Gilt Groupe: Fashion Editorial 2.0?

I've always been humored by fashion magazine editorials.  The flouncy dresses, the tragic decadence, the models standing on diving boards holding babies... the punny titles.  How could you not laugh at the squabbling between Wintour and Coddington in The September Issue - knowing how inconsequential the decisions would ultimately be anyway?  I love the idea of the form, but just think it's been driven toward a formulaic endgame over time.  Plus, a lot fashion bloggers are reinterpreting the genre and making it slightly more literal and fun.

But as silly as they may be (at least to me), fashion magazine editorials have historically been the best way to learn about trends and the brands that are defining them. (At least before the Scott Schuman online empire took shape.)

Gilt Groupe, the sudden industry force, offers a very 2.0 iteration (or maybe cousin) of the fashion editorial.  They send out an email blast seven days/week about the new offerings on the site.  These items are dressed up overstock, usually 3-6 months past their sell-by date.  But, they're incredibly well presented, curated even.

The prospect of getting a great deal causes me to click through the pages and become much more intimately acquainted with a brand's seasonal product than I ever could through a one-page magazine ad or the inclusion in a traditional magazine editorial.  The prospect of getting deals makes me visit Gilt far more often than I would go to the online Saks, Neimans, etc.

I get to see snapshots of how Ralph Lauren is trying to bring back the men's double breasted suit (we'll see about that) and the fun that Lanvin is having with sunwear materials and shapes.  Gilt Groupe is the new educator-cum-fancy TJ Maxx of the industry.  (The same could likely be said about Rue La La as well.)

I wonder if over time brands will become more aware of Gilt's power to demonstrate seasonal direction and begin to create small in-season runs created specifically for the site.  Perhaps Gilt will take this evolution further and develop its own in-house team that incorporates styles from each of the daily sales into an editorial shoot?


hadley said...

I like the faux exclusivity - they only offer a few "invitations" per day.

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