Gilt Groupe, the invitation-only fashion and luxury Web site, is turning its lens to men’s.
This story first appeared in the October 22, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
On Monday, the site launched GiltMan.com, an extension of its current men’s category, which now features 50 percent more brands and 64 percent more inventory.
“We’ve launched an expanded and independent site for men,” said Nathan Richardson, vice president and general manager of men’s. “What we’ve been successful with for women, we’re now doing for men.”
The products offered range from apparel, accessories and sports equipment to “experience” categories. Brands for the launch include Bogner, Helly Hansen, Harry’s of London, Alexander McQueen, Porsche Design, Adidas, John Varvatos, Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Jack Spade, Victorinox, 2(x)ist, Ducati Watches and Gianfranco Ferré.
“We felt there was a void in the market so we’ve really blown out the men’s area,” Richardson said.
In addition to the standard fashion offerings, the site offers sporting goods such as Strida bikes as well as memorabilia from Steiner Sports.
Richardson said Gilt Man will offer four sales a day to its 1.5 million members. One quarter of the member base right now are men, he added, “and we plan to add to it.”
To further its appeal to men, Gilt Man features editorial content such as style and trend tips. “We tell men everything from how to lace their shoes to how to carry a man-bag,” he said. “We’re giving them advice in a voice that will resonate with them.”
Richardson said men like buying on a site such as Gilt since it allows them the “ease of shopping at their desks” without having to go to a store.
Gilt Groupe offers designer and luxury brands at up to 70 percent below regular retail price. Each sale lasts 36 hours and features hand-selected looks from a single designer, with more than 30 designer sales a week. The company, which launched men’s in April 2008, was founded in November 2007 by Alexis Maybank, formerly of eBay, and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, formerly of Bulgari and Louis Vuitton.
Since the men’s launch, Richardson said the top selling items have been sneakers, suits, skin care items, sunglasses and accessories such as jewelry, watches and cuff links.
Men’s is about one-quarter of the privately held company’s business.
In addition to Richardson, whose pedigree includes stints as general manager of Yahoo Finance and Dow Jones Digital, Gilt Man has added John Auerbach as director of merchandising, Richard Mumby as director of category management, and Seth Howard as style editor.