Customers can now find clothing designed by their favorite rapper just one click away.
NEW YORK — The rush of hip-hop artists to emblazon their names on apparel recalls fashion’s frenzy to get online not too many years ago.
So it seems fitting that just five months into its life, the Eminem-inspired fashion brand Shady Ltd. has launched an e-commerce site. The site, which went live Aug. 19 at shadyltd.com, joins the ranks of Rocawear, Baby Phat and JLo by Jennifer Lopez as urban brands with a presence in cyberspace, as well as suburbia.
“We expect it to generate a lot of revenue,” said Joseph Burke, Shady’s executive vice president of sales and merchandising.
Burke declined to project the share of business the Web site might produce, but he claimed Shady’s “construction site” online had drawn 45,000 users who registered to join its e-mail list during the site’s first three days — apparently banking on that enthusiasm to translate into sales transactions online.
Burke also cited plans for product placements on TV and in movies to draw people to the site, along with marketing moves like outfitting the Detroit Lions (“Em’s favorite team”) in Shady styles and slapping the brand’s logo on Shady artists’ tour buses.
Shady’s initial online assortment comprises about 70 stockkeeping units, including T-shirts, woven tops, jeans, activewear, sweat bands, hoodies and hats. In six months or so, the range will be expanded slightly and will include online exclusives, but Burke said he wants to keep it tight so that it’s easy for the brand’s mostly male, 15- to 24-year-old customer to shop it.
“We’ve had a nice crossover business with girls who buy the items in small and medium sizes,” he noted.
The shopping portion of the Shady Ltd. Web site was designed and is operated by eFashion Consulting, an e-commerce provider formed in 2001, with sales of $5 million in 2002 and $15 million projected this year. Clients include Eve’s Fetish apparel, Bow Wow’s Shago label, Baby Phat, J.Lo, Rocawear and XOXO.
Typically, it takes between 30 and 90 days for eFashion to get an e-commerce site running, at a cost of $50,000 to $75,000, said company president Jennifer Silano Foy. Inventory fulfillment is handled by the e-commerce provider, as well, from a 22,000-square-foot warehouse in Carlstadt, N.J., which carries an average of about 200 items for its nine clients now live online.
“You’d think I’d be a bazillionaire by now, with my fashion contacts and people’s interest in the Internet,” Foy mused. But with the dot-com bust, weak economy and horror show some experienced selling online years ago, she added, “The fashion brands have been scared to try e-commerce. Just this year, I’m seeing an increase in interest.”
Many of eFashion’s 68 employees are former staffers at Calvin Klein, Foy’s last stop on Seventh Avenue before forming the e-commerce consultancy with three partners: husband Edward Foy, brother Steven Silano and Tim Smith. Additional financing for the firm is provided by 10 silent partners.
Jennifer Silano Foy’s 11-year career in fashion began in fashion jewelry sales and merchandising at the Nordstrom store at the Garden State Plaza in Paramus, N.J. After that, she made stops at Rio Jeans, Bill Blass and CK Jeans.
“I wanted to stay in fashion, but get out of sales,” Foy said of her route online. “I loved computers, and e-commerce intrigued me.”