Christian Dior was one of the last luxury fashion powerhouses to not have an online shopping presence. But now, the brand has given up that title, releasing a small, 14-piece shoe collection from their 2016 cruise line in a temporary pop-up shop on Bergdorf Goodman’s website. This is a great place for the brand to step into the online world, because Bergdorf has had much success with pop-up stores from other top luxury brands in its past. But it seems this small step for Dior doesn’t bode an online shop in the near future, as this was more of an opportune business exchange for the two brands.
“There is no e-commerce site in North America for Dior,” said Pamela Baxter, president and CEO of perfumes and cosmetics at LVMH and president of Christian Dior Couture. “The whole purpose and goal of this was the really leverage our partnership with Bergdorf and push the client base that they have that we don’t have. It’s really a win-win for everyone.”
So unfortunately the brand isn’t fully relinquishing their lack of online presence. And it is also up in the air whether or not Dior will be looking to expand to the e-market anytime soon.
“The retail experience and relationship building between our expert sales associates and our clients is really important to us,” said Baxter. “To be quite frank, we don’t know how that relationship would build online. …We have programs in stores for initiating and engaging new clients. We do that really well. When we find that experiential relationship-connection and how to do that online, we’ll jump in with both feet. Right now, we’re a very high-end luxury brand, our price points are very high and that relationship experience is our top strategic priority.”
There is still hope for the future, it’s just up to the online marketplace to create a system where Dior can keep its rich customer experience. This collaboration will act as a testing point for the luxury brand. Joshua Schulman, president of Bergdorf Goodman, is confident there will be success, and is thrilled his company was chosen as the possible launching point for Dior maneuvering into the e-commerce market. Another incentive for Dior joining the online market is the rate of customers who research products online before going into the store, which Schulman says is 75% of customers at Bergdorf.
“The customer likes to shop online,” said Schulman. “There’s pent-up demand for some of these brands that until now have not been online…The customer for these luxury brands leads a very busy, active life, and is used to getting the convenience of being able to shop both online and in store.” This is something he views as a simple fact of life, and if Dior follows this saying, we know we’ll be in for a treat.
But, until that day comes, we can reap the benefits while this partnership is going on.
In order to promote this short sale, Dior has turned to the top fashionistas of social media, such as Eva Chen from Instagram, Shiona Turini who is known for her work with The Cut, Leandra Medine from The Manrepeller, and Aimee Song who is known for her blog Song of Style. Each social media star shared photos of themselves sporting their favorite shoe from the collection, spreading the word to all of their followers.
According to Schulman, he made a proposal to Dior for this collaboration two years ago, and the two brands have been preparing for this for one year now. Since the website has had success with pop-up shops for Alexander Wang and Chanel recently, adding Christian Dior to their repertoire seems like a no-brainer. Christian Louboutin had a successful run on the website with their “Nude” shoe collection, so Dior chose to follow in the same path.
Dior’s mini-collection comes just in time for the holidays. The site became live on Monday, but will end promptly on December 31, so you should snag some great Dior shoes online while you have the chance, before the end of this holiday season. The shoes are also available at Bergdorf Goodman’s Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan. Prices range from $830 to $1,140, for pumps, flats, trainers, sneakers, and loafers.
Photo courtesy of Bergdorf Goodman