6 posts tagged "Yoox"
The impressive second-quarter results posted recently by the Yoox Group, Italy’s e-commerce giant, was further proof that the future of high fashion lies online. But can CEO Federico Marchetti (left) work the same magic with fine art? It has been on his mind since he launched Yoox fourteen years ago. “I’ve always had the notion of the one-stop shop, with a mixture of modern and vintage, clothes and furniture,” he says. “The art component is the one that closes the circle.”
Marchetti tested the waters last October with Damien Hirst, Grayson Perry, and the first-ever edition by Italy’s top Pop artist Francesco Vezzoli. “He did it to help earthquake relief in Emilia-Romagna, where I’m from,” explains Marchetti. “We did an edition of 399 priced at 399 euros, dollars, or pounds.” Yoox is now providing corporate sponsorship for Vezzoli’s Trinity, a series of three exhibitions in three cities, the first in Rome now until November 24, the second opening at New York’s MoMA PS1 in the fall, and the third at the Museum of Contemporary Art in L.A. in early winter.
But any multimillion-dollar business can cough up sponsorship dollars. It was Padiglione Crepaccio (below), the much humbler Yoox initiative during the opening days of the Venice Biennale, which cast a more interesting light on Marchetti’s intentions in the art world. Curator Caroline Corbetta assembled work by ten Venetian artists under 30—the sort of creative types who are usually overlooked when the Biennale’s grand caravan rolls into town every two years—and exhibited the result in the house where three of them live. (A very nice piece of old Venice it was, too, calculated to make starving artists everywhere else in the world utterly puce with envy.) The twist was that the exhibition preview was online. “Like Saatchi, but in reverse,” says Marchetti. “Everyone else got to see it online before the art-world elite got there.” Which didn’t stop heavy hitters like Vezzoli, Diesel’s Renzo Rosso, and cherished art-world provocateur Maurizio Cattelan (a patron saint to young Italian artists) from showing up in person at the opening.
With his Acne jeans and his Lobb shoes, Marchetti is almost correct when he describes himself as the Yoox customer. And he was setting a good example by shopping for art at Padiglione Crepaccio. (In keeping with the initiative, it was only possible to buy the pieces on the iPads provided, even if you were standing right in front of the art and the artist). Right now, Marchetti is picturing art on Yoox as “something like a TV talent show, 99 percent talent, 1 percent the special X factor.” But going forward, he imagines people picking up “a pair of jeans and a painting” when they visit the site. “It’s part of the plan to make yoox.com a playful lifestyle,” he adds. “But playful in a serious way. It’s not the Amazon approach. We’re serious about collaboration.” Serious enough, in fact, to partner with the legendary photo agency Magnum—its first venture into e-commerce—and Hirst’s publishing company, Other Criteria.
But when Marchetti insists, “Surprise is the beauty of Yoox,” I flip back to the young artists in Venice, in particular a painter called Thomas Braida. With talent like his in the equation, people are going to be picking up way more than one painting with their pair of jeans.
Hidden among the old-and-new runway garb on e-tail megalith Yoox is a funny little last-minute holiday gift courtesy of art star (and W cover artist) Francesco Vezzoli: A new piece, Con Amore, Francesco Vezzoli (Francesco by Francesco), being sold to benefit the Italian National Trust’s relief efforts for rebuilding in the Emilia region after a recent earthquake. If you’ve ever wanted a framed portrait of Prada pal Vezzoli weeping sewn-on tears, today’s your lucky day—presuming you can beat the rest of the interested buyers for this 399-piece edition, which sells for an apropos $399. In a particularly Vezzolian touch, you can shop the precise edition you want: 399 pieces, 399 lots. One through 84 and 398 through 399 are spoken for, as are a grab bag of numbers in between. Find your lucky one if and while you can.
For a certain species of vintage collector, the thrill is in the hunt. For those of us less inclined to dig through the occasionally mildewed piles that make up the secondhand shops, grandmother’s attics, and Goodwills of this great nation, the thrill is the find. Those in the latter category have good reason to celebrate tomorrow. Two separate vintage troves go on sale online—no muss, less fuss.
On Thursday, Ralph Lauren launches the new RLVintage.com. The e-commerce site will offer one-of-a-kind vintage RL pieces selected by Lauren and a team of label obsessives sourced from around the globe: Brooklyn-based consultant and curator Ali of A Noble Savage, the blogueuses Hollister and Porter Hovey, and more stylish, Western-kitted Japanese guys than it seems possible to imagine. (One, Tez Saito, was so touched by an encounter with the Ralph Lauren Home collection 30 years ago that he opened his own shop in Tokyo, Reflex, that specializes in vintage RL.) Fifty pieces per season will be offered, from rodeo jackets to Navajo sweaters.
Meanwhile, Margherita Missoni is debuting her own collection of personal vintage as well. Seventy of her own pieces—including, naturally, plenty of Missoni—debut on Yoox.com tomorrow, benefitting OrphanAid Africa. (She serves as the president of the charity’s Italian chapter.) “Sometimes life has been too generous with me,” she says. “This is definitely the case with clothes.” (So much so that to keep them all, she’d “need life to be just as generous in terms of closet space, homes, and patience from my husband.”) She’s paying it forward, with eveningwear, day dresses, coats, and accessories.
The pile-divers may sniff at such pre-sifted vintage as fish in the proverbial barrel. Their loss.
McQ, Alexander McQueen’s sibling label, is queued up to open its first standalone boutique in London. Details on the store have not been released yet, but it’s set to open early next year in central London. [Vogue U.K.]
Giorgio Armani will launch an online store with Yoox this year. The two companies have signed a five-year deal, and Yoox chairman and founder Federico Marchetti has dubbed it “the biggest online store Yoox will operate.” [WWD]
There is another Rocha on the scene. W introduces Simone Rocha, one of London’s rising footwear design stars, and her slick brogues now available at Oak. The designer revealed she is also working on a Topshop collection. [W]
Barneys New York redesigns its window displays often, but the store is set to get its first makeover since the opening in September 1993. When the facelift is completed and revealed in mid-September, the Peter Marino-designed store will have new marble floors, American oak fixtures, and new lighting. [WWD]
Last night at La Grenouille, Federico Marchetti, CEO and Founder of YOOX Group, and Kenneth Jay Lane, celebrated their new collaboration, on a range of costume jewels exclusive to the e-tail megalith. Dinner was just a small gathering of friends and editors—though, of course, when you’ve been in the bauble biz as long as Lane has, you have quite a few friends, including the fabulous likes of Iris Apfel. Starting this week, you’ll not only be able to find KJL’s collaborative pieces on Yoox, you’ll also be able get some of his unique vintage and classic styles. That said, the new pieces are the ones that caught my eye, like these chain-link necklaces. Retailers far and wide are into collaborations, but this meeting of Europe and the U.S. was particularly good. So it’s welcome news that the Milan-based Marchetti just bought an apartment in town and is planning on spending more time here. With any luck, that means more American designers will be on his radar for further collabs to come.