NEW YORK — Wal-Mart is givingapparel another chance on the Internet — but this time it’s just dipping its big toe in, not plunging headfirst.
Wal-Mart pulled all of its apparel off its Web site in April 2001, admitting the category was not a profitable one, so walmart.com could focus on more productive categories, like jewelry, gifts and electronics.
However, next week on glamour.com, the Web site for Glamour magazine, Wal-Mart will feature 10 women’s tops and bottoms, all private labels, including military-inspired styles, floral blouses and jeans. Wal-Mart began running apparel ads in Glamour magazine in June and has an advertising commitment through December. (Glamour is published by Condé Nast, which, like WWD, is owned by Advance Publications.)
On the Web site, ordering the Wal-Mart items won’t be possible. But according to Suzanne Grimes, vice president and publisher of Glamour, “This will encourage a lot of people to visit Wal-Mart stores.” Wal-Mart goes live on glamour.com Tuesday. Also, Glamour’s September issue, which hits newsstands that day, will have an ad hyping the program, she said.
Although you wouldn’t think the Glamour reader fits the profile of the Wal-Mart shopper, “our research shows that everyone shops at Wal-Mart unless they live in Manhattan, where there are no Wal-Marts,” Grimes said, adding that “Wal-Mart has a push to drive apparel sales. They came to Glamour for advertising” and out of that strategy emerged the online program.
If the tie-in with Glamour goes well, it’s possible that Wal-Mart could increase its apparel presence online. The company has been working to raise its apparel standards for quality and fashion, and is rolling out its George brand in the U.S. Glamour said no brands will be played up, just the Wal-Mart label.
Asked if walmart.com might one day revive its apparel presentation, a walmart.com spokeswoman replied, “At any given time, we are looking at a number of new categories in products and services and continue to evaluate those opportunities.”
For Wal-Mart, Glamour is utilizing the My Virtual Model technology, which enables browsers to create a virtual model of themselves, with the right height, weight, hair color and other attributes, and to see how selected items appear worn on the virtual model. The model also turns for side and back views, and the site will indicate which Wal-Mart store is closest to the browser’s home, once she plugs in her address.Meanwhile, My Virtual Model, based in Montreal, seems to be gaining popularity. The technology has been added to the levi.com USA and kohls.com sites to sell Levi’s jeans. “My Virtual Model technology enables levi.com and kohls.com to smash the oldest and biggest barrier to buying clothes online: the simple lack of a mirror,” said Louise Guay, president of My Virtual Model Inc.?
“The Levi’s brand has long used the Internet to reach consumers in innovative and compelling ways,” said Patrice Varni, director of digital business and consumer relations at Levi Strauss & Co., in a statement. “In partnering with Kohl’s Department Stores and My Virtual Model Inc., we’re able to bring our online shoppers real value — the ability to find and buy their perfect style and size of Levi’s jeans online.” Other My Virtual Model clients include Microsoft Network, Lands’ End, Home Shopping Network, Kenneth Cole, weddingchannel.com and NutriSystem.
“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