The “see now, buy now” business model is gaining more traction in the fashion industry, and Tamara Mellon is the latest designer to follow suit. On Monday, the Jimmy Choo co-founder relaunched her namesake luxury footwear brand as direct to consumer, following other high-profile designers, including Ralph Lauren and Tom Ford.
“Collection” will include the more accessible, unchanging styles, including sandals, heels, flats, and other signature pieces, whereas “Lab” will focus more on seasonal and trendy styles from the brand’s monthly capsule collections and collaborations.
Mellon converted the eponymous brand she launched in 2012 to this business model in hopes of bringing in a broader range of customers. “I want to redefine luxury and I’m rethinking everything,” Mellon revealed in a press release.
The rebrand is unique in that more than half the styles are priced under $500. The collection is even more affordable than most luxury footwear, with the prices set about 50 percent below the norm. “Shoes shouldn’t cost 6x what it costs to make them, and style shouldn’t be dictated by outdated fashion calendars,” Mellon commented.
Mellon’s becomes one of the first strictly-shoe brands to adopt the new sales model. The brand will disregard the seasonal fashion calendar, opting instead to release new products continuously at its discretion. Because of this, Mellon is optimistic about sales and growth. “People want to shop online and have things delivered to their homes, and they don’t want to look at something they can’t wear tomorrow. They really don’t care about seeing things months in advance,” Mellon told Vogue.
The business strategy has been quite successful so far. Following Burberry’s fall 2016 show at London Fashion Week, the collection sold out online and nearly sold out at its flagship boutique in London. Tommy Hilfiger’s recent collaboration with Gigi Hadid also flew off shelves. The immediacy and accessibility of the strategy transforms mainstream and high fashion.
Whether the model will take off in mainstream retail is still unclear, but it’s undeniable that more and more retailers and attracted to the prospect.