Barney’s Designer Mailer Online Catalogue
Are store websites a little too boring to browse to your liking? Do you miss that editorial fashion fantasy that magazines thrive upon and yet website miss upon? Fear no more, there seems to be a new trend emerging on fashion websites.
I’ve been store surfing online looking at the latest holiday collections and came upon Barneys‘ site. Although I seldomly have browsed there, I did noticed that they’ve added a new shoppable editorial magazine. Most websites will have commercial photo shoots of a model wearing the item on sale, however the relationship between viewer and photo is sort of cold and generic in my opinion. Fashion editorials, on the other hand, are highly stylized with different accessories and contain more elaborate backgrounds. They weave a fantasy of eye candy that makes potential shoppers go “oooh…now that’s pretty, and I want it.”
This format of catalogue shopping through editorials is relatively new from what I’ve seen of store websites. Barneys has picked up on the idea and launched their version of it called “Designer Mailer“. This holiday season, Canadian model Coco Rocha is splashed across the catalogue on every page. Whether in Flash or HTML version, users can mouseover certain items that can be directly purchased online. The slightly disadvantaging point is that most of the items sold are accessories like shoes, bracelets, necklaces and bags. Some of the big ticket items like an L’Wren Scott dress are not available online, and can only be found in certain stores. A shame because for me in an editorial, I’d want to have the chance to purchase everything that I see. Call it online boutique hotel-style shopping.
I’m not sure if many shoppers are like me, but my desire to purchase depends greatly on how great the mannequins or models are dressed. I like being in a store where there are styled mannequins. It’s enough to send me finding the exact thing I see. Montreal, alongside Tokyo, in general has very attractive mannequin displays, especially at Simons. I can be sold on a look in seconds, it really doesn’t take much.
Online beauty stores can also apply this method of shopping by allowing users to mouse over a model’s face and imagine buying the very products that they’re looking at. They usually give credits in magazines as to what exactly a model is wearing, but you’d have to dig through the end of the magazine for that. An online beauty store could ideally benefit from this ease of purchase.
Certainly this is an interesting approach from Barneys, but they would need to work on refining the editorial shop just to make it a little more user-friendly. One advantage over Net-a-porter is having real physical stores in several locations (unfortunately only across America). I think The Gap & co. could use this kind of online business model as they have several brands and they could need the boost. I expect to see similar editorial shops to pop up in the near future.
Image credit: Barneys’ website