LONDON — Tom Ford, a man once suspicious of people’s need for instant fashion on the Internet, has unveiled phase one of his first e-commerce site, a slick, user-friendly operation that, for the moment, stocks beauty and accessories only.
The site, which launched Tuesday, puts arresting imagery front and center: The landing page spotlights a tastefully nude model wearing only black leather sandals and a leather messenger bag, while a Pinterestlike series of images allows visitors to navigate their way to news and the collections.
The shopping areas themselves are also led by bold photography. Those browsing lipstick shades can look at a grid of images featuring a model’s mouth painted in Ford’s myriad lip colors. Some of the mouths even come to life, as the model pouts, blows a kiss or bites her lip.
The site stocks accessories, shoes, jewelry, eyewear, cosmetics and fragrances for men and women, and the designer said he plans to integrate ready-to-wear and “additional categories” into the future mix.
The new site will also offer exclusive products for online clients only, the first of which will be a new signature fragrance, Tom Ford Velvet Orchid.
In September 2010, the day after his comeback show in the women’s arena, Ford discussed his skepticism about fashion e-commerce.
“This fashion immediacy thing…if you can see them and press a button and they can be shipped to your house, I get fashion immediacy.…I don’t get the need for this immediacy. In fact, I think it’s bad,” he said.
Now he has changed his attitude. “I have waited patiently to introduce e-commerce until I felt the foundation of the brand was well-established offline,” Ford said in a statement Tuesday, adding that the brand is now generating nearly a billion dollars at retail, and the online store will add “a major new avenue” for our future growth.
“We now have 98 retail locations worldwide, and the online store is an extension of them: It is a beautiful online space that carries exceptionally crafted, handmade products and offers superlative service,” he said.
Ford said the site was designed with the mobile user in mind; it adapts to the user’s device automatically, and is engineered to give mobile users a “premium experience.”
Currently, the new site is in English only and offers shipping exclusively within the U.S. E-commerce distribution will eventually be expanded to international markets, and the site will be translated into multiple languages.
The site offers complimentary shipping and returns, same-day delivery in Manhattan and a feature that enables clients to find a U.S. Tom Ford store that stocks the specific product they are looking for, such as eyewear or beauty.
In the future, clients will be able to click-and-collect at their retail location of choice.
The launch of the new Web site will be supported with an expanded social media presence on all major platforms, including Weibo in China.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast