WWD.com/globe-news/direct-internet-catalogue/online-treasure-hunt-470206/
government-trade
government-trade

Online Treasure Hunt

Top 10 most-searched-for clothing, shoes and accessories brands on eBay for the seven-day period ended Jan. 15.

View Slideshow

Top 10 most-searched-for clothing, shoes and accessories brands on eBay for the seven-day period ended Jan. 15.

This story first appeared in the January 17, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Fashion is making its mark on eBay, the online auction retailer. “Everybody loves a bargain, but eBay is taking advantage of this trend, where even the chicest people are now wearing $30 tops and carrying $800 handbags,” said eBay style director Constance White. Convenience is another factor. “Say you don’t live near a Neiman Marcus or a Saks — you can log on and find that one item you really covet, especially for those members abroad,” she said. And, finally, there is the element of availability. “You can literally get anything from the $10 T-shirt to the most rarefied, limited edition Balenciaga handbag,” White said. Below, a look at the most-searched-for clothing, shoes and accessories (excluding jewelry and watches) brands on eBay in recent days.

1. COACH
Total searches for the seven-day period ended Jan. 15: 2,485
In a search on Wednesday, there were 24,538 items under “Coach” in the “Clothing, Shoes & Accessories” category. Available products included a new Gallery Patent Leather Tote, the leather Lily satchel and a new Hamptons Signature Mini Wallet. “[Creative director Reed] Krakoff has definitely given it designer cachet,” White said. “Coach…cuts across all kinds of demographics. A 16-year-old can receive this for her birthday as a special gift, but then again, it can be an affordable luxury item for the accomplished Baby Boomer.”

2. GUCCI
Total searches: 1,540
“Gucci consistently ranks highly among the top 10,” White said. “It’s an expensive brand, but it’s a known name. So maybe it’s not as affordable as Coach, but it doesn’t matter, because the name speaks for itself.” The brand does well among male and female consumers. Women can bid on the Signoria Large Hobo bag, and men, on a pair of the line’s black wool dress pants. Gucci creative director Frida Giannini created a special collection for this year’s Summer Olympic Games in China, called the 8-8-2008 Limited Edition, which encompasses eight exclusive accessories with a sporty angle. The Olympics kick off in Beijing on Aug. 8 — and eight is the lucky number in Chinese culture.

3. PRADA
Total searches: 1,326
“Prada is very much about accessories,” White said. “Don’t get me wrong — anything sells from Prada. But there’s a lot more bags, a lot less apparel. The Prada apparel is being bought by a real fashionista, whereas the accessories — handbags, belts, wallets — those are what the majority of people are interested in.” Along the accessories line, the Glace Calf leather shoulder bag in black was available. The Italian luxury goods group said last month that it plans an initial public offering this year. WWD reported, “There had been no decision on how much of the company would be floated. A source close to the deal suggested the move would likely be made in the second half, and that a 30 to 40 percent chunk would go public.” Industry sources valued Prada at 4 billion euros, or $5.95 billion at current exchange, to 5 billion euros, or $7.43 billion.

4. ABERCROMBIE & FITCH
Total searches: 1,019
“This is a brand that is huge with teenagers and young twentysomethings,” White said. Take those age groups online, and you’ve got yourself a win-win situation. “These people are shopping online constantly,” she added. “The college student relies on the Internet, and they are certainly buying their apparel and accessories online. In addition, it’s got the male and female appeal, too.” Women might have their eyes on the pair of A&F 1892 button-fly jeans, and, for young men, perhaps the Southside Trail polo T-shirt up for bid will appeal.

5. JUICY COUTURE
Total searches: 1,007
This Liz Claiborne-owned brand is expanding in the U.S. and overseas. Gela Nash-Taylor, co-founder and co-president, said in November, “By the end of this year, we will have 63 stores in the U.S. and, within 10 years, we’ll have 47 in Asia.” The brand’s celebrity cachet appeals to young consumers. “The users on eBay are flipping through Us Weekly and People and they see a Juicy tracksuit on Jessica [Simpson], or Lindsay [Lohan] carrying a Juicy bag — it’s a really youthful, playful brand, and that in itself speaks volumes to consumers,” White said. Tracksuits and bags abound on eBay, including the Velour Scottie Dog Tracksuit in gray or the Daydreamer Velour Tote bag.

6. HOLLISTER
Total searches: 994
A subsidiary of number-four-ranked Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister is considered a casual clothing line, but with a twist on California surfer style. The brand skews a little younger, toward individuals ages 14 to 18. “Abercrombie and Hollister are so similar in that they attract a younger shopper, but they really are two very different brands,” White said. “Hollister is all about the casual lifestyle. It’s got that cool, college-edged look to it. People want to look relaxed and casual in college — this is a brand they’ll wear.” What’s selling on eBay for Hollister? Items such as the Spring Valley Hoodie for girls, and boys may be interested in the Long Beach T-shirt.

7. BURBERRY
Total searches: 891
“Burberry has such a great pedigree,” White said. “People know this name.” She pointed out that shoppers could be driven by recent ads featuring Kate Moss, who has brought even more visibility to the highly recognized brand. “More than any other names in the top 10, this brand really attracts two very different demographics,” White said. “On the one hand, you’ve got the 55-year-old man who knows Burberry and wants a replacement trenchcoat. Then you have the young fashionista looking for what’s on the runway — she or he will want whatever is new. They want the belt, the bucket hat, you name it.” Indeed, trenchcoats, belts and bucket hats are plentiful on eBay, as well as handbags such as the Nova Check, which features the house’s signature plaid pattern.

8. NIKE
Total searches: 880
It’s not necessarily female consumers who are snatching up the brand’s sneakers — it’s the male consumers. “This might be a surprise to some people, but Air Force 1s are still popular on our site,” White said. “People want that iconic, classic item, and they can still find them on eBay.” She also noted that many purchases have been among consumers from outside the U.S. who are amassing sneaker collections. “This is an ideal case of eBay’s accessibility, its convenience. The consumer in Japan or England wants that pair of sneakers, and he has no access to it,” she said.

9. MARC JACOBS
Total searches: 831
“It has been really interesting to see how Jacobs’ popularity has grown steadily on the site,” White said. “He was such a secret among retailers and editors, but now everyone has Marc, from A-list celebrities to Middle America.” The designer’s own celebrity status has been rising, too. Jacobs launched the Marc Jacobs line in 1986 and, in 2001, he began a sister collection, Marc by Marc Jacobs, which features affordable edgy mass market pieces. Both are consistently among the most-viewed collections for New York Fashion Week on Style.com. Searches for this name may fall under his namesake line or the sister collection, as well. Apparel items on eBay include Marc by Marc Jacobs Whisper Stripe button-up blouse, while the black leather quilted Stam Bag from Marc Jacobs also is available.

10. BEBE
Total searches: 764
“To me, this is the biggest surprise of the top 10,” White said. “But it’s interesting upon reflection because, while it’s not the best-known line in the world, the brand has been signing celebrities recently to heighten its visibility. The celebrity names must be making that impact.” Mischa Barton, who starred in “The O.C.,” has represented the Brisbane, Calif.-based line and, last spring, Eva Longoria of “Desperate Housewives” and Rebecca Romijn of “Ugly Betty” signed to become the next faces of Bebe. The clothing category features items such as Bebe’s tube bubble strapless dress in green or the faux-shearling coat with embroidery in black.

SOURCE: SAN JOSE, CALIF.-BASED EBAY INC.

View Slideshow