BAZAAR GETS SITE-SPECIFIC
Byline: Janet Ozzard
NEW YORK — “It’s all about shopping,” said Kate Betts, editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar. That’s the fundamental philosophy of the magazine’s newly launched Web site, harpersbazaar.com.
“It contains all the information that’s in the magazine, but elaborates on it,” she said. And Betts, who feels that shopping has always been the guiding force and primary motivator for the fashion-minded population, thinks the site has a lot to offer, not just for Bazaar subscribers but for Web browsers in general.
But Betts and Francesca Castagnoli, senior editor of online at Bazaar, say the site will be “very fashion forward,” giving direction, trends and highly edited runway coverage, rather than bargain-hunting tips or get-this-look-for-less features.
“The philosophy of the site was to provide a fashion utility,” said Castagnoli, who said the project, which was built internally, took about six months to conceive and construct. For instance, parts of the site can be downloaded onto hand-held devices like Palm Pilot and Handspring, and shopping guide pages have been designed to print out cleanly.
Content won’t be simply lifted from the magazine and plunked onto the site, said Castagnoli; it would be expanded in some way, or entirely new. For example, Helen Ytuarte, a Bazaar contributor who lives in Hong Kong and travels frequently, will give her inside scoop on various cities she visits.
Users can browse the site for news, editor’s picks and shopping suggestions. If they want to focus on fashion, there are different directions to take: short, tongue-in-cheek quizzes tell users which current trend best suits their personality. (Sample question: Whose fashion philosophy most reflects your own? Select one: Alber Elbaz for Yves Saint Laurent, Tom Ford for Yves Saint Laurent, Yves Saint Laurent for Yves Saint Laurent).
“We’re offering ideas,” said Castagnoli. “We’re not saying, ‘You have to buy this $23,000 Fendi jacket.’ We’re saying, this is what’s happening, what’s relevant.”‘
Parts of the site will be updated daily, weekly and monthly, she said, including humorous daily fashion horoscopes. While there’s no e-tail component specifically on the site, users can link to selling sites through shopbazaar, a component of the site run by the magazine’s publishing arm.