Piperlime has overhauled its Web site by reengineering the merchandise mix, integrating social media into shopping and updating its marketing.
“We got rid of the lime logo and are going with a subtle green,” said Lexi Tawes, Piperlime’s vice president and general manager.
That’s just the come-on to a host of changes to the Piperlime Web site, to be unveiled on Monday.
As part of the revamp, the first-ever in-house Piperlime Collection, consisting of 68 pieces priced from $34 to $170, will launch in September on piperlime.com and in Piperlime’s only store, which is in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood at 121 Wooster Street.
About 70 percent of the overall Piperlime offering is different from what it was before, according to Tawes. “It’s not necessarily all about the labels we are carrying or not carrying. It’s what we are choosing from the labels. We want to make sure we are differentiating,” Tawes said. She believes retailers carry brands without editing or “curating” them enough to enable their own brand identity to shine through.
“We’re curating brands to tell a whole story,” said Jamie Lewin, director of design and trend.
Both executives were brought on board within the last year to rev up the Web site, a unit of Gap Inc.
Tawes noted a sharper focus and edit around “contemporary feminine style” and a significant shift in the matrix away from brands frequently found in department stores to those more typically sold in small boutiques, though several important labels continue to be carried such as Current/Elliott, Mother, J Brand, Rebecca Taylor, Rebecca Minkoff, Clare Vivier and Loeffler Randall.
Key brands just added or about to be in the next few months are Nonoo, Elizabeth and James, Laveer, Ethe by Vanessa Bruno, Cynthia Rowley, Drew, Elizabeth Cole, Zoe Karssen, LNA, Duffy, Karina Grimaldi, DWP and Kenneth Jay Lane.
The matrix is also being reengineered to “emulate the way people dress with a lot of high and low prices,” to suggest greater value, and to show merchandise that is versatile enough to wear to work and into the evening, Tawes said. Three weeks ago, a feature on the Web site called “16-Hour Style” was introduced.
The logo was changed to “mirror the more contemporary feel of the brand,” Tawes noted, by shedding the lime and the script lettering, and introducing a subtle green and lettering all in caps.
There have also been technology advancements, with Piperlime shoppers having the ability to shop products directly off Instagram and Street Style images provided by its own team and from consumers.
In addition, Olivia Palermo will have a larger role on the site as a style authority, and other bloggers and influencers are being added to the product pages to show outfitting opportunities and complement Palermo’s voice.
Starting Monday, there will be a series of pages for advice and tips starting with model Chrissy Teigen, who will be followed by socialite Poppy Delevingne, designer Claire Vivier, bloggers Julia Engel of Gal Meets Glam, musician ZZ Ward, Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar and others. Additional inspiration will come from customers sharing their ideas via social media.
Lewin is heading up Piperlime Collection. She said it will offer a “mix of covetable pieces that every contemporary woman needs in her wardrobe” and will be “a direct expression of the Piperlime design sensibility.”
The proliferation of fashion Web sites has made it difficult for most to stand out and generate profits. But Tawes told WWD, “Our business has been really strong. The push behind these changes is that we see the consumer utilizing the digital space in more ways than we felt we were meeting her needs. We are creating a brand with a lot more energy and facets to it. Social media with shopping is now at the center of our brand. How she shops is as important as what she is buying.”
Asked who the Piperlime woman is, Tawes responded, “We really go beyond an age bracket. It’s more about a psychographic — people interested in looking great and who have an affinity for contemporary style. It’s more an attitude and how you live your life.
“We have refined our strategy over the last nine months. This is a transformation. We are excited to push Piperlime into the forefront of the digital shopping space.”
“Shopping is changing. People are really looking at bloggers and social media,” added Lewin.
Piperlime does not disclose financial results or its traffic figures. Its financial numbers are integrated into those of Gap Inc. Piperlime reports into Gap Inc.’s growth, innovation and digital division, headed by Art Peck.