DIGITAL

Are We There Yet?

by

Libby Banks

|

This is the featured image caption
Credit: This is the featured image credit

Has the future of luxury ecommerce finally arrived?

Over the last decade, collaborations between luxury brands and contemporary artists have gone beyond mere artistic partnerships towards a new kind of luxury branding.

PARIS – Art and fashion have always developed side by side, for fashion, like art, often gives visual expression to the cultural zeitgeist. During the 1920s, Salvador Dalí created dresses for Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiapparelli. In the 1930s, Ferragamo’s shoes commissioned designs for advertisements from Futurist painter Lucio Venna, while Gianni Versace commissioned works from artists such as Alighiero Boetti and Roy Lichtenstein for the launch of his collections. Yves Saint Laurent’s vast art collection, recently auctioned at Christie’s in Paris, testified to his great love of art and revealed the influence of a variety of artists on his own designs.

In the 1980s, relationships between luxury brands and artists were advanced when Alain Dominique Perrin created the Fondation Cartier. In the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, a book marking the foundation’s 20th anniversary, Perrin says he makes “a connection between all the different sorts of arts, and luxury goods are a kind of art. Luxury goods are handicrafts of art, applied art.”

The Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemparain building in Paris

Has the future of luxury ecommerce finally arrived?

Ecommerce may have existed for more than a decade now, but recent launches and acquisitions beg the question: has it finally made an indelible mark on the luxury sector? A company slow to embrace the transactional website concept is department store Selfridges, but its pristine new site demonstrates the potential when it comes to synching the in-store and online experience.

Site creators Salmon have attempted to deliver an online encounter that mimics the in-store experience as close as possible. Each brand has its own room on the site and these brand boutiques give international designers a space to invite visitors to explore their world – and undoubtedly offer a sense of control to those brands that remain skeptical about selling via a department store on the web. Taking the lead from the store’s Wish Room, customers can also add items to their own wish rooms, where they can then see the items they have picked displayed as outfits on mannequins.

Mastercard SpendingPulse results for March demonstrated a huge hike in both luxury and online spending. Bain & Co reported that online luxury sales, although still a small part of the market, are expected to continue their double-digit growth. In 2009, global online sales grew 20%, a trend Bain said was fuelled by “luxury shame”.

But an even greater indicator of this firming mood is Richemont’s acquisition of online retailer Net-a-Porter. In purchasing the UK company, Richemont became the first major luxury conglomerate to buy a multi-brand virtual store. How this will affect web strategy for the rest of the Richemont’s businesses is unclear, but what’s certain is that the luxury industry’s involvement with ecommerce has been taken up a fair few notches.

Sources
Wealth Bulletin – 16 April 10
New Media Age – 15 April 10
Reuters – 7 April 10
Financial Times – 4 April 10

Libby Banks
Libby Banks

Associate Editor

Bio Not Found

DIGITAL

Are We There Yet?

by

Libby Banks

|

This is the featured image caption
Credit : This is the featured image credit

Has the future of luxury ecommerce finally arrived?

Over the last decade, collaborations between luxury brands and contemporary artists have gone beyond mere artistic partnerships towards a new kind of luxury branding.

PARIS – Art and fashion have always developed side by side, for fashion, like art, often gives visual expression to the cultural zeitgeist. During the 1920s, Salvador Dalí created dresses for Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiapparelli. In the 1930s, Ferragamo’s shoes commissioned designs for advertisements from Futurist painter Lucio Venna, while Gianni Versace commissioned works from artists such as Alighiero Boetti and Roy Lichtenstein for the launch of his collections. Yves Saint Laurent’s vast art collection, recently auctioned at Christie’s in Paris, testified to his great love of art and revealed the influence of a variety of artists on his own designs.

In the 1980s, relationships between luxury brands and artists were advanced when Alain Dominique Perrin created the Fondation Cartier. In the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, a book marking the foundation’s 20th anniversary, Perrin says he makes “a connection between all the different sorts of arts, and luxury goods are a kind of art. Luxury goods are handicrafts of art, applied art.”

The Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemparain building in Paris

Has the future of luxury ecommerce finally arrived?

Ecommerce may have existed for more than a decade now, but recent launches and acquisitions beg the question: has it finally made an indelible mark on the luxury sector? A company slow to embrace the transactional website concept is department store Selfridges, but its pristine new site demonstrates the potential when it comes to synching the in-store and online experience.

Site creators Salmon have attempted to deliver an online encounter that mimics the in-store experience as close as possible. Each brand has its own room on the site and these brand boutiques give international designers a space to invite visitors to explore their world – and undoubtedly offer a sense of control to those brands that remain skeptical about selling via a department store on the web. Taking the lead from the store’s Wish Room, customers can also add items to their own wish rooms, where they can then see the items they have picked displayed as outfits on mannequins.

Mastercard SpendingPulse results for March demonstrated a huge hike in both luxury and online spending. Bain & Co reported that online luxury sales, although still a small part of the market, are expected to continue their double-digit growth. In 2009, global online sales grew 20%, a trend Bain said was fuelled by “luxury shame”.

But an even greater indicator of this firming mood is Richemont’s acquisition of online retailer Net-a-Porter. In purchasing the UK company, Richemont became the first major luxury conglomerate to buy a multi-brand virtual store. How this will affect web strategy for the rest of the Richemont’s businesses is unclear, but what’s certain is that the luxury industry’s involvement with ecommerce has been taken up a fair few notches.

Sources
Wealth Bulletin – 16 April 10
New Media Age – 15 April 10
Reuters – 7 April 10
Financial Times – 4 April 10

Libby Banks
Libby Banks

Associate Editor

Bio Not Found

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