Online retail pioneer Zappos is looking beyond computers to the next stage of luxury online shopping.
As one of the first Web sites to offer free shipping in 2002, the Amazon.com subsidiary is working to roll out same-day shipping within the next five years while drumming up weekly videos to attract users to its high-end Web site, Zappos Couture, which stocks brands ranging from Alexander McQueen to Vivienne Westwood. The logistics of undertaking both endeavors, which essentially transform the Las Vegas-based company into a brick-and-mortar inventory center as well as a media company, represent the lesser of its challenges, according to Jennifer Sidary, couture connoisseur at Zappos Couture.
“Our biggest challenge really is to get these [luxury] brands to sell [to] us,” Sidary said, noting that several European companies are reluctant to expand their Web presence and wholesale to Zappos Couture, which launched in 2004. “For us, it’s really just to get these brands to feel comfortable selling [to] us and not thinking that we’re a discount Web site.”
Sidary, a Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising graduate who arrived at Zappos six years ago after working at tony department store Halls in Kansas City, Mo., not only buys half the brands for Zappos Couture but also acts as the merchandising liaison with the company’s technology team and oversees marketing. Since she started, Zappos Couture has updated its site twice, tallying a 300 percent increase in sales and growing its personnel fivefold.
In addition to same-day shipping, Sidary’s next goal is to optimize Zappos Couture for mobile technology with “responsive design,” whereby the Web site will fit whatever size screen the customer uses. She cited a 2012 study that reported a third of all e-mails are opened on a mobile phone or tablet and that 60 percent of people will leave a mobile-unfriendly site. Online shopping via computers also fell 14 percent in the first quarter of 2013, reflecting the biggest drop in the last 20 years, she said. The current trend is for shoppers to make online purchases on their tablet or phone at night during a TV commercial break, she said.
“I knew the importance of mobile, but I really didn’t know how much our luxury customers really depended on it,” she said.
Customers also like the weekly videos filmed on the red carpet by celebrity journalist Victoria Recaño with stars and designers such as Naomi Watts and Michael Kors.
“We’re really trying to get our customers to come back to our site more often,” Sidary said, “because we know if they’re going to purchase, we need to offer them new and exciting things.”
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)