When online shopping first reared its tempting head, the cynical among us said it would never work. “We won’t be able to try it on! How will we know if it fits?” Fast forward ten years and the first online designer boutique, net-a-porter sells its success for over 50 million. So it seems unsurprising that the world of online basket filling should progress and continue to pander to our 21st century desires of instant gratification.
The latest, Moda Operandi, is an online luxury site that showcases designers’ collections straight after their shows, all with the ease of a mouse click. The site was set up by American Vogue contributing editor Lauren Santo Domingo, and “fashion’s fairy godmother” Aslaug Magnusdottir.
“I had many experiences where I would fall in love with a dress on the catwalk and then discover it was never produced. This is the reason, in most cases, we offer members the ability to pre-order from entire unedited collections and, by doing so, we empower them to make their own buying decisions rather than having to choose from the limited selection assembled by store buyers,” Santo Domingo says.
This new way of buying was set up a year ago and boasts more than 100,000 members across Britain, Asia, Europe and America. The aim of which allows customers first pickings of what once was a very secular, celebrity led arena, and instead lets them make all the buying decisions.
At Burberry, Christopher Bailey is leading the way by selling clothes straight from the catwalk. Two years ago the brand was the first to live-stream their show to online viewers worldwide. More recently they made their entire collection ready to buy and receive within weeks of purchase; a concept literally unheard of before now.
But as Magnusdottir points out, this way of buying has not caught on completely. “The majority of designer brand currently don’t finalise pricing and various production decisions in advance of their shows, making instant shopping not always possible. But I do believe that more designers will start finalising these decisions in advance to capitalise on the opportunity and demand for immediate purchasing.”
Most astoundingly is the potential business ventures like this have to grow and transform the way we shop forever. Experts at The Future Laboratory predict we aren’t too far away from designers setting up computer programs to enable customers to customise a garment to their personal preference, before having it delivered right to their door. At this rate, our only excuse for venturing outside the house will be to show off our exceptionally current, rapidly delivered new items.