It's been a long time since the days of disco, Studio54 and the iconic American fashion brand Halston. But, Net-a-Porter and the new team behind Halston are teaming up to use some very 21st century technology to bring the brand back to life.
Next week, the newly-relaunched Halston will hold its first runway show at the Gagosian Gallery in New York. In a fashion first, two of the featured looks will be available on Net-a-Porter the very next day for immediate delivery, less than 24 hours after the designs are revealed.
Historically, high-fashion collections are shown months before the clothes actually hit the shopfloor. This was fine in the days before the Internet and fast-fashion retailers, but in recent years, it's only served to give time for others to knock-off the looks and get them to the market long before the real ones appear.
Natalie Massenet, Net-a-Porter's innovative Chairman and Founder describes the collaboration with Halston as a way of turning the fashion cycle on its head, telling Women's Wear Daily:
I am sure this will be a shock to the brands that specialize in knocking off some of the talent in the fashion industry. They had their cake and have been eating it for a while, and we're now saying, 'We work with the brand to reclaim their ability to sell their product first.'"
This is the second time that Net-a-Porter has surprised the industry with an innovative Internet collaboration. Last July, Net-a-Porter rang up more than $1m in sales in an exclusive online collaboration with RM 19, the new label designed by Roland Mouret.
Bonnie Takhar, who joined Halston from Jimmy Choo to become CEO of Halston, is understandably excited about the opportunity to have the ripples from the New York relaunch to be felt around the world.
"When I think of Net-a-Porter, I don't necessarily only think of it strictly as a distribution channel. The format is really unique. There is the retail association with elements of editorial content. The way it is presented is fantastic for what I am trying to achieve, which is to increase brand awareness with the right copy and font."
On Wednesday, Net-a-Porter will launch a Halston microsite to reintroduce consumers to the brand with commentary from respected fashion writer and historian Colin McDowell, Senior Fashion Writer of the Sunday Times Style magazine.
© 2008 Copyright Imran Amed - The Business of Fashion