Chloé only opened its own online store in early July, and now is luring customers to try it out with a limited release of an over-the-top item.
Beginning in August, the brand will offer a new spin on its iconic Carlina sunglasses, which regularly retails between $200 and $350, cast in 18 karat gold. Chloé will offer 600 limited edition pairs that will be sold exclusively on the site, with an accompanying special edition case and box. The price has yet to be announced.
Chloé’s online store includes ready to wear offerings like bags, shoes, accessories and fragrances directly from the Fall 2016 line. At the moment, there are no eyewear offerings on the site until the Carlina launch next month.
Rony Zeidan, founder of luxury branding agency RO NY, said that exclusivity is a major draw for consumers, particularly in the luxury goods market. He noted high-end retailers like Barneys have found success in offering limited edition items, such as its XO lines for exclusive partnerships, including, most recently, the Justin Bieber Purpose Tour XO Barneys line.
“Direct to consumer communications are most successful when consumers realize that there is exclusive product offerings that no other retailer or distribution channel carries,” Zeidan said. “Exclusivity works best with scarcity, so providing a limited run is a good way to incite purchases, and focusing on a one size fits all type of accessory instead of clothing, ensures a reduced return rate.”
Chloé was unavailable to provide comment.
Luca Solca, managing director of luxury goods at Exane BNP Paribas, echoed Zeidan, and said launching a special edition collectors item like the Carlina sunglasses is particularly effective in spurring buzz around a new website.
“In a lower growth market, you have fewer new consumers coming in, so yesterday’s icons are not effective, as consumers own them already,” Solca said. “Faster product innovation and limited series are great ways to bring new excitement to brands.”
In addition to its online boutique, Chloé also has an existing partnership with Net-A-Porter, on which it sells 170 items, and is one of few luxury brands featured on Amazon Fashion, along with Kate Spade New York and Michael Kors. Chloé products are also sold in store and online through major department stores like Nordstrom and Bergdorf Goodman.
By sidestepping wholesale retailers with the exclusive Carlina launch, Chloé will get access to valuable consumer data, particularly from the pool of top customers willing to shell out extra for limited edition, 18 karat gold sunglasses.