Estefania Lacayo and business partner Jessica Wilpon Kamel see accessories as art, not commerce. That’s why their 1½-year-old online boutique, Edition01, helps clients create perfectly edited wardrobes without resorting to drastic discounting to lure them in. Avoiding the sample-sale mentality that has put traditional jewelers on the defensive, Edition01 offers extremely limited, numbered collections from cutting-edge designers such as Waris Ahluwalia, Monique Péan, and Fenton/Fallon. Kamel tells JCK why their mantra—“Putting luxury back on its pedestal, but just high enough so you can reach it”—is helping reshape Web-based shopping, one click at a time.
How was the idea for Edition01 born?
The inspiration came from wanting to create an online store that would not only sell exclusive collaborations, but facilitate them as well. We wanted to provide a platform for the designers we love that wouldn’t be about discounts or flash sales and could be accessed from all over the world. With Edition01, our hope is to redefine what exclusive means by making shopping about the experience and access.
Who is your target customer?
She is someone who either shops online regularly or is just starting to get comfortable with it. She is brand-loyal. She is an individual. She admires fine craftsmanship and design. She thinks about how she wants to present herself to the world by being selective about what she wears.
What do you find to be the key to selling jewelry online?
We’ve found necklaces and bracelets to be our best sellers. Rings are a bit harder online. The right photography is important, as well as photographing the pieces on a model so that the customer can get a sense of scale. This can also be achieved with the right descriptive text.
How do you choose the jewelers you work with?
We definitely like to bring brands on board that we believe will lead to long-term relationships. We prefer brands that are open to new ways to promote themselves through social media. And personal taste dictates these decisions as well.
Are most designers willing to create a limited-edition line?
We’ve been pleasantly surprised with the support we’ve received from designers. I think they understand Edition01 is a place where they can sell without seeing their merchandise heavily discounted—which, although sometimes necessary, is often brand-deteriorating. One of the most compelling aspects of our business is that designers can experiment with certain concepts and use our site as a test bed for products in a very cost-effective way. We are as focused on the economics and profitability of this industry as we are on design, quality, and customer experience.
As a retailer, why is curation so important?
Edition01 is not just a fashion business; it’s a lifestyle. The Internet has empowered people to become more individualistic, experimental, and bold enough to mix luxury and high-street fashion. Our goal is to curate and edit our content to represent not only the brand, but to add valuable lifestyle content.