Clements Ribeiro Gets Digital-------
Considering that, in the past few seasons, such brands as Pierre Balmain, See by Chloé, ICB, and Peter Som have all experimented with showing online rather than on the catwalk, Diane von Furstenberg’s recent hypothesis that physical fashion shows may be made “extinct by digital substitutes within the next few years,” doesn’t seem too far outside the realm of possibility. This London fashion week, Clements Ribeiro—the Natalie Massenet-mentored ready-to-wear brand designed by Suzanne Clements and Inacio Ribeiro—will be joining the crop of labels that are debuting their collections via the Internet.
On Saturday at 2 p.m. GST, Clements Ribeiro’s Spring ’14 range goes up digitally, coinciding with the launch of its new Web site, which comes with bells and whistles that cater to industry insiders and fashion fans alike. The buyers can fill their orders (the financing of which will be neatly handled by clever software), the press can view lookbooks, and fiercely loyal customers can buy online.
“It is unquestionable that fashion shows are a powerful tool for many brands—but there are just too many shows,” offered Ribeiro. “We found there is a better way to serve the entire chain. Yes, for sure, there is less adrenaline than a live runway show, but also less pressure. And from experience, this is how our clients want it—steady as she goes.” The Clements Ribeiro model is one of the first case studies for the British Fashion Council’s new digital department, and will also include a social media element. The designers will be available for a live Q&A via Twitter during the presentation, using the hashtag #CRSS14LIVE, and will be chilling in a Google hangout. For the brand, going online was a logical next move, since 60 percent of its sales were from the Internet anyway.
The label’s latest offering, an exclusive preview of which debuts here, is inspired by Ribeiro’s native Brazil. Spring ’14 is all about monochrome meeting pattern—the Girl from Ipanema turned bookish. The models featured in the designers’ Spring lookbook are pictured leaping barefoot, which, to Ribeiro, is a perfect representation of the brand. “I feel that we too are jumping—in leaps and bounds—to our next steps.”