Spotting Fabsugar’s tweet this morning – a poll on Should All Luxury Brands be Available Online – and racing to take my dogs out and get to work, I was pulled to answer, because to my mind one word here is out of place. ‘Should’. You may say that this is subjective and that everyone has a right to their own view (and of course they do) but it’s a bit like asking ‘Should the car take over from the horse and carriage?’ – because the question should be ‘Will’ not ‘Should’ – the answer is Yes, and the horse has already bolted.
Consider that brands such as Louis Vuitton, Dior, Gucci, Kenzo, Prada, Loewe and more already have their own dedicated e-shopping websites, and that Balenciaga, Versace, Marc Jacobs, Chloe, Donna Karan, Oscar de la Renta, Halston, Bottega Veneta, Roberto Cavalli (the list goes on and on) are available from stores such as Browns Fashion, Net-a-Porter, Matches and others and you begin to wonder just who isn’t yet on the roll call of those who have taken the plunge to offer their wares online.
Having attended IMRG’s members’ meeting yesterday and listened to the astonishing increases in online shopping figures it’s quite obvious that every brand, luxury or otherwise, will be online in the not too distant future, either through dedicated websites or (most probably and/or) through luxury department stores or they will severely miss out on the retail revolution and the potential for fast growth in demand at a time when offline retail is still for the most part having a tricky time.
It doesn’t really matter who says what, or what you and I think, the money men behind the luxury fashion businesses we know and love, even if we can only afford their fragrance or lipsticks, are fast becoming aware that to find their potential global reach they have to be online and soon if they’re not already there.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you’ll soon be able to buy a Chanel suit or Dior evening gown online any time soon, I think that’s unlikely right now. However the luxury fashion stores are offering clothes and accessories by their ‘superbrand’ designers already and as far as accessories, fragrance and cosmetics go for the rest it’s already a done deal and clothing may well follow. Watch this space……..