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A Boutique e-Revival

People, Tech
By Sofia Celeste 10 giugno 2015

MILAN, ITALY - If you were alive during the 90s and the 00s, then you have definitely witnessed the unwanted demise of some of your favorite boutiques. Those were the days when fast fashion behemoths started crushing small shops to oblivion -- from the pavement of San Francisco's Union Street to Paris' Le Marais. In today's world, while colossal e-commerce sites are battling for market share, enlightened shoppers are beginning to reject label-driven brands and are looking to boutique-spirited e-retailers to satiate their appetite for more curated and exclusive wardrobes.

Five game changing e-boutiques you need to know about:

LA DOUBLE J

Fashion journalist and entrepreneur JJ Martin, decided to start her own vintage e-commerce after stumbling upon a few exquisite jewelry pieces by Ugo Correani, the late designer who once worked for vanguard labels like Valentino and Gianni Versace. "The ah-ha moment was last year when I was researching a story for the Wall Street Journal, and I found a huge trove of Ugo Correani vintage jewelry. I said to myself, 'I’ve got do something with this,'" Martin told Fairplay. Correani is just one of the bygone greats being promoted by Martin's site LaDoubleJ. "I am always on a treasure hunt for vintage clothing and jewelry - even if I am in a small town in the middle of nowhere," she said, adding that her website compliments the vintage looks with items that it sells through collaborations with e-retailers like www.mytheresa.com. With the help of LaDoubleJ's fashion director Viviana Volpicella and photographer Alberto Zanetti, Martin's enticing editorial content shines a spotlight on creative Milanese women and "Legendary Ladies" like Rossella Jardini. "So much of Milan’s charm and intrigue happens behind closed doors, so the idea is to give you an insider’s look of what’s going on, and to also make it shoppable."

DRESS-ON

Founded by 29-year-old twin sisters Cecilia and Ludovica Ago, Dress-On takes you on a strategic tour of the concept stores and boutiques frequented by the Italian fashion elite. Milan's Imarika, Puglia's Tricarico Shop and Calabria's The Apartment Cosenza, are just a few shops that are benefiting from the vast cyber window display made available to them through the Ago twins' e-commerce site. "The Italian retail scene saw a lot of boutiques fade away with the economic crisis, but our site is actually promoting them on a worldwide level. Some of these boutiques didn't even have their own websites when we first started," said co-founder Cecilia Ago.

CARDANO CLUB

Cardano Club is tailored specifically for the Italian gentleman and those aspiring to dress like one. Selling accessories, shoes and even gift boxes, Cardano Club boasts one-of-a-kind products from historic brands like tie-maker Marinella and Tuscan hat maker Tesi. New players like handmade shaving razor and brush company Marfin and vintage tie-maker Passaggio Cravatte, are among the emerging artisan brands championed by Cardano Club. "Craftsmanship is by its nature a limited edition business. Let’s be honest, you don’t want a tie sold in 100 items or more," said co-founder Roberta Frattini.

MILANOVENTUNO

While the Milanoventuno features items from fashion's biggest names like Valentino, Fendi and Saint Laurent, its founders Melania Antico, Ugo Cavallo e Rafael Patron are always on the prowl for new, niche brands. Nehera, a historic Slovakian brand, Artisanal Cornucopia jewelry and perfumes from San Francisco-based Ineke are just a few brands amping-up Milanoventuno's array. "Our selection is based on our own aesthetic taste and market demand," said Antico.

FINAEST

Oliviero Toscani sunglasses, Panizza 1879 hats and sultry gowns by Jessica Choay, are just a few examples of how Finaest seeks to build a total look for men and women. The Italian craftsmanship angle is passionately emphasized through its blog content and videos of artisans crafting the products sold on the site. "Finaest is an online boutique with the aim of enhancing and promoting Italy abroad through its craftsmanship and creativity," said Luca Gianmaria Catalano the company's founder and CEO.

MILAN, ITALY - If you were alive during the 90s and the 00s, then you have definitely witnessed the unwanted demise of some of your favorite boutiques. Those were the days when fast fashion behemoths started crushing small shops to oblivion -- from the pavement of San Francisco's Union Street to Paris' Le Marais. In today's world, while colossal e-commerce sites are battling for market share, enlightened shoppers are beginning to reject label-driven brands and are looking to boutique-spirited e-retailers to satiate their appetite for more curated and exclusive wardrobes.

Five game changing e-boutiques you need to know about:

LA DOUBLE J

Fashion journalist and entrepreneur JJ Martin, decided to start her own vintage e-commerce after stumbling upon a few exquisite jewelry pieces by Ugo Correani, the late designer who once worked for vanguard labels like Valentino and Gianni Versace. "The ah-ha moment was last year when I was researching a story for the Wall Street Journal, and I found a huge trove of Ugo Correani vintage jewelry. I said to myself, 'I’ve got do something with this,'" Martin told Fairplay. Correani is just one of the bygone greats being promoted by Martin's site LaDoubleJ. "I am always on a treasure hunt for vintage clothing and jewelry - even if I am in a small town in the middle of nowhere," she said, adding that her website compliments the vintage looks with items that it sells through collaborations with e-retailers like www.mytheresa.com. With the help of LaDoubleJ's fashion director Viviana Volpicella and photographer Alberto Zanetti, Martin's enticing editorial content shines a spotlight on creative Milanese women and "Legendary Ladies" like Rossella Jardini. "So much of Milan’s charm and intrigue happens behind closed doors, so the idea is to give you an insider’s look of what’s going on, and to also make it shoppable."

DRESS-ON

Founded by 29-year-old twin sisters Cecilia and Ludovica Ago, Dress-On takes you on a strategic tour of the concept stores and boutiques frequented by the Italian fashion elite. Milan's Imarika, Puglia's Tricarico Shop and Calabria's The Apartment Cosenza, are just a few shops that are benefiting from the vast cyber window display made available to them through the Ago twins' e-commerce site. "The Italian retail scene saw a lot of boutiques fade away with the economic crisis, but our site is actually promoting them on a worldwide level. Some of these boutiques didn't even have their own websites when we first started," said co-founder Cecilia Ago.

CARDANO CLUB

Cardano Club is tailored specifically for the Italian gentleman and those aspiring to dress like one. Selling accessories, shoes and even gift boxes, Cardano Club boasts one-of-a-kind products from historic brands like tie-maker Marinella and Tuscan hat maker Tesi. New players like handmade shaving razor and brush company Marfin and vintage tie-maker Passaggio Cravatte, are among the emerging artisan brands championed by Cardano Club. "Craftsmanship is by its nature a limited edition business. Let’s be honest, you don’t want a tie sold in 100 items or more," said co-founder Roberta Frattini.

MILANOVENTUNO

While the Milanoventuno features items from fashion's biggest names like Valentino, Fendi and Saint Laurent, its founders Melania Antico, Ugo Cavallo e Rafael Patron are always on the prowl for new, niche brands. Nehera, a historic Slovakian brand, Artisanal Cornucopia jewelry and perfumes from San Francisco-based Ineke are just a few brands amping-up Milanoventuno's array. "Our selection is based on our own aesthetic taste and market demand," said Antico.

FINAEST

Oliviero Toscani sunglasses, Panizza 1879 hats and sultry gowns by Jessica Choay, are just a few examples of how Finaest seeks to build a total look for men and women. The Italian craftsmanship angle is passionately emphasized through its blog content and videos of artisans crafting the products sold on the site. "Finaest is an online boutique with the aim of enhancing and promoting Italy abroad through its craftsmanship and creativity," said Luca Gianmaria Catalano the company's founder and CEO.

 

 



Sofia Celeste
FAIRPLAY Editor-in-Chief


When she is not hunting down the latest in tech and fashion, Sofia Celeste is scouting artisan talent for her online magazine www.bacoluxury.com.
Born in the US and raised on the Pacific Island of Guam, she went on to write for Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall Street Journal. Her work is now regularly published in top fashion publications NOWFASHION and WWD.

 

 



Sofia Celeste
FAIRPLAY Editor-in-Chief


When she is not hunting down the latest in tech and fashion, Sofia Celeste is scouting artisan talent for her online magazine www.bacoluxury.com.
Born in the US and raised on the Pacific Island of Guam, she went on to write for Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall Street Journal. Her work is now regularly published in top fashion publications NOWFASHION and WWD.