LONDON — British fine jewelry label Stephen Webster is set to launch e-commerce on Sept. 1.
The online retail platform will be open to customers across the U.K. and will stock the label’s silver and fine jewelry collections, including signature lines such as “Fly by Night,” known for its romantic, butterfly-shaped pieces, or “Lady Stardust,” which stands out for its geometric shapes inspired by Ziggy Stardust.
Webster explained that the brand’s success with online retailers such as Net-a-porter prompted him to launch the brand’s own platform.
“Without a doubt, our collaboration collection with Tracey Emin ‘I Promise to Love You’ launched exclusively on Net-a-porter, demonstrated to us the power and reach of a good e-commerce platform and campaign,” the designer told WWD. “We realize that we have a lot to do to be able to provide a service that can in any way compare to the pillars of the digital retail world, but we are confident that we have a place in this world and look forward to further communicating the storytelling that surrounds our collections through the new site.”
The signature collections will be available to buy in their entirety online for the first time, while customers will also be able to make inquiries to the in-house sales team or use the site’s new click-and-collect feature to purchase items from Webster’s salon, located on Mount Street.
The site is operated by e-commerce platform Magento, which offers mobile optimization and allows for a quick, two-step checkout process. Prices range from 700 pounds, or $924, for a pair of “Fly by Night” diamond earrings to 68,950 pounds, or $91,086, for a white gold and diamond cuff.
According to Webster, customers have become more prone to buying high-priced pieces online. “We’ve ceased to be surprised at the seeming lack of boundaries and the complexity of the pieces we now sell online. One of our bestsellers is the ‘Fly by Night’ crystal haze ring, which at 6,950 pounds [or $9,181] would have been considered to be a physical sale historically. Nowadays, it’s more difficult to predict the pieces people want to touch and those they are happy to buy online through trusted e-commerce platforms.”
The web site also places a focus on social media, by incorporating real-time integration of the company’s Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter accounts and also giving customers the opportunity to shop directly from Webster’s Instagram feed, a visual diary which captures the label’s jewelry against eye-catching backdrops from across the world and on celebrity fans.
Editorial content, from videos to short stories written by Webster to narrate the journey of designing a new collection, will also be an integral part of the site.
“Stories and our product are inextricably linked. We don’t ever start designing a collection without a story and our client loves to hear these — in fact I’m writing a short story that will accompany a new collection launching next year. We see e-commerce as the perfect platform to communicate this,” Webster added.
The designer always had a penchant for storytelling. He published his first book last December, which chronicles his journey as a jeweler and also features original poetry.
Webster plans to open the site to the U.S. market, which is the brand’s biggest selling market, later this year.
Last May, the brand also opened the doors to a private salon on Mount Street, which is discreetly located on the street with no front door or obvious presence in order to create an intimate experience for one-on-one appointments with clients.