Runway Shopping Site Moda Operandi: The E-Commerce Future?

It’s almost here. The moment you (okay, those of you who got an invite) have all been waiting for. The much-anticipated launch of Moda Operandi, the exclusive runway shopping site from Vogue‘s Lauren Santo Domingo and CEO Aslaug Magnusdottir (former head of merchandising at Gilt Noir), is just around the corner. This luxe shopping site will offer its members the chance to flash-shop the runway shows of such primo designers as Calvin Klein, Proenza Schouler and Derek Lam just 48 hours after their presentations. The fashion-obsessed can then place their orders for any of the pieces in the collection (not just the items that buyers like), pay 50% of the cost up front and — voila! — four months later, the items arrive on their doorsteps. The possibilities for scoring Balenciaga whilst in one’s bathrobe are endless.

Moda Operandi will also have a seasoned personal shopper on hand who knows the collections inside and out. You’ll never be caught without that perfect frock for a house party in Marrakesh ever again! In addition, MO will keep track of the fabulous pieces you’ve bought in past seasons, so they can be paired with the separates and accessories du jour.

The jury’s still out on whether full-on “pretail” (as Santo Domingo has termed it) is the next wave in online shopping, but MO will certainly close the gap between the time an item goes from the runway to the closet rack. It will also give designers a clear insight into what’s hot (and what’s not) for the coming season.

Amidst all of the Fashion Week madness, Magnusdottir and Santo Domingo (recently dubbed “the next Mrs. Astor” by Town & Country) graciously took time to share their thoughts on the site’s first shows, shoes and the future of online fashion.

Styleite: How were the first two shows — Alexander Wang and Carolina Herrera — selected?
LSD: We chose designers that generate the most excitement during Fashion Week. As you can see, we have a great mix of emerging and established designers out there, but what they all have in common is that they are the best of the best.
AM: We are starting with New York-based designers. By starting with Alexander Wang and then featuring Carolina Herrera the next day, we immediately give our members a flavor of the breadth of designers we will be featuring on the site.

Styleite: Which designer are you most excited about, or which one is most unexpected?
LSD: I am excited about all of them. I’m really excited about our shoe selection…Giambatista Valli and Narcisco Rodriguez are both launching runway shoe collections. And then there are the new designers like Nicholas Kirkwood and Charlotte Olympia who are the most innovative shoe designers in the world. All the front-row editors are wearing them.
AM: The designers have all been hand selected by our team so I am thrilled about each and every one of them. In particular, I am excited to introduce our members to some very talented emerging designers including Prabal Gurung, Thakoon and Waris Ahluwalia of House of Waris.

Styleite: Which designer do you hope to get on board for the future?
LSD: We are constantly adding new designers.
AM: There are many wonderful designer brands that we hope to add to MO.

Styleite: What additional features will Moda Operandi offer in version 2.0?
LSD: In addition to our editorial content, we hope to add new, insider videos that we will shoot in the off-season. In addition, we are going to add new tools to organize one’s wardrobe. Think Cher in the movie Clueless.
AM: On our website we plan to offer a virtual closet where members can see all of the items they have ordered on the site. Members can use the virtual closet to organize their wardrobe, and they can even seek the assistance of our personal stylists to help with this. We will also be launching smartphone and tablet apps later this year.

Styleite: How do accessories, shoes and bags fit in?
LSD: They fit perfectly! Who doesn’t love to order shoes online?
AM: In many cases, we will be featuring shoes, bags and accessories as part of the runway looks of the ready-to-wear designers we are working with. Additionally, we are working with a number of designers that specialize in designing shoes and/or accessories. Many of these designers will be featured in between the four main ready-to-wear collections each year so that there is always something new on the site.

Styleite: Where is online luxury retail headed?
LSD: All luxury brands are going to have to embrace the internet. It’s just a question of how they do it. Moda Operandi is a great place for these venerable brands to go online, interact with an elite customer, but maintain their exclusivity.
AM: Online retail is becoming increasingly important to the luxury fashion landscape. As technology improves, the online shopping experience will become even easier and more enjoyable than it is today, giving consumers more options than ever. MO is proud to be part of this luxury retail revolution.

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