Online retail has come a long way in the last decade. The luxury segment had shunned it totally initially. It was at the turn on the century that Net-a-Porter proved that you could sell Alexander McQueen gowns and Jimmy Choo heels online and in large enough numbers to be taken seriously by the industry. Gilt Groupe which was launched in 2007 and completely changed the way people shopped online. It brought aspirational luxury online. Designer goods like Christian Louboutin heels and Alexander Wang bags were sold in discounted flash sales. The activity online is increasing and there are entrepreneurs still who are experimenting with new business models and trying to create a space for themselves in a niche.
Edition01 Went Live in November 2011
Estefania Lacayo and Jessica Wilpon Kamel, longtime friends who were pursuing careers in absolutely different fields came together to launch Edition01 that aims to provide the capsule collection experience online. Launched in November 2011, the e-commerce site offers limited edition runs with the likes of Narciso Rodriguez and Donna Karan. It is not a discounted sale as it is not about affordability but exclusivity. The two co-founders of the online venture have gone about implementing their plans with a meticulous precision. Their professional approach has made it a successful launch that seems to have a bright future.
Five Designer Capsule Collections
Estefania and Jessica were in school together and were rather impressed by the exclusive designer collaborations happening at H&M and Target. They were certain about the demand for such limited time collaborations but wanted to supplement it with the craftsmanship that is available only on the designer floor. The idea was in their mind for long but they actually tested the market in 2010 and got a very good response as expected. They then started working on organizing the funding for the venture. They took two months to execute the project after closing the first round of funding and went live in November 2011. They launched the site with five designer capsule collections. They were very careful and strategic in raising the funding. They identified the angel investors with whom they felt they could work and then went to them with their proposal.
Steaming Ahead with Exciting Plans
Then came the designers. Here again they first reached out to those with whom they had relationships with. Yigal Azrouel, Christian Cota, Bibhu Mohapatra, Prabal Gurung were the first who were willing to redefine exclusivity online. The famous New York tailor Martin Greenfield came on board and created his first women’s collection for Edition01. The co-founders admit that social media has played an important role in their success. It is about the mindset of the customer today. They want instant gratification. They are planning to use models with a media reach to push their voice faster. Gilt Groupe has also been trying to diversify in the high priced designer capsule space but the startup is confident of facing up to any competition. Lot of exciting plans are in the pipeline for Edition01. Pertnerships with CFDA, Gwyneth Paltrow and Tracy Anderson should be coming up soon. The two women at the helm of affairs are very optimistic about the future and are confident of facing up to challenges that would come their way.