DIGITAL DUO: Joseph Altuzarra and Matchesfashion.com have collaborated on a capsule collection of the designer’s signature shirtdresses.
“Last summer we had these beautiful [pieces] from Altuzarra that customers were fighting over. I had people crying over the phone because they couldn’t get their hands on them — and we had a few of them,” said Ruth Chapman, who founded the British retailer with her husband Tom, adding: “We just needed more.”
The five silhouettes rendered in five different fabrics “are to go live,” as Tom Chapman put it, on April 27. It’s the same day Matchesfashion is launching its first “digital trunk show,” with Altuzarra introducing the capsule live to shoppers around the globe. According to the retailer, this is only the beginning of how technology can help reach a broader customer base.
“I think one of our biggest challenges is to keep up with technology, but it’s also an opportunity. What technology can bring to you — that’s going to be the next big thing in fashion,” Chapman reasoned.
For Altuzarra, the capsule is a chance to approach his signature pieces in novel ways. “In a bigger collection, you work on different stories. In this case it was a very tight topic, with stripes as the capsule’s common denominator. We worked them on silk in black-and-white stripes and in Lurex for the evening,” the designer teased, adding that the project also lends itself to the see-now, buy-now concept, now trending.
“It’s important to give customers the time to get used to an idea. Even in the age of Instagram people need to mull it over before they buy. Not everything needs to be see-now, buy-now, but different categories can have different strategies,” Altuzarra noted.
The shirtdresses are to retail for between 800 pounds and 1,185 pounds, or $1,136 to $1,683 at current exchange. “This seems to be what our client is happy to spend for a dress she can get a lot of mileage from,” Chapman said.
Matchesfashion.com, which stocks 400 brands, delivers to more than 140 countries. Seventy-five percent of its business is generated internationally, with U.S. as its fastest-growing market, accounting for about 22 percent of total sales. At home in the U.K., the retailer grew about 35 percent in the last quarter, according to Chapman.