Flying High With E-Commerce For The Business Class Set
The intricacies of Luxup, a recently launched site that combines e-commerce with good old-fashioned store shopping, are not few. The site doesn’t obviate a visit to a bricks and mortar shop, where, paradoxically, you’ll receive merchandise not typically sold at said store. That’s because you’ve already bought it at Luxup’s Web site and downloaded its corresponding “brand pass” in order to collect it. You’ve beaten the obstacles of limited supply (from as little as four pieces to as many as 25 per item) and the clock, both for shopping (items leave the site after a designated time period) and collecting (usually a few weeks; don’t dawdle). What Luxup is essentially selling is a secret password that unlocks the hidden back room of your favorite designer store, whence you walk away with products that are either completely exclusive or available earlier than they would be at retail. After your trials, you’ve reaped reward. Phew.
And yet the reasons to do so are many. Luxup, the brainchild of two former hedge-fund managers, has already amassed a cabal of top talent, from Averyl Oates, formerly Harvey Nichols’ buying director, to run its buy, to Harriet Quick, late of British Vogue, to be its editorial director. The names it stocks are no less impressive. Belstaff, Nicholas Kirkwood, Balenciaga, and Valentino are among the initial offerings. Given that the kind of high roller who shells out for such names is often a traveler as well, Luxup works city by city: Grab an exclusive, cherry red Balenciaga biker jacket in London, or a Deco-style Marni necklace (above) in New York. Naturally, the site is an special draw for the well-heeled business-class woman who’s flying to shop—which may explain why Luxup’s site is currently offered in English and Portuguese, for the plummy Brazilian market. And it’s hard not to notice the Chinese characters lurking after the Luxup logo, and the promise that Hong Kong is the next city to come. But you don’t have to be part of China’s new class of super-spenders to dive in. Once again, then: phew.
Marni’s satin, glass, and stone necklace, $570, is currently available on Luxup.com as a world exclusive for pickup at Marni’s New York Store, 161 Mercer St., NYC.