LUCKY BLOGGER: Racked’s Leslie Price has traded her flats for stilettos, jumping to Lucky as online editor, where her job will be to keep the site fresh. “We’re going to put a lot more original content on the Web site, and that includes slide shows, videos and polls. It’s all about newness,” she said.
At Racked, Price was known for her many posts a day, creating the impression of a bigger staff when she started solo in 2007. The site covers New York City and Los Angeles retail and shopping, and is part of the Curbed Network. “In her time at Racked, Leslie proved herself not just to be an excellent blogger, but a very astute editor and an authority on her corner of the industry, as well,” said Lucky editor in chief Kim France. “I also think that bloggers possess a different set of instincts than print editors do, and having the right one on staff seemed like a very good idea. In addition to which, her enthusiasms mirror ours exactly.”
This story first appeared in the July 27, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Meanwhile, Racked plans to go national in the fall, and is looking to add a national editor as well as freelance contributors, said Curbed Network founder Lockhart Steele. Ad revenue at the company has increased, and Racked just signed a deal with American Apparel. (The 25-person company does not discuss profitability, he said.)
Price succeeds Laurel Pinson, who left the company. — Cate T. Corcoran
GILT TRAVELS: “We’re almost like an airport,” said Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, Gilt Groupe founder and chief merchandising officer, at a panel discussion at the 92nd Street Y Thursday night. “We have slots. We can’t sell every designer we want to.”
It’s kind of like a bank, too. The $100 million company, which has already raised $5 million and projects it will do $400 million in sales this year, is just closing on a second round of funding for $40 million. It is not yet profitable, but expects to become so in the next four months.
The company’s forthcoming discount contemporary site, Fuse, will double those “slots” from 30 to 60, said Wilkis Wilson. In March, the company launched a Japanese site (with a team and merchandise overseas) and now has 2,000 members there. Gilt Groupe is researching other markets, and plans to launch a travel site for niche hotels, ski chalets and summer rentals soon.
The intense interest in discount fashion sparked by the downturn also has been good to the evening’s other panelist, Michael Townsend of New York’s NoLIta outlet store Inven.tory. The 750-square-foot, one-year-old space is known for its minimalist decor and carefully edited selection, including the full Cheap Monday line at regular price. Two employees who came from 3.1 Phillip Lim and Trovata plan to design an in-house fast-fashion collection. “We didn’t always want to focus on overstock price points and we wanted to focus on trends,” said Townsend.
The panel was moderated by Racked’s senior editor Izzy Grinspan. — C.T.C.