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Home Shopping

Author: Estel Vilaseca

Section: NOTES

Date: 06.2012

 

Internet has become the perfect place for independent designers to give their creations a name. They communicate directly with their clients, without the need for intermediaries that up till now were responsible for placing their products in the best fairs, shops and magazines: the showroom. Taking the initiative themselves, many young designers who find it hard to sell within traditional margins, are simplifying the distance between themselves and the final buyer. All this demonstrates the transformation the retail world is undergoing.

NOTE 01: NEW PLATFORMS FOR EMERGING DESIGNERS

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For the founder of the online platform NOT JUST A LABEL, Stefan Siegel, it’s clear the rules of the game have changed. For him, the classic catwalks, fairs and showrooms are a thing of the past. His virtual space is a window for independent designers from all over the world with a story to tell. A group of buyers trawl the most hidden places on the planet to discover new and emerging proposals. Some of them sell directly on their online shop. NOT JUST A LEVEL gives them the “rails”, but it’s the designers themselves who take charge of the whole process.
The recently created platform LOOKK offers an interesting contribution to the model created by NOT JUST A LABEL: with a selective vocation, selling garments by some of its designers in online pop-up stores. Each one of them immerses us in their own aesthetic with the aim to offer distinct shopping experiences.
For their part, Danish MUUSE recovers, the “made to measure” concept to connect their designers, recruited from the best design schools, with buyers looking for unique and exclusive pieces. They also offer the option to reserve, if a piece has more than 20 petitions, they promise to produce it.

 

NOTE 02: TRANSFORMING THE TRADITIONAL MODEL

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The exclusive online shop LN-CC, created by John Skelton from Oki-Ni offers a hybrid between traditional retail and a new way of communicating fashion on the internet. With an immense physical space, designed by interior designer Gary Card, which is access by invitation only, he transfers this show unit to his virtual headquarters for the rest of the world to see. Along with select and well-known designers, LN-CC also performs the task of curator. And so, alongside Dries Van Noten, Rick Owens or Givenchy, we might find the first collections by Martina Spetlova, Fleet Ilya or Ets Callatay.
FARFETCH, has a much wider and diverse range, offering a virtual environment for the best multi-brand shops to sell their products. House of Liza in London, Jean Pierre Buá in Barcelona or Tenoversix in Los Ángeles are some of the shops taking part in these virtual luxury department stores. The designers it unites are sorted by the categories Lux, Lab and Contemporary.
Within this new turn towards hybrid proposals taken by traditional commerce we mustn’t fail to mention OPENING CEREMONY, that with their online shops, showrooms and powerful platform see the fashion business from a broad and futuristic perspective. For example, their interesting bid in favour of little pop-ups to promote contemporary South American designers and give small brands and new designers a name.

 

NOTE 03: IN DEPARTMENT STORES THERE IS SPACE FOR THE NEW TOO

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Perhaps a sure sign that people are looking for special products is that big fast fashion brands do not hesitate when it comes to complimenting their collections with proposals from young designers. As though returning to poetics, their mainstream spaces leave room for niche demand.
TOPSHOP is perhaps the clearest example of this kind of politics. From their sponsorships at London Fashion Week, through to their capsule collections with Mary Katrantzou or Richard Nicholl or their Emerge section devoted to giving small brands a voice.
For their part, through their Market Place, ASOS offers a meeting place for their clients to buy and sell. In addition to individual sellers there is the offer of independent designers and small multi-brand and vintage stores.

 

NOTE 04: AND WHAT ABOUT IN SPAIN?
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Many new Spanish designers sell their collections via the aforementioned platforms. But what about at home? In Spain the flash sales and dress-for-less (permanent sales) business models have triumphed, but there is very little on offer with an international calling to put across and sell the new.
34’CHIC is perhaps the exception that confirms the rule. With a careful selection of designers Made in Spain: Martin Lamothe, El Colmillo de Morsa, Ida Johansson… the only questionable thing about it is its somewhat cold and unaspirational interface.
Something similar happens with BUYLEVARD, that on top of that is guilty of mixing styles and brands with very different profiles in a haphazard jumble drawer. Alongside Miriam Ponsa, A-Couple, El Suso or Stefania Borrás, we find brands of a much more commercial style and even of dubious taste. Funnily enough we find our most interesting proposal in a magazine.
WE ARE SELECTERS select certain products for us from some of the brands they review; always emergent, always interesting, just like exclusive We Are pieces.

 

Text_ Estel Vilaseca

 

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    Comments

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  2. DressLab / 10.06.12

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