and the future of fashion etail

When I met Jasper Conran prior to his last London Fashion Week show, I was taken aback by his business savvy and in particular his plans for the Jasper Conran website and blog. In contrast to the likes of Alber Elbaz (who “sees internets every morning” but doesn’t have an email address) Conran has grasped that in fashion 3.0, designers and brands need to properly engage with their customers, often in real time, and offer them a deeper connection to the essence of what they’re all about. Conran spoke of plans to make a ‘living archive’, while newer designers like J.W. Anderson and David Szeto also get – and enjoy – the new desire for real-time updates and behind the curtain insights through blogs, tweets and even video content.

Next month, Thakoon relaunches and it looks like a blueprint for the future of fashion etail websites. According to the press release, we can expect “a voyeuristic glimpse into the mind of Thakoon, a designer fascinated by art, imagery and the creative process. The site will feature a social media landing page allowing fans a way to instantly connect to the brand’s Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter pages all in one area… Each medium will be heavily imagery-based, focusing on those people, places and things that inspire Thakoon’s signature design aesthetic.”

Not only that, but fly on the wall ‘webisodes’ will follow Thakoon, documenting his design processes and creative decision-making. Clearly, times are changing and the days when designers shut themselves away in their ateliers and let the art speak for itself is over. Customers want to meet the designers, get to know them and have a dialogue with them. Ecommerce sites need engaging content to keep customers returning (hence the growth of ‘edvertorial‘ but that’s another blog post). I’ll be keeping a close eye on – launching on 13th February with the live streaming of his NYFW show – as I hope it lives up to my expectations. Watch this space…