soon’ for the past four years,” said the designer. “We’ve been designing it for over a year, and it took a lot longer than we anticipated.
“It was a big undertaking for us: We needed to make sure we could provide the sort of service people have become accustomed to,” added Katrantzou, who has 265 wholesale customers worldwide.
A special animated countdown featuring women dressed in Katrantzou’s designs will mark the time to the launch. Four women will represent the days, hours, minutes and seconds to the site’s official launch on Nov. 20. Every time the clock strikes 12, the models’ outfits will change.
The site will initially offer 45 exclusive looks based on Katrantzou’s resort collection — the first she has ever done. The designer said that while the prints are the same as those in the full resort collection, they appear on different silhouettes than in the bigger collection.
For spring, the designer — whose company is self-funded — said that her team has stocked the new site with a “very wide range” of clothing. The new site will ship to Europe immediately and to the U.S. starting with the Spring Summer 2014 collection.
In anticipation of the launch, the designer has also produced a series of films — each a minute long — that relate to the passage of time, and to the Katrantzou collections. “It’s very surreal,” she said of the short films that will run on the site.
As reported, for her first resort collection, Katrantzou worked into her prints her own photographs of high-rise apartment towers in São Paulo, the snow-capped Swiss Alps, French flower fields, a Japanese bridge, an Italian vineyard, a Chinese fisherman and railway station arcades.
There are also quirky embellishments such as laser-cut Perspex squares placed in the windows of the apartment print, and floral sequins adding dimension to a yellow floral print. Katrantzou calls the prints “landscapes in bloom.”
Katrantzou said the images for the website were shot by the Los Angeles-based photographer Nicholas Alan Cope, while the clock visuals on the site and the accompanying digital campaign were created by the New York-based creative agency Johannes Leonardo.