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While Style.com, the editorial site, readies itself to morph into Voguerunway.com, Style.com, the brand new e-commerce site, has plenty of big ideas about how it's going to be the first shopping site to nail commerce and content. According to WWD, the e-commerce venture will launch next year in the UK first with British Vogue and GQ, then work through a US launch, and finally roll out to all of Condé Nast's international editions.
Ahead of the launch, Style.com has padded its staff with an impressive array of people who have already demonstrated success in online shopping: Melissa Dick, former global editorial director of Asos and former editor of ElleUK.com; Mo White, formerly of Net-A-Porter, where she launched The Outnet and its in-house label, Iris & Ink; Natalie Varma, former head of e-commerce at Anya Hindmarch.
"Their message is the following: The last thing Condé wants is a 'me-too' e-commerce site," writes Samantha Conti. "Their proposition involves an intense focus on content, and on making it as easy as possible for readers to shop off the magazines' online pages."
Style.com will act as a mediator between the magazines and the retailers. Readers/shoppers will be able to buy directly from the magazines they are reading (clear plans on how that will look aren't in place yet) or through the Style.com site. Style.com will not hold any inventory, but rather redirect orders to the brands for individual fulfillment.
Dick told WWD that "whole experiences will be merchandised"—for example, an editorial story on travel could be accompanied by a way to buy tickets to the 10 best beaches, or shop the 10 best kaftans or bags for the beach. There will be, however, a way to completely turn off the e-commerce integration for readers that prefer to do their reading and shopping separately.