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Galliano Unveils Web Play

<?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = CS /><CS:BOLD>PARIS -- Click. Crash. Pow.<BR><BR>Welcome to the online, cartoon world of John Galliano, whose new Web site boasts a techno backbeat and a cast of characters including a monkey named Tatiana, a dog named Puppy,...

PARIS — Click. Crash. Pow.

Welcome to the online, cartoon world of John Galliano, whose new Web site boasts a techno backbeat and a cast of characters including a monkey named Tatiana, a dog named Puppy, and Miss Galliano, a fearless shopper with a horrendous driving record.

The interactive site, which bowed quietly last week, guides visitors to the rapidly expanding world of the Paris-based designer, whose first boutique is under construction on Rue Saint Honore here and whose imminent product launches include lingerie, fragrance and men’s wear.

“We have no advertising at this moment and we feel this is a very modern way of communicating,” said Valerie Hermann, president of Galliano. “Also, it’s very accessible to young people.”

Visitors to the site encounter a graphic — somewhat gothic black-and-white world reminiscent of early Spiderman episodes. Of course, Galliano is the only superhero in town, depicted shirtless with gleaming teeth, sometimes in a mid-air karate chop.

His co-star is Miss Galliano, whom Hermann said personifies the key attributes of the Galliano brand today. “She’s very sexy, she’s modern and she has a sense of humor,” she said. “To do a cartoon is very Galliano. The site is so in coherence with what we want to be. Galliano has never been a pretentious brand.”

The adventures of Miss Galliano are a key attraction, with a new story introduced every other month. In the first installment, she drives her car through a shop window, calls Galliano for help and is whisked off on “Air Galliano” for the next episode.

Visitors to the site can also write love letters, learn about the designer, and of course, look at products from current Galliano collections.

The site is not e-commerce equipped, but visitors can link to the designer’s e-tail destination at eLuxury.com, which last April launched an online Galliano boutique selling a collection specifically designed for cyberspace and a similar cartoon theme, as reported. On Friday, for instance, the Galliano e-boutique at eLuxury was featuring such items as an Internet Girl scoop-neck top, priced at $160; blue stonewashed Girl Jeans, at $195, and a Girl Jazz Bag, at $335.

Hermann said most Web sites mounted by designers themselves simply show runway photos and list store locations. “Our idea was to be more funny, more entertaining,” she said. “We wanted to do something quite new and creative.”

Created by the French agency Mother, the new site is located at johngalliano.com.