August 20 2014

styledotcom "My friends like the line a lot." At @BarneysNY, a slam dunk for @russwest44: @simondoonan

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Mary Katrantzou Goes Online


KatrantzouOne only need look at the near-obsessive attention to detail that goes into each of Mary Katrantzou’s hyper-realistic prints to know that she’s a bit of a perfectionist. So perhaps it’s no surprise that the designer held out on launching her Web site until it was just the way she wanted it. Granted, that process took about five years, but the wait, it would seem, was worth it. “We started building it so many times,” said Katrantzou. “But I was so ambitious with what I wanted on the Web site, and I wanted to make sure the environment felt really perfect. Sometimes, being a perfectionist can be your worst enemy, in terms of getting things done, but I’m really proud of what we’ve created,” explained the designer, adding that she wants her online customers “to feel like they’re getting the same service they’d expect if they were in a brick-and-mortar shop.”

The online flagship, which will launch on November 20, boasts Katrantzou’s first foray into e-commerce. Her debut 2014 Resort range will be available to the UK and EU immediately. Stateside customers can shop the site starting next year. Furthermore, the site will include social media elements, and a wealth of information about the designer’s considered prints. “Some of the pieces have a little paragraph about how they were made, as well as sketches of the design,” said Katrantzou. “I think what draws women to the collection is the fact that each dress tells a story. There’s a visual language, and we thought it would be fun to give our side of the inspiration for every dress.”

Katrantzou also tells her dresses’ tales via a series of artful shorts by director Ferdinando Verderi. One such film, dubbed Questions, premieres here. Featuring a model answering a series of queries about her English-rose-and-Sao-Paulo-apartment-printed frock, the short showcases one look from a forty-five-piece capsule Resort collection, which will be available exclusively on the site. Another punchy dress from the limited line debuts above. “I think it’s important to offer our [online customers] something special,” said Katrantzou, noting that she’ll continue to sell online-only pieces for subsequent seasons.

While the site won’t go live until next week, it’s worth visiting in the interim. Verderi and Katrantzou came up with a clever way to count down the launch—a clock whose hands are actually high-heel-clad gams that stomp as the days, hours, minutes, and seconds pass. The timer is just another testament to Katrantzou’s dedication to detail. And if the “Coming Soon” page is a glimpse at what we’re in for, the final site is going to be just as dreamy as Katrantzou’s designs.

Photo: Courtesy of Mary Katrantzou

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