Private investment firm Comvest Partners acquires the financially troubled e-retailer, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March.
The magazine’s first-ever British Vogue Online Fashion event took place this month.
Upscale fashion magazines increasingly have been joining forces with online retailers in the United States. For example, J.C. Penney Co. Inc. announced plans last month for a new e-commerce site called Cladmen.com in collaboration with Esquire magazine. Now the trend is showing up in the United Kingdom.
Vogue magazine this month promoted its first-ever British Vogue Online Fashion event, in which hundreds of retailers of fashion, furniture and fragrances posted offers to Vogue’s U.K. web site, with links back to the retailers’ sites. All of the participating retailers donated part of the proceeds to charities chosen by Vogue.
While some well-established retailers, such as Harrods and Net-a-Porter, participated, Vogue editor Dolly Jones says the event was aimed at promoting some smaller but exclusive retailers that are not prominent online.
“We aim to support retailers who are now developing their online presence and to give people access to some of the top designers, some of the elements of the fashion world that they would normally not have access to,” Jones says.
The event also included fashion designers and retailers responding to questions consumers posted to Vogue’s Twitter account. Luxury fashion house Matthew Williamson was among the retailers to participate. “Retailers have been promoting their involvement in the event and readers have been tweeting on what they have been buying and how much they loved the event,” Jones said.
Jones says one merchant’s sales were up 85% during the event, though she declined to name the retailer. However, some participating merchants reported modest results.
“We only had a couple of sales and that was mainly candles,” says a spokeswoman for Amara Interior Design. “Vogue didn’t put the tags we sent to them, so we weren’t able to monitor who shopped from us through their web site during that week.” IL2L, a small retailer that specializes in leather jackets, saw traffic increase in December due to the event, a spokesman said, but did not provide details. He adds that 20% of the sales went to one of Vogue’s chosen charities.