Economy

Daily dress-ups: Australian fashion entrepreneur Bruno Schiavi tells SmartCompany about his new online venture

Yolanda Redrup /

Enigmatic Australian-born fashion designer and entrepreneur Bruno Schiavi, famous for his celebrity collaborations, is launching an online venture on Monday utilising a business model in which he sells a new dress every day.

Los Angeles-based Schiavi, born and raised in Sydney’s inner west, is one of Australia’s most successful international fashion identities, turning over $75 million in 2012-13 through his company Jupi Corporation.

His new venture, One Dress A Day, is already turning heads in Hollywood. Although the one-product-a-day model has already been popularised by deals sites like woot.com, the trend is new to designer fashion.

“With internet shopping becoming so prominent, and because I have 11 brands around the world in 17 countries, I’m always thinking about how to keep consumers interested in the products when they’re shopping every day,” he told SmartCompany this morning.

The dresses will come in various styles and prices will range from $140 to just over $200. Free shipping is also being offered to shoppers worldwide.

bruno

Schiavi says regular online retail sites often feature the same collection for between 20 and 45 days, meaning people will only visit the site once a month.

“So I thought I’d launch a brand new product 365 days of the year, giving people a new look and a new fashion tip every day,” he says.

“I’m focusing on making sure I put 150% into what I do, and we have plans to expand this category by having one handbag a day and just making sure I give people something fresh,” he says.

Schiavi says people can be overwhelmed by choice when shopping online, but having limited options simplifies the process.

“If I go on a website and I click on something and then my eyes wander and I see something else, I’ll forget about what I was actually looking at. It’s just overwhelming, so I want people to come online, see the dress, and if they like it, buy it.”

Between 500 and 700 of each dress will be made, he says, with fabrics sourced from Italy and France and dresses manufactured in America, and as of next year, Australia too. The dresses will be sold until stock runs out, but for no longer than a month.

Lowe Lippmann partner and retail expert David Gordon says the online retail industry is undergoing consolidation.

“What’s happening online now is there is a lot of refining of business models… Many at the moment are just trying to find the most profitable model,” he says.

Gordon told SmartCompany this business model will keep consumers excited – by offering a new product each day, consumers won’t become bored of the stock.

“Currently, when you trawl the net there has been an explosion of new sites, which occurred when the industry transformation happened and things shifted online.”

“Consumers are essentially looking at the same site and products across each website, but this website overcomes this and addresses the issue of newness.”

Schiavi has collaborated with celebrities including the Kardashians and Priscilla Presley, and while his new venture isn’t celebrity-focused, he recognises the power of celebrity endorsement.

“We’ve had an amazing reaction so far and only did a soft launch on August 12. We’ve already sold out of three styles out of seven, some in two or three hours.

“Olivia Palermo was also photographed wearing one of the dresses we sent her and Vanessa Hudgens posted a photo on Twitter in the dress – people are loving it,” Schiavi says.

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