THINKAMERICAN IN DEAL WITH PURPLESKIRT.COM
Byline: Peter Braunstein
NEW YORK — Thinkamerican, the fledgling fashion portal that aims to market American designers to Japanese consumers, has just announced a partnership with PurpleSkirt.com, the e-commerce site launched in November 1999 by comedian Tracey Ullman, Hollywood producer Stephanie Cone and Jeannine Braden, a Hollywood stylist and owner of Fred Segal Flair.
According to the agreement, PurpleSkirt.com will have its own e-boutique on thinkamerican in April, following the launch of the thinkamerican portal, now slated for late March, giving Japanese Web consumers a generous sampling of PurpleSkirt’s offerings, which include designers such as Marc Jacobs, Katyone Adeli, William B. and Cacharel.
“Tracey Ullman is crazy about Japanese culture and everything Japanese,” said Heidi Rustin, thinkamerican’s vice president of sales. “She’s been saying to her PurpleSkirt team all along, ‘we’ve got to reach Japan,’ and when when they discovered us, it all came together.”
Added Stephanie Cone, chief executive officer of PurpleSkirt.com: “Ever since we launched in 1999, we received requests from women in Japan wanting to buy from our site. Once we started looking for a partner, thinkamerican really fit the picture.”
Cone noted that, although the financial terms of the agreement haven’t been finalized, the deal will involve a revenue split as well as a fee for translating PurpleSkirt into Japanese. At least half of Purpleskirt’s inventory will be represented in its thinkamerican boutique, Cone estimated. “We’re also hoping to offer not just the store, but content as well — such as advice from Hollywood stylists and such,” she added. Rustin said she expects the PurpleSkirt boutique will be up and running by April, when thinkamerican is launching its Japanese promotional campaign, and is excited about the opportunities associated with a celebrity affiliation. “Tracey specifically said she’d like to lend her weight to promoting the venture,” she said.
PurpleSkirt will join a growing cast of indie e-tail players who also are mounting boutiques on the thinkamerican site, including Steve Madden, Cynthia Rowley, handbag maker Inca, outerwear and sportswear label Searle, skateboarding apparel-and-accessory outfitter Blades Boards and Skates, footwear firm Flip Flop Trunk Show and Girlshop.com.