Sunday, 15 March 2009

Lagerfeld Believes Web Sales Would Be Bad For Business – 12/2/09

Why is Karl Lagerfeld so intent on keeping luxury shopping from expanding onto the World Wide Web?

Well, Lagerfeld, artistic director for Chanel and designer for Fendi, believes luxury sales and the Internet do not mix. In a recent WSJ Fashion article, he was quoted as saying “the Internet does not convey the unique feel and sophistication of luxury materials, refined tailoring and extraordinary attention to detail found in luxury fashion.” He also added that shopping for high fashion required “a multi-sensory environment.”

But is Lagerfeld’s attitude sabotaging potential sales? Armani, Hermes and Gucci, to name a few, have embraced the Internet and it doesn’t seem to be doing them any harm. And luxury e-commerce sites have proved highly lucrative. These days, luxury labels should be in tune with what customers really do want and then woo them by the best means possible, (with a strong caveat here of always maintaining a high level of service and product representation). And if that means Internet sales, so be it. By offering multiple options, everybody wins – the customers who crave the ‘multi-sensory environment’ can peruse the stores, while others can order their coveted items from the comfort of their own home.

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Melinda O’Rourke is the founder and Director of MO Luxury, a dynamic, Sydney-based management firm specialising in luxury brands and services. Melinda and her associates at MO work with local and international brands across prestige retail, fashion, fine jewellery, timepieces and specialised services. Melinda is well-connected, well-read, and well-versed in the demands of the luxury market and its client base. Her advice is firmly based in objectivity and ultimately, accountability. Melinda offers constructive counsel and both strategic and creative thinking and is able to draw upon a strong network of specialised talent to compliment the MO Luxury team as needed. Melinda enjoys excellent industry relationships and is regularly quoted in the business and fashion media. Read more about MO Luxury,