It seemed like only a matter of time: When Condé Nast revealed in November that the leadership team at Style.com would begin reporting to the executive team at Vogue, a restructuring — or, even more likely, a merger — seemed imminent. The notion was reinforced when, a month later, Condé revealed that Style.com and Vogue.com would share the 29th floor of One World Trade Center.
In recent months, Vogue has significantly expanded its online editorial team — there are 29 people on the masthead for its website — while Style.com, which served as the online home of the magazine until 2010, has made headlines with its reporting exclusives, most notably a candid interview between Kanye West and Style.com Editor in Chief Dirk Standen.
Though both properties seemed to be flourishing separately, there's no question that much of the content overlapped. And that's all about to change. As first reported by Business of Fashion, Condé Nast is planning to turn Style.com into an e-commerce destination, while the runway reviews (and galleries) that the site is known for will be moved under the Vogue umbrella, with a brand new url, voguerunway.com.
In a company-wide memo sent out on Monday, CEO Charles Townsend wrote: "Voguerunway.com will feature the comprehensive runway and collections coverage currently provided by Style.com, combined with Vogue's signature fashion content, to form the definitive digital fashion destination, bar none. The transition will take place over the next several months during which time, Style.com will continue with full site operations."
This way, there will be a clear, separate content strategy for each site: Vogue.com will be the destination for fashion news, features, runway and original video, and Style.com will use its recognizable brand name to (hopefully) become a go-to destination for customers looking to shop a collection of items curated by Condé Nast's editors. (If this sounds similar to Lucky Shops's strategy, you're probably not far off.)
Similar to Lucky Shops and Shop Bazaar before it, the new e-commerce business will not hold inventory at first (though Lucky Shops has always worked with a mix of owned product and affiliate), and will make money through commissions on sales through its online marketplace of designers and brands. The venture will launch in the UK this fall, with the U.S. following in early 2016.
Update: This article was corrected to say that Lucky Shops has held its own inventory since its inception.