Art-A-Porter looks to blend the art and fashion worlds online
27.08.2015 292 views
A newly launched e-commerce site wants to turn its customers into walking art galleries.
Montreal-based Art-A-Porter launched earlier this month as a marketplace for professional artists to turn their artistic creations into custom, limited-edition clothing. The company keeps its costs low by not carrying inventory, instead making the items as customers order them.
Founder Louis Moreau says the company isn’t doing paid search advertising or other marketing, instead relying on word of mouth to get the word out. “Our marketing model is based on the notoriety of the different artists and the people that present the artwork, the curators,” he says. “They’re famous artists with large reach.”
This isn’t Moreau’s first venture into selling apparel online. Moreau has spent more than five years as CEO of clothing e-retailer Against Nudity. He tells Internet Retailer that Art-A-Porter is a passion project more than two years in the making.
“We wanted to look at the industry with a different approach,” he says. “We needed to be able to compete with the big names by developing large quantities of novelties on a regular basis but also needed to come up with a product that does not perish after a month or two because of a new, ephemeral trend.”
Moreau says he’s signed up more than 100 artists to showcase their work on the site. Everything on display is a wearable version of a work of art—it can be a sculpture, painting, any kind of artistic creation—that already has been created. Prices start around $120 for a T-shirt, reflecting the quality and the limited edition works of art, he says. Artists make a commission based on sales of their creations through the site.
“There will be no discount model,” Moreau says. “People understand that this is very exclusive and you’re buying a limited-edition service. It’s not going to be able to respect our vision and go with discounts.”
With a significant chunk of Art-A-Porter’s target audience considered mobile-savvy, the company made sure to build its website using the techniques of responsive design, which adapts the site to the device it’s being viewed on. A consumer on a smartphone can scroll vertically one item at a time, whereas the desktop version of the site shows two items across. The mobile iteration also has a different menu. Shoppers must first register their email address with the site before they can view the galleries online.
Moreau’s goal is to do an exhibition of 25 new products every two weeks so that items on the site are consistently changing. He hopes that will encourage shoppers to buy as soon as they see something they like.
“It enables us to compete with people like Zara, who come out with a new line every two weeks,” he says. “Achieving this goal that we are able to create a new exhibition with an artist, we want to be able to talk to those customers on a regular basis. That is why we came up with the membership-only idea.”
Source: Internet Retailer