NEW YORK — The latest luxury e-commerce destination is for members only — members looking to spend big bucks.
Today will see the launch of Jessica Martino’s Clique Chic, a site billed by the eBay, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Vogue alum as an “online version of Bergdorf Goodman” that sells wares from designers such as Giambattista Valli, Derek Lam, Rochas and Peter Pilotto.
She referenced the Fifth Avenue department store during an interview, noting that although Bergdorf’s sells online, the “history and experience that is world-renowned is not what you experience on their Web site.”
“Luxe fashion online is no different than shopping for consumer electronics on Amazon,” Martino told WWD of her current take on the category in the digital space. “It’s [selling] luxury product using a mass-market approach.”
For her, in order to provide a luxury experience in an online environment, customization is paramount.
Upon arrival at cliquechic.com, the site asks potential members to fill out a detailed eight-question survey about their style, body type and size down to the brands in their closet, colors they dislike and fabrics they won’t wear. This allows a stylist from the e-tailer to create a customized experience for the potential member — including making sure apparel will fit the member’s body (they give them the actual size, not just a style conversion chart).
If they make the cut, that is.
If one passes the vetting process and is permitted to become a member — what Martino said is making sure the applicant is indeed a luxury shopper based not on income, but on what brands she already has in her closet — they are granted access to styling and merchandising via the site or phone and free next-day shipping. There is no membership fee.
It’s not a given that anyone who fills out a profile will become a member. Nor is the process just a marketing ploy; Martino insisted that the goal isn’t trying to get consumers to sign up to get their e-mail addresses.
She has set the target of getting 45,000 members this year that she projects will generate just under $5 million in sales for the year.
The venture, which launched in beta in September with 12 brands, has fewer than 1,000 members. Martino raised $350,000 from family and friends (she personally invested $150,000) and is in the process of raising a seed round of about $1 million.