While moving our blog to our new site, I browsed some of the older content and saw the post about Style.com. I thought it was weird that since writing it, the website hadn’t been on my radar, and I couldn’t remember seeing much about it since the launch.
I typed in the url and was redirected to a similar ecommerce site. So I started digging around - luxury ecommerce is a tough and competitive marketplace, but surely Conde Nast would have the funds to bully its way into our consciousness?
It didn’t. Here is a brief overview of how Style.com evolved and what went wrong:
- Style.com was a website owned by Conde Nast. Conde Nast also owns magazines such as Vogue, and the Style.com website was a content/magazine site that collated content from Conde Nast titles.
- In 2015, Conde Nast announced plans to turn Style.com into an ecommerce site, at a time when traditional magazines were increasingly looking to move into other industries to future-proof themselves. The idea was that you could purchase the items shown in editorials.
- Staff layoffs are made and the existing Vogue Runway* becomes the new reciprocal for the content previously funneled to Style.com. While the new ecommerce site is built, the Style.com domain redirects to Vogue.
- In autumn/winter 2015 the launch of style.com was delayed.
- Style.com was launched amid criticism that some luxury brands were not available on the site, followed by reports that it was not fairing well, with poor sales and staff leaving.
- In June 2017, Conde Nast announced that Style.com (reportedly a $100million investment) would close and redirect to farfetch.com. Conde Nast was an early investor in Farfetch.
It seems to me that Conde Nast gave up on the Style.com brand, possibly due to the negative reception and decided instead to focus its energy on an ecommerce platform it had already invested in.
* Bonus content: According to Vogue Runway Twitter, suits are in for 2017.