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July 31 2014

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EBay: The Next Luxury Fashion Frontier?

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ebayblogThe fashion set may soon have a new answer to the oft-asked “Where did you get that?” Today, eBay launched Designer Collective, a section dedicated to full-price selections from U.S. designers. Participating brands include Calvin Klein, Cynthia Rowley, Rebecca Minkoff, Billy Reid, Ruffian, and more. Each designer has a “storefront” within the Designer Collective page, meaning it will look and feel very similar to the other fashion e-commerce sites out there. “[Designer Collective] fits with our philosophy—as a partner and enabler of brands, and not a competitor,” eBay Marketplaces president Devin Wenig told WWD.

Wenig said the main draw for designers to join is simply that they can increase their online presence and reach a new consumer base that is already looking for clothes on eBay. Later this year, Designer Collective will open shops for non-U.S.-based designers and publish style stories and content from bloggers.

Will shoppers who frequent Net-a-Porter.com, Saks.com, Shopbop.com, and the countless other high-end dot-coms find their way to eBay when searching for a new party dress? We’ll know come September, once Designer Collective has had a few months to rack up bold-faced names ahead of its “larger launch.” But eBay is aiming to outperform the other digital giant—Amazon—by embracing a more “aspirational” aesthetic and allowing designers to control their inventory. (EBay will not own any of the clothes on the site.) “This is something some of our competition has struggled with,” explained Marcelle Parrish, eBay’s head of fashion. With nearly twenty years in the online shopping game, it seems likely that the expertise eBay brings will be a much welcome addition to the luxury online shop-o-sphere.

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