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NEW YORK — The Coveteur unveiled Thursday an updated site with a new logo and twice the number of photos.
The Toronto-based venture was founded in January 2011 by president and creative director Erin Kleinberg, marketplace director Stephanie Mark and director of photography Jake Rosenberg and has attracted well-known celebrities, stylists, bloggers and influencers around the world to be “coveteurs” — the site’s lingo for posing and opening up their bedrooms and closets to be photographed.
This story first appeared in the October 26, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The company was self-funded until July, when it secured its first round of funding. The three raised about $500,000 from investors including hip-hop singer Drake (who was coveteur’d with Nicki Minaj and Snoop Dogg at the third annual OVO Festival in Toronto in August), which allowed them to bring on a chief executive officer, Janet Bannister.
To date, the site has received more than 5 million visits (more than 60 percent are from the U.S.), and followings across the social media have tripled in the last half year. The site sees 700,000 page views a month and 150,000 unique visitors a month. Bannister expects monthly page views to surpass the two million mark within three months based on business tripling in the past six months without the implementation of any changes.
The facelift being unveiled today is aimed at increasing visitor engagement with more and larger images. Kleinberg revealed that the updated site — she refers to it as The Coveteur 2.0 — will also have a closet functionality where fans can “covet” their favorite items and place them in their own personal closets.
She wanted an integrated shopping experience, so the “Get the Look” tool allows users to click on an item and see a similar item they can purchase, with the entire transaction taking place on the site. Kleinberg also wants to post more frequently. Currently, about three new closets are introduced a week, but she would like to upload new posts daily that include more editorial stories that won’t always take place in the home.
Kleinberg said the team cast 23 kids and dressed them “to the nines” as personalities such as a mini Karl Lagerfeld, Rachel Zoe, the Clarins sisters, Tommy Ton and Anna Dello Russo.
Bannister said the site has generated revenue thus far via advertising, e-commerce and affiliate models where it gets a percentage of transactions users make, and collaborations.
“This business has happened organically in the beginning, and as we were shooting people’s homes, we realized that the site became a portfolio for photography and styling and brands starting reaching out to us to shoot projects outside the Web site,” Kleinberg said, listing projects with Bulgari, Loft, Banana Republic, Vogue, Elle, Chanel, Ferragamo, Christian Louboutin, Aldo and Coach as steady sources of income.
Up until now, the site has primarily focused on fashion folk but Kleinberg doesn’t want to solely focus on this group. She wants to feature chefs and entertainers like Mario Battali and Pharrell Williams, who have both agreed to be featured.