As promised amongst yesterdays suitcase musings, I have some exciting news. With New York Fashion Week starting on Thursday, I’m on my usual routine, preparing for battle. Most seasons I’ve worked on the show circuit have been as a photographer, or a writer (whether for this site or others) – and, let me tell you, it’s a long, hard slog when you have images and copy to deliver and your brain isn’t functioning after running around all day – indeed, I am yet to decipher how people party every night. I’ve also worked one season on a buying team, and can report back that it’s not all a glamourous high-heeled show affair either. Same deal: just this time, you’re going square-eyed in the wee hours of the morning with spreadsheets that will probably be useless in a few months due to designer discretion, some form of production disaster, or competition from other retailers in other parts of the world.
And that’s how it is. Just as magazines battle it out after collection re-sees for first dibs on winning editorial pieces that will shoot well no matter which photographer grandson they hire (VOGUE usually wins), so too do e-tailers. As our digital space morphs to the needs of hungry consumers on the hunt for money-can’t-buy experiences, right now, that nobody else can have (demanding much, guys?), the winners in e-commerce have upped their game beyond a click-to-purchase service to building a lifestyle around their product. Which is the way it should be. It never used to be about the numbers – only the brand. Before the internet and even celebrity as leaked nude photos know it today, designers invested time in cutting out their ideal customer down to the brew of tea they took in the morning, and building some incarnation of aspirational lifestyle around your bag, or shoes, or suit, for that very specific
demographic. The numbers would come when you get that right.
Come 2013, we all fell down a hole of Instagram followers.
The real bottom line in e-commerce then, is that given that it’s impossible to get exclusives on all too many designers every season, what makes your Lanvin necklace so much more worth my dollar than the same one for the same price at the e-tailer next door?
This is what I like about MATCHESFASHION.COM. While their product selection and range of designers spans a substantial spread of categories between contemporary and luxury, every collection is so carefully curated to a wardrobe whose most outrageous of permutations
would cater to any man or woman’s daily tastes depending on how they piece it all together. Inspire that power to personal style with well shot and well-written web and print content on their Style Report, and you have yourself a winning combination with loyal customers – myself included.
If you’ve ever wandered into one of their beautiful London boutique locations, the visual merchandising, the personal service, and the styling advice has been formulated perfectly. Perhaps it’s that grounding in brick-and-mortar that has translated to one of the best online shopping experiences you’ll come by.
That, and the fact that the team couldn’t be lovelier if they tried, which hasn’t changed from when I first worked with them on what is still one of my favourite editorials almost two years ago. So, it’s with great pleasure that I can finally share with you all that I’ll be working with MATCHESFASHION.COM‘s teams as a guest buyer for New York Fashion Week, with a focus to accessories – my second great love after Alex, it seems. As a long-time customer myself, this is surely the highlight of a long time.
See you in New York, team.