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In her first collaboration with designer e-commerce site TheOutnet.com, Anna Sui has created a collection of 15 dresses set to bow on Thursday. The day and party styles in Sui’s signature folksy, floral and geometric prints and the LBDs are priced from $193 to $253. The Outnet is the “little sister” of Net-a-porter, the London-based fashion e-tailer that sells designers such as Lanvin, Yves Saint Laurent, Fendi and Sui’s own collection at full price.
This story first appeared in the March 7, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“We have such a great relationship with Net-a-porter,” said Sui, who is known for combining vintage elements with references to popular culture. “I have quite a following there. The collaboration with TheOutnet.com made the most sense as far as the off-price [designer Web] sites. There’s so many of them out there. TheOutnet.com is more like an outlet vehicle. We’re making special things for TheOutnet.com, so it won’t compete with my regular collection.”
TheOutnet.com, which advertises discounts of up to 70 percent on previous-season merchandise from more than 200 brands, said it receives more than 1 million unique visitors a month. Like all the designer e-commerce sites, TheOutnet.com has been working to get more exclusive merchandise via collaborations with designers and brands. It partnered twice, in 2009 and 2010, with Paul & Joe designer Sophie Albou, who dipped into the archives to reissue the brand’s classic tuxedo jackets, boyfriend shirts and feminine coats and blouses.”
“Collaborations bolster our fashionable offering and allow us to provide customers with more unique, on-trend pieces at great value,” said Stephanie Phair, director of TheOutnet.com. “Anna Sui pulls from different style references. Our customers like to mix and match, so there’s a synergy there. She also produces dresses you know you’ll love wearing again and again. We feel that’s something our customer will appreciate.”
Sui in 2009 won the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement. She created in 2009 a collection for Target’s Designer Collaborations program that was inspired by the TV series “Gossip Girl.” Sui has designed a mobile phone for Samsung and a Barbie for Mattel. The designer, who’s had a long-standing relationship with Anthropologie, last year reissued three archival styles for the retailer under the label Anna Sui X Anthropologie.