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As retail start-ups have matured, a handful on online concepts have emerged at the top of the heap over the past year. We've picked five who are leading the pack:
Moda Operandi, which pioneered seamless, straight-from-the-runway pre-shopping back in 2010, has established itself as a true force in the fashion industry—in addition to expanding with regular e-commerce in the coming months, the site will also be sponsoring next year's Met Ball.
Emerging designers continue to get their due at Of a Kind, where an exclusive limited-edition piece debuts each week. This year's notable partnerships include Shipley & Halmos, Creatures of Comfort, and Wren. In addition, the site also recently beta launched the Of a Kind Collections: an easier way to shop the full collections of designers featured on the site. (By the end of the year, they will have worked with over 150 need-to-know designers.) Bonus points? The New York City Mayor's Office chose them as one of the three retailers to participate in Project Pop-Up NYC.
Warby Parker, which was a nominee for last year's Shopping Site of the Year, continues its reign in eyewear in 2012 with $95 specs; a buy-one, give-one philanthropy model; and new styles on offer, like prescription sunglasses.
And, StyleMint, the membership-based shopping site helmed by the Olsen twins, has grown beyond just T-shirts to include other beloved basics, like sunnies and denim, at a refreshingly accessible price point.
So, which is the best online concept of the year? Let your vote do the talking in the poll below.
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