I got the inspiration to systematically browse through 52 luxury brand websites after reading a book about the art of selling high-end shoes in NYC, 5th Avenue. The book is written by a Finnish lady, Mirja Tervo. If you’re into shoes, just read it (available only in Finnish, though). The brands below are the ones sold in the salon Mrs Tervo worked in, prices varying from 500 to 2500 a pair. Very, very high-end. Below find my short brand review (brands listed masculine-feminine-neutral, as in the book).
Five (5) out of 52 brands have a website that I find interesting, entertaining and good, even fun. I know I will visit those sites again. In my opinion, two (2) out of 52 brands have been able to create a campaign that’s not just a print ad in Vogue (don’t get me wrong, I adore Vogue and good print advertising!). To be honest, this post was almost as amusing to compile as reading the book.
Basic product website with print images.
Nice fullscreen films throughout the site, but all the links take you out.
Oscar De La Renta
Cool compact site with smooth functionality and gorgeous images.
They do have personality, it’s a shame that the site is so messy.. . What the duck?
A good try but a bit restless experiment, a full screen film as a background for all the site content doesn’t work very well: marcjacobs.com
A compact, stylish, thought through site. Nice details, well designed.
I’m totally tired of country specific sites. This is one of the worst: why is it so important to choose a country/area/language to see what you have? If you just want to have a look? Anyways, “The New Lock” series of short films is beautiful, as most of the site content truly is. Generally, loads of good content but it’s quite hard to get a general view of the entity. Hard to remember where you’ve been, as funny as it sounds.
It is a website built from boxes. Grey and boring. Since the products are quite high-end, why isn’t the online presence?
Weird black site with products packed in a tiny, tiny area.
Content stuffed into quite small boxes, otherwise grey toned – boring…
They’ve chosen one image to use on the background as fullscreen and they stick to it – brilliant. Super-simple with quality.
Dolce & Gabbana
Too much! Literally, loads of content. The biggest problem is that there’s no way of knowing where to start. Re-naming, re-arranging, re-shaping up the concent, I guess that would do the trick.
After a while the shoes appear and that’s it. The site includes just the obligatory information, which in most cases is all you need. Just to mention that you need that little extra to make the person come back.
In my opinion there’s basically all the needed content but the concept is missing. A big plus on using Donna Summer’s I Feel Love!
It seems, there isn’t a dedicated brand site for the art of the iconic Mr Alaïa. Or I just wasn’t able to find it. Oh, what a pity.
Zanotti’s latest print campaign with a guy’s head and a high-heeled shoe stands out – unfortunately not online. The site is compact and very basic.
The site hasn’t been updated: latest collection being Spring/Summer 09. Simple, stylish but slow-ish.
They have managed to create a relaxed but still luxurious atmosphere, excellent choice with music. Good experience.
Compact, stylish site. Includes shop.
Burberry.com is a comprehensive webstore. Burberry’s latest campaign concentrated on their iconic trench coats: Art of the Trench is just brilliant, a simple concept with lovely music. It’s a huge image collection, consisting of professional quality images with user generated ones. The fun side is that you really can’t tell the difference. Each of the images is amazing: together they create quite an impressing piece of art. It’s a pity that just the campaign stands out…
Basic site. The navigation is a bit tricky.
Basic content, but the site is a bit slow. The site is built so that every action you take first provides you with the loader… I know I’m impatient.
Very American, heaps of content. Very basic.
Very American, heaps of content. Very basic.
Goddamn, Roger! The site is totally surprising, top-quality, fun, entertaining, crazy. I love it. A good start to get into Vivier’s world is to get started with: Collections/Spring-Summer 2010/Film. Another must see is the Haute Couture section. It’s almost embarrassing how proud they are of being a French brand! Just go throught the whole site, everything, I did too. Viva Vivier!
Latest print campaign images on the main page. There’s a (messy) webstore for US and UK. The nicest part of the site is: House of Balenciaga/Video.
Unfortunately could be a site of what-not. Very basic.
Yves Saint Laurent
The navigation is somewhat confusing – quite disorganized all in all. YSL’s Manifesto marketing concept is brilliant. Remember to check out the site archive, the films are divine. YSL actually prints a high-quality look book of the latest YSL look every year, it’s given out in a campaign goodie bag in the fashion capitals worldwide (one day event). The package is really sought after, it’s become a collectible. This is a well-known way to promote the new collection: always for professionals, never for the actual buyer/consumer. No need to mention, that I’d desperately want to have my Manifesto bag some day. YSL has managed to create something really successful and unique. Well done.
Personally I can’t stand these dirty shades of brown and gold that dominate the whole site… And unfortunately the chaotic navigation makes a mess out of this one, too.
Wow, those magnificent high quality images are awesome. The quality that the brand represents just stands out. Awesome. And works so, so smoothly and fast. The Fantasy Lookbook, The Fashion Show’s, they just start in a second you press the button. Great experience.
The products stand out really well. Choo 24:7 collection has been promoted widely – they do it online, too. Beautiful site.
Makes me wonder they could do so much better. Very basic, not a single surprise, not to mention no “wow-effect”.
No website. Amazing.
He has a style of his own, totally. On the main page, there is a paragraph of text with the title “Warning”. Is he serious? Well, that’s it for me, even though I adore the shoes.
The site looks cheap. Even thought the shoes really are not.
The site is really simple, the only content being the products. You can recognize Skovgaard’s shoes, they stand out – unfortunately her website doesn’t.
The only thing to criticize is the totally disordered structure. There’s loads of interesting, high-quality content, unfortunately very well hidden. Since the content is so great, I will still rank Chanel quite high. If they would just organize it all…
Dark, simple and very Demeulemeester’ish. I wish there would be something unique in her online presence – as there is in her fashion.
Simple and stylish. Very plain.
I’m not a big fan of this kind of box – in a box – in a box visuals. Why is all the content stuffed in the tiny area? The overall quality sucks big time. In the other hand it seems there’s nothing wrong with the products. Such a pity.
It’s a total mess with a non-existant navigation and poor usability. And why do the views change via a black screen? Sloppy stylesheet coding?
Simple, sleek and stylish. A bit boring?
They at least try to play and make the visitors play too, nice solution with the site structure.
Brilliant – one of my favorites. Big, sharp, high-quality images with clear structure on good content. You’re able to see the products you want. There’s surprises. It’s branded entertainment and truly what I would call “eye candy”. Reminds me of Prada, of course.
Good quality site – every view is a bit differently built. Nice but maybe not so nice that it would tempt me to come back.
a) It doesn’t exist. b) I’m not able to find it.
One of the ugliest, to be honest. The flash effect in the content page is just annoying.
Well. They’ve succeeded perfectly in making their brand look like s**t. Pure torture.
What would this be? It’s mentioned as a shoe brand in the book but the stuff I get from google just can’t be it.
This site has character and individuality. At least I wanted to check it all out. I like the music a lot – goes really well with the overall design + naturally the brand (which I’m quite familiar with). Content: lot’s of material and info, but the structure is so interesting and well designed that it doesn’t feel too packed. Really interesting, rich brand experience.
Well, this might have been a hit 10 years ago.
I’m not quite sure what the purpose of the film opening automatically on the main page is? There’s also a “select your country” view, and one of the options is “world”. Oh, my. I chose the world, of course. Lounge music, lounge music, lounge music.
Five (5) out of 52 brands have a website that I find interesting, entertaining and good, even fun. The brands are Roger Vivier, Prada, Chanel, Miu Miu and Costume National. Two (2) out of 52 brands have been able to create a really successful, worldwide known, iconic campaign concept: Burberry with Art of The Trench and Yves Saint Laurent with Manifesto. The reasons why can be found in the text above.