WILL THE HOUSES of the future be decorated entirely via online shopping? A number of luxury e-tailers are bolstering their home offerings, betting on customer eagerness to buy these items with just one click. Today, fashion mega-site
unveils an expanded design and art section, strengthening their position against competitors like Moda Operandi and Farfetch and home specialists like 1stDibs and Artemest.
Though Yoox has been selling design since 2006, the relaunch focuses on product exclusives and accessing a broader audience—though for now they’ll only be selling objects up to the size of a rug. The company expects to see double-digit growth in the category, though specific revenue goals aren’t being set since fashion remains the core of the business. “Yoox must seduce and captivate customers through its digital windows,”
the company’s President of Off Season, wrote by email. “The retailer’s viewpoint, and in our case also the curator’s, is what makes the difference.”
In this case, the curator is Beatrice Trussardi, the president of the Nicola Trussardi Foundation established by her late father. Trussardi was chosen for the work she’s done producing major contemporary art shows around Milan since transforming the foundation into a “nomadic museum” in 2003. The exclusive products she’s selected for Yoox include an iPhone speaker by Paul Cocksedge, football scarves designed by artist Maurizio Cattelan and a portable Ventosa lighting fixture by Flos designer Achille Castiglioni, reproduced upon her request as a celebration of what would have been the Italian designer’s 100th birthday. “More and more, I see designers and artists who want to experiment with what’s outside their own field,” says Trussardi, who has found that artists want to create a functional object and designers want to make a unique piece of art. “We have the ability to transform their will into reality.”
Investing in contemporary art or design pieces online may seem counterintuitive to buyers who are used to viewing pieces in-person, but Rossi points out that skeptics said the same thing when Yoox started to sell fashion in 2000. She cites the immediacy, variety and inspiration of online shopping as advantages the web offers. “Most shopping journeys begin on Google, Pinterest or Instagram and then end up with an online purchase,” she said.
On the art side, Trussardi added, “Sometimes when a person goes to a gallery, it can involve a kind of discomfort. Online, you’re free to choose according to your taste.”
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