A little less than a year after launch, Tamara Mellon is adding e-commerce to the flagship website of her namesake label, making her products -- ready-to-wear, handbags, shoes -- available directly to customers for the first time.
The site mixes form and function, featuring Veruschka-inspired shots of model Dree Hemingway on the home page, and grids of product offerings on category pages. For now, only U.S. residents are able to shop the site, which offers free shipping and returns.
This is the second online shopping destination for Mellon's designs to date, after a limited selection was made available globally on net-a-porter.com late last year. Mellon's designs are also sold at a select number of brick-and-mortar department stores (Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, etc.) worldwide.
Mellon is no doubt one of the most interesting designers working today -- not just for her clothes and accessories, which are elegant and sophisticated, but more for the way she shows and merchandises them. The Jimmy Choo co-founder -- who left the company in 2011 and founded a label under her own name two years later -- shows her collections just before they hit stores, and does not release her products in seasonal batches, but instead on a monthly basis, at times they'll be worn. (You won't, for example, be able to buy a winter coat at a forthcoming Tamara Mellon boutique in July, when most retailers are pushing them, but instead in November, when you'll actually be able to wear it.) And though Mellon's clothes belong in the luxury category, her price points are often more in line with "affordable luxury" brands, as Mellon has a lower markup than her peers -- around 40 percent, versus the standard 50 percent.
Following the e-commerce launch, Mellon is planning on opening two boutiques, one in New York and one in London, later this year. Mellon has said previously that she plans for most of her sales to come through her own -- rather than wholesale -- channels, with about half coming through the web. Her newly launched website, then, may soon become her biggest sales channel.