There are no two ways about it, the way we shop is changing and will no doubt continue to evolve at an ever more rapid rate in the future. Obviously a LOT of this is down to online designer emporiums which allow us to snap up our hearts desires at the click of a button but it seems to me that it’s not just the ability to buy things from our own sofa that’s causing this retail revolution; the entire fashion landscape is changing. Once-upon-a-time it was only journalists and buyers who had the privilage of seeing what the rest of the world will be wearing in six months time. Now anyone with an internet connection can have a front row view of Karl Lagerfeld’s latest creations. Don’t get me wrong I think this democratization of high fashion is brilliant but it also seems to make everything move at the speed of light and for those lucky so-and-so’s who can afford to splash out on catwalk pieces (or can’t but do it anyway) it presents a whole other problem. Picture the scene: girl sees dress on the runway, girl falls in love with dress, girl can’t buy dress for six months… How maddening. Just imagine the stress of checking Net-a-Porter every day, hoping to see the object of your affections in stock and dreading the possibility of it selling out before you can get your hands on it! Don’t believe me? Then cast your mind back to Isabel Marant’s sell-out-in-5-seconds wedge trainers. But more than just being extremely annoying, I can imagine that this results in designers losing out on sales. By the time that dress hits the stores, chances are the girl that craved it has spent the cash on something else or is already so entrenched in next seasons collections she’s forgotten all about it. Admittedly this isn’t a huge deal for mega brands like Gucci who make most of their money selling perfume and accessories anyway, but for an independant label like Peter Pilotto, shifting those catwalk looks is crucial, and that’s where Moda Operandi comes in.
Before I go into more detail about what Moda Operandi does I’d just like to take a second to say a little bit about its Co Founders Áslaug Magnúsdóttir (above right) and Lauren Santo Domingo (above left). Aside from having truly awesome names, these are two extremely impressive ladies. Dubbed “fashion’s fairy godmother” (by Vogue, no less) Áslaug previously Co-Founded boutique investment management company, TMS Capital. That was having previously been Head of Venture Business at Baugur Investment Company, worked as an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Co and a a corporate and tax attorney at Deloitte. Oh and she’s also Fulbright Scholar, holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an LLM from Duke University School of Law, and a degree in Law from the University of Iceland… Like I said, impressive. Áslaug’s partner, Vogue Contributing Editor, international style icon and the creative vision behind Moda Operandi, Lauren Santo Domingo is another force to be reckoned with. Besides being one of the most photographed women in New York, she’s also one of the most influential with every designer under the sun clamouring to dress her. Rumour has it that in 2005 Anna Wintour allegedly asked Lauren to ‘save’ the Met Ball after-party which she thought was attracting a not-fashionable-enough-crowd (according to nymag.com anyway). So in 2011 the two women joined forces to launch Moda Operandi, the first and only website which allows you to pre-order next season’s unedited show looks the second they hit the runway.
With the help of the other members of team MO – Taylor Tomasi Hill (girl crush alert!) and Indre Rockefeller – Lauren and Áslaug have built on this concept to develop the site into an all-encompassing yet carefully edited retail experience. While hardcore fashion fanatics can start planning and pre-ordering what they’ll be wearing in six months time thos who don’t want to wait can shop in the boutique section for expertly curated current season pieces and then be wearing them in just a couple of days time. Personally I think one of the most ingenious aspects of the Moda Operandi is their limited-time-only virtual trunk shows. For instance, right now you’ve got just 3 days left to pre-order from Derek Lam’s Pre Fall 2013 collection, a failsafe way to entice women to splurge… Having spent almost an hour trying to tear myself away from the Carven trunk show which kicked off this morning, I can definitely vouch for that one.
Love Ella. X