The Outnet.com is venturing into physical retail territory in an effort to connect with existing customers, meet new ones and raise awareness and interest in the fashion outlet in general through programs bowing in New York today and Melbourne, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore next month. Following that, the Outnet will hit Los Angeles and Miami.
“The activations are really important,” said Andres Sosa, executive vice president of the Outnet. “We’re a pure-play digital retailer. For us to be able to bring the off-line world to the online world and offer an additional touch point is exciting.”
The Outnet’s nerve center through Friday is NeueHouse Madison Square in Manhattan. Tom Ford’s ready-to-wear — offered for the first time on the Outnet — is being highlighted along with holiday party wear and rtw from Chloé, Roberto Cavalli, Edie Parker, Saint Laurent and Dolce & Gabbana, among others.
Besides showcasing new styles from existing brands, “this is also an opportunity for us to introduce Iris & Ink, which doesn’t have an off-line point of reference because it’s exclusive to us,” Sosa said of the in-house brand whose holiday capsule and spring 2017 collection are being previewed. Iris & Ink continues to grow; shoes were launched last season. “It’s in the top five brands,” Sosa said, “which is a massive achievement compared with the huge global brands on the site.”
A press event today kicks off the e-tailer in residence program at NeueHouse, which was chosen as a venue for its like-minded membership base that shares an interest in art and culture with the Outnet’s consumer.
Garance Doré is hosting before an audience a live recording of her podcast, “Pardon My French,” featuring Phillip Lim with the discussion ranging from fashion trends to Lim’s personal life. As the sponsor of “Pardon My French,” the Outnet has been hosting clips on the web site and offering promotions to Garance’s listeners. A dinner tonight in the NeueHouse library will benefit Glam4Good.
The program tomorrow continues with a preview of the Outnet’s seasonal offerings for local influencers and social media personalities. The Outnet is partnering with Grand Classics, which celebrates the power of film by inviting actors and others to introduce films that touched them. Ethan Hawke will introduce his pick, “Minnie and Moskovitz,” at the screening for guests from the worlds of fashion, media and film, and top customers.
Friday is reserved for those consumers to shop the party wear edit before it goes live on the site. The Outnet chose customers from its Front Row loyalty program membership base using an algorithm that takes into account metrics other than spending on the site such as frequency, Sosa said.
In Dubai last week, Sosa met with consumers; the Outnet was a sponsor of the Emirates Woman of the Year Awards. The next leg of the road trip starts on Nov. 7 with visits to Sydney and Melbourne.
“We’re taking a 360-degree approach in Australia,” Sosa said, noting that besides events for customers, he’ll participate in two panel discussions. “We’re also doing a public relations push,” he said. “We’re doing more events with influencers.”
Sosa plans to travel to Hong Kong on Nov. 16 and Singapore, Nov. 17, where the Outnet’s form of outreach and stroking existing will continue. “Even though the blueprint may sound similar, we adapt it to the specific market. There’s an element of VIP, press and new customer acquisition in new markets,” he said. “We ship to 170 countries and focus on the top 10 markets. We know it’s a competitive space. It’s important to resonate locally with everything we do. Our main objective is to increase brand awareness.”