If you're looking to nab a Mary Katrantzou dress in advance of springier weather, don't head to the store: go to Lyst. The e-commerce startup has partnered with Katrantzou to be the exclusive U.S. retailer for 10 items from the designer's resort collection.
This is great news for American fans of Katrantzou's bright, printed looks, and the benefits to Lyst are pretty clear as well. With its universal checkout feature, Lyst was already an appealing platform on which to shop across brands, but there are so many sites vying for consumers' attention. Having an exclusive helps break it out from the pack. As founder Chris Morton says, "It's a huge amount of value."
While this is a big score for the Lyst, Morton says he isn't looking to make exclusives a consistent part of the site's offerings just yet. So think of it more as a pilot project. As a data-driven company, the team will be looking closely at metrics like sales, what items get clicked the most, where those clicks are coming from and what other brand affinities Mary Katrantzou shoppers possess. A lot of that information will get shared with Katrantzou's team, and it will inevitably inform how any future exclusives might play out on Lyst.
"It's not us saying we need to do a ton of exclusives now. On a personal level, we love what Mary's doing," Morton says. "From a brand point of view, it's a particularly good fit."
Morton says his team has spent the last year talking with Mary and her team to figure out a way they could partner together, since they're riding on parallel tracks of trying to be technically innovative fashion brands. While Lyst is a full-on tech startup, Katrantzou has become known for her ability to manipulate digital printing techniques into beautiful trompe l’oeil effects.
Having launched her own e-commerce site last November, collaborating with Lyst might give Katrantzou deeper reach into the American market. While her work is known in the States -- particularly to those in the fashion set -- it's more popular in London, where the designer shows for Fashion Week. Katrantzou herself was not available for comment at press time (because, well, it's Fashion Week), but we'll update as we hear back.