The same Italian website that featured profiles on this year’s CFDA finalists, Thecorner.com, is turning a spotlight East. The e-tailer has created a "Vogue Talents Corner" on their Chinese site with five rising design stars—Christine Lau, Riko Manchit Au, Shangguan Zhe, Uma Wang and Zou You. Although the products are only available locally for now (You can switch countries on the page to view the items; the quintet’s names are in English, if not the rest of the text), hopefully this boost in publicity will bring some fresh blood to the Western retail scene.
Yet what we find most interesting about this new project is the radical new service Thecorner.com is offering to their Chinese customers. Now, shoppers need not initially commit to their online orders. Instead, they request a "butler service" that brings the clothing to their home to try on. Upon delivery, the aforemention "butler" waits for the client to try the items on and decide. If the piece does not look or fit correctly it is immediately returned free of charge.
This sounds AWESOME to us—the ultimate hybrid of in-store and online shopping! (And is it wrong that we sort of want to order our own "butler?" Do you think they have funny uniforms?) Although the concept probably wouldn’t work with mass market brands, we think this idea might take off with higher-end retailers, such as Net-a-Porter.com. (And PS: If you want to try this in the US, Norma Kamali has a "try before you buy" option on her website. But it’s all via snail mail—no butler to be found.)
What do you think? Is something that could be successful in the States? [WWD]
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