Condé Nast's long planned online shopping website, Style.com, has come under criticism over the noticeable lack of luxury brands which have partnered with the Vogue magazine publisher's foray into the world of online fashion retail.
Despite two years of preparation and £75m of investment Anna Wintour, editor of US Vogue and one of the most powerful voices in fashion, appears to have been unable to convince many of the luxury brands that feature so heavily in her magazine to partner with the new venture.
Just over a week after its launch fashion insiders have begun criticising the site for the number of big names missing in its line-up. Prada, Givenchy, Versace, Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen and Jil Sander are just some of the big names absent and all of whom are available on rival site Net-a-Porter.
Speaking to the Times, one fashion insider described Style.com as "entirely unremarkable” with a “pathetically small number of largely unknown designers for a launch”.
A senior executive from a fashion label added: “It beggars belief that after two years Anna Wintour, with all her contacts and clout, hasn’t been able to sign up the superbrands.”
Expectations were high for the launch of the new site given the power and influence of the Condé Nast publishing empire — whose other titles include GQ, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker — and the allure of the Vogue name, leading many in the fashion world to expect big designers would come flocking.
Franck Zayan, the president of Style.com, said the “ultimate responsibility for securing brands for the site lies between Style.com and the brands themselves,” and added that the first week had seen “a highly positive customer response and strong sales”.
Some of the big name brands are reportedly "in talks" about featuring on the site and Gucci revealed that it will allow some items selected by the Paris boutique Colette to be featured on the site.