NEW YORK — The way Donna Karan viscerally connects with her customers is the stuff of industry legend. During personal appearances, she likes to step into the dressing room to help her clients try on looks, gives them fashion advice, and often becomes their on-site best friend and confidante.
Donna Karan International’s new e-commerce site, which goes live today, is as close to a personal appearance by the designer as possible. From engaging consumers in an interactive way to addressing issues of philanthropy and social responsibility, it is filled with Donna-isms that serve to translate Karan’s own inspiring qualities onto computer screens. Designed and built by online design firm Createthe Group and powered by CTS Ecommerce Platform, the site, which can be accessed through donnakaran.com and DKNY.com, takes a content-meets-commerce approach. In a groundbreaking move for a fashion house, DKI is partnering with New York magazine and the nymag.com site for content on things to do in Gotham, Karan’s evergreen source of inspiration.
“Donna Karan New York and DKNY have always embraced the two sides of New York City — a limousine and a taxi driver, caviar and pizza,” Karan said. “This e-commerce site brings you both in one place. More than a place to shop, it’s a complete brand experience, where commerce meets content with the style and energy of New York City.”
Company executives consider the launch bigger than the opening of any previous store. Karan is not new to e-commerce, having sold DKNY merchandise at DKNY.com since 2005. This is the first time she is selling Collection online, and she does so under the same roof as DKNY, with a centralized customer service and shopping cart. That said, each brand has a distinct voice, and visitors can easily toggle between DKNY and Donna Karan Collection.
James Gardner, founder and chief executive officer of Createthe Group, said a mandate was to “make the whole experience between DKNY and Donna Karan collection seamless, quick and easy-to-shop.
“Our view is that the Collection and the DKNY consumer are different, but there is overlap and cross-sell opportunity between the two,” Gardner noted. “The Collection consumer coming to buy a $9,000 piece of ready-to-wear may see a DKNY item. Similarly, the DKNY consumer buying a $300 or $400 bag may come in and see a Donna Karan Collection bag at $1,000 or $1,500 and upgrade for that. We are making it very quick and easy for her to find the product, and the product imagery is very desirable.”
The site’s editorialized content is extensive, and allows visitors to shop runway looks; learn about Karan’s iconic system of dressing; view “Donna’s Journal,” from perusing Karan’s personal must-have items called “Love, Love, Love”; read interviews with some of her famous friends at “DK Talk” (the first Q&A being “Mad Men” star Christina Hendricks), and find out information about Karan’s extensive inspirational journeys at “DK Travel.” An ongoing feature called “Ask Donna” lets shoppers directly ask Karan questions, making the site almost as intimate as a personal appearance.
Karan was keen to make the site as easy to shop as her actual boutique. For instance, customers can view each runway look from the season and scroll their mouse across it to get a back view, or click for a detail shot which is as clear as holding the actual garment. The page also features a link to view the entire fashion show video.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews