Gilt has developed a model of discounted sale of designer products that started a successful trend. Many other startups followed the trend in order to achieve quick success through a tried and tested formula. In fact the market has become crowded and the segment is finding it difficult to remain profitable as the growth in the market is shared by too many players. The luxury brands are also finding that the flash sales model is diluting their exclusivity in the long run and making it that much more difficult to preserve their price integrity. The predicament faced by the luxury brands and designers was an opportunity that encouraged some young entrepreneurs to startup a new model of business online that would ensure full priced retail. We had talked earlier about Edition01 soon after their launch and there are more startups now who are following a similar business model. Moda Operandi and AHAlife are some of the other examples that are following the full priced retail format.
Edition01 which is just over a year old has done very well in the last one year in terms of landing partnerships with some major brands. It has already worked with names like Donna Karan, Anna Sui, Zac Posen and Prabal Gurung and launched their capsule collections created exclusively for the retailer. Along with the high profile collaborations the site has also done sales for vintage handbags and a private label collection of fur vests and scarves. Some people find it difficult to believe how a startup like Edition01 could land all of these designers. Estefania Lacayo, the co-founder of the site has worked for Rent the Runway and ideeli as a consultant and worked with many of these designers for years. The major part of her job profile was designer acquisitions. She has also worked as a retail buyer and had access to many designers. More over the concept was to the liking of the designers; hence it wasn’t difficult at all to convince the designers.
The capsule collections made for Edition01 are generally produced in limited edition not exceeding 80 in number. At the top end, if the item is very expensive jus three pieces are produced. The pricing, relatively speaking are on the higher side. The price tags for dresses are in the range of $1,000 and $2,500. Clutches and jewelry created in exclusive designs are priced in the range of $300 and $600. But Estefania Lacayo realizes the role pricing plays for generating volumes. She already has plans to launch more collections that are priced under $300. She explains that there are many women out there who really appreciates the craftsmanship in a designer dress but cannot afford a dress carrying a price tag of $3,000. Edition01 is working very closely with the designers. They are in touch at different stages of the production cycle. Very often they are present when the designer is selecting fabrics for his or her collection. They are very much a part of the development of a product or a dress. There are more exciting collaborations in the pipeline. Before the end of summer Edition01 is launching a line of sporty leg wear with actor Gwyneth Paltrow and her trainer, Tracy Anderson. The 50th anniversary of the CDFA and the New York Mets will be celebrated through a five designer collaboration and jewelry designer Pamela Love is creating an exclusive collection that will be launched in September.