PARIS — Interactive is the new black at Yves Saint Laurent's revamped Web site, slated to go live today, complete with an online store for U.S. shoppers and lots of animated Web-only content.
Overhauling a bare-bones site largely unchanged since Tom Ford's days at YSL, the French firm aims to expand traffic to ysl.com by fivefold over the next 18 months — and generate considerable sales volume.
Valerie Hermann, YSL's president and chief executive officer, declined to give revenue projections, but said the online boutique should become one of the company's top-five locations within three years. E-commerce could eventually be expanded to the U.K., she noted.
The site, with some 500 stockkeeping units displayed in crisp, Mondrian-esque arrangements, allows New York and Los Angeles shoppers to schedule a fitting and showcases shoes, bags and clothes from multiple angles. Muse bags in various sizes are held by a model to better illustrate the silhouette. For women's ready-to-wear, the initial focus is on Edition 24, a range of seasonless, well-priced wardrobe essentials.
YSL boasted approximately 100,000 registered users for its previous site, and some 38,000 more signed up to be alerted about the new one, a company spokesman said.
The home page resembles a multiple-screen television, broadcasting runway images from the get-go and "trailers" of other elements in the site — no extra clicking required.
Among exclusive features for the launch are 24 short films by Nick Knight with model Jessica Miller wearing Edition 24 items, plus an animated, making-of version of the house's fall campaign featuring Gisele Bündchen.
Meanwhile, the "Company History" section resembles an art gallery, where Web surfers can learn more about Yves Saint Laurent himself, such iconic products as tuxedos and trenchcoats and the brand's current creative director, Stefano Pilati.
New Web-only content will be added regularly to drive traffic, the spokesman said. The site will also be promoted with banner ads on Style.com and iht.com, he added.
YSL is the third Gucci Group brand to add e-commerce in the U.S., after Gucci and Bottega Veneta.
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