There are many places online to get your fashion fix. More experienced fashionistas can go straight to shopping sources to find what they are craving for the season. And, of course, there is the plethora of blogs presenting personalized picks for any style that fits your aesthetic. Then there are the sites that walk the line between editorial and purchasing experiences. Those are probably my favorites. Of my many go-to resources, my daily visits frequently include stops at Net-a-Porter, Vogue.com, and the fun Bergdorf Goodman blog, 5th/58th. For those just beginning to peruse fashion on the web, these are great places to start.
Net-a-Porter changed the face of shopping for fashion on the web. Natalie Massenet’s brilliant concept of combining a magazine experience with e-commerce caught on like wildfire. Not only did she sell clothing and accessories, she showed complete outfits with recommendations of coordinating pieces and the story to go along with the look. And just to explain the value of her entrepreneurial vision for this digital hybrid, her share of the company was sold to luxury conglomerate Richemont two years ago for an estimated £50 million (yes—pounds!!). Take a look, for example, at a spread from this week’s magazine with guest editor Michelle Kessler-Sanders from Vera Wang showing how to shop the trend for pastels and offering some detail tips for embellishing your look for spring.
While many of you may be reading the print edition of Vogue, you may not realize what a fantastic resource its online presence is—and not just for fashion, by the way. With categories like Vogue Daily, Most Wanted, and The Verdict Is In, Vogue.com gives you digestible bites of the latest and greatest. I particularly liked a piece this week that was penned for Mother’s Day. It’s called “In Her Shoes: Six Stylish Daughters on What They Want Most From the Mother’s Closets.” Web-scanning is not always just about shopping—it’s inspiration and getting you to think about using what you own in new, creative ways.
Many sites have taken their cue from the Net-a-Porter model. Bergdorf’s blog has been especially successful in making its merchandise irresistible by adding an editorial spin. Both entertaining and informative, the daily dose of suggestibles is backed up with the why and how.
Take, for example, Bergdorf’s post recognizing May as Melanoma Awareness Month. The company has developed an entire captivating campaign that includes stories, contests, and tips, all revolving around the “Safe Sun” theme—so you are learning, supporting a great cause, and protecting your skin all in one fell swoop! And when the site presents something to purchase, it is so seamlessly integrated, it hardly feels as if you’re shopping!!
I am speaking today at Condé Nast on a fashion panel for Fashion Group International’s Regional Directors Conference about fashion blogging, and will be addressing this topic. I see this as the major direction online for fashion e-commerce sites that want to capture a broader audience. Integrating great content, inspiration, and even philanthropy with the shopping experience is the perfect scenario for the time-starved, upscale audience many of these companies are trying to reach.