Prada is launching its first ever e-commerce destination tomorrow, a bold move considering that where countless independent designers have introduced individual online shopping portholes in recent months, luxury fashion has been slow to embrace the internet. While everyone from Patrik Ervell, Phillip Crangi, and Band of Outsiders, to Rachel Comey and Mociun has opened virtual shop, Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci have yet to hawk their wares online. Prada is leading the way, although with accessories only: “unfortunately you can’t buy Prada clothing on the site but you can pick up purses, accessories and eyewear,” says Fashionista. So, while a strategic way to grow Prada’s potential consumer base, it’s not as revolutionary as, say, Miuccia’s designs.
Given the fact that Prada has had incredible foresight with regard to its groundbreaking boutiques and trendsetting artist collaborations, it seems as though the potential for digital innovation from such a powerhouse could be infinite. But, as I’ve mentioned before, getting luxury fashion brands up to speed with regard to the digital landscape, especially socially speaking, is an uphill battle. That said, Edo Jao, a beacon of luxury strategy know-how, recently tweeted of a meeting with Prada strategic consultants, that “There was a fucking ice breaker during our meeting, are we at summer camp? Is Prada suddenly into this sort of stuff?” Given Jao’s seat at the intersection where fashion meets technology, could it be that Prada is indeed ready to change? It sure looks like it.