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E-Tail Expanding: Talking Shop With My Theresa’s Justin O’Shea

Saturday, 30 July 2011

You might have stumbled across the online retailer if you’ve been searching online for a certain Dries Van Noten dress or Stella McCartney coat. And if you did, the Munich-based e-commerce site probably seemed like a secret cache of designer goodies with everything from Lanvin, Givenchy, Marni, Giambattista Valli, and more. The site began as an extension of influential Munich boutique Theresa four years ago, but split into a separate entity over a year ago. Today the site relaunches with an eye to pushing even further into its rapidly expanding U.S. customer base. spoke with buying director Justin O’Shea about extreme sizing, survival of the e-commerce fittest, and bringing even the Internet-reluctant online.

Can you give us a bit of background and a sense of the buying ethos?
Basically, Susanne and Christoph Botschen built this concept store, Theresa, 23 years ago and were pioneers for bringing luxurious European and American labels into Munich. That’s where the ethos of My Theresa stems from. We also buy those elaborate, luxurious pieces from the runway. We have a strong customer that wants to find something that they can’t find anywhere else. That’s an important part of our ethos. You have to take the risk.

What can we expect from the relaunch?
Better usability. We’ve opened up the page. Everything is bigger, bolder. You’ll see more editorial content in collaboration that we’re doing with the brands. Stella McCartney did a shoot for us with Morgane Dubled. Tabitha Simmons is styling and art-directing a shoot for us on the bold color trend which goes up on March 1. For our launch of Jil Sander runway, we asked [Swedish illustrator] Liselotte Watkins, who’s done prints for Miu Miu, to do a series of illustrations of a model in pieces that we bought which will then be clickable to buy.

Wow. That sounds beautiful.
It’s just an artistic way of approaching it. A Web site has to continuously do something innovative because that’s what online is about. You can’t get stagnant. We wanted to do something special that no one’s really done.

Which other brands are new for spring?
Charlotte Olympia, Valentino, Gucci, and we’ll be the main European online focus for the Chloë Sevigny for Opening Ceremony collection. Chlo#235;’s doing a video interview for us that goes up on February 15. And we’re launching Balenciaga watches as their exclusive online partner on the 15th as well. Read the rest of this entry >

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