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Ralph’s E-Vision

<CS:BOLD>Ralph's got it -- cybervision, that is. The designer plans to mine the online medium for a virtually instant, interactive read on fashion lovers' favorites in his fall 2002 runway collection, slated for Thursday morning. Starting Friday,...

Ralph’s got it — cybervision, that is. The designer plans to mine the online medium for a virtually instant, interactive read on fashion lovers’ favorites in his fall 2002 runway collection, slated for Thursday morning. Starting Friday, visitors at runway.polo.com; polo.com (Lauren’s e-commerce site) and fashion portal Style.com will be able to vote with their mice, via pop-up boxes and other prompts, on their standout looks. To make it even easier, Polo plans to hand out mousepads as part of editors’ gift bags at its show.

The prompts on the Web sites will link with images of the fall line and with ballots and will appear on Style’s landing pad plus get solo placement in its areas dedicated to Lauren’s spring and fall styles for 2002. They will also appear on (surprise!) the runway and polo home pages and will be available via laptops in Ralph Lauren flagship stores.

“The poll allows us to interact with and better understand our customers,” a Ralph Lauren Media spokeswoman told WWD Tuesday. “It builds buzz and gives us greater insight into the appeal of our clothing. If we find they prefer one style to another, we can better market and merchandise.” Results of the poll will be carried on the Lauren Web sites and will be updated in real time as people submit their e-ballots.

Observed Style.com publisher Susan Cappa: “The runway.polo.com program exemplifies one of the unique attributes of marketing online, versus another medium: the ability to offer one-to-one consumer communication and brand interaction. [Lauren is] also increasing awareness of its runway Web site and fall 2002 collection, which ultimately should translate into more sales.” And that’s a key part of Lauren’s latest ‘Net play, which is primarily a marketing bid for access to Stylin’ cybernauts.