Rebecca Young talks fashion future with ASOS
WITH the rise of celebrity culture has come an increasing covertness to wear, and own, the same as the stars.
Fashion website ASOS.com has capitalised on this desire and bucked economic downturn to become one of today’s biggest fashion success stories.
But relying on celebrity culture, while key to the website’s success, would not alone have produced the massive success ASOS has achieved.
The site has over 2,500 of its own-label products as well as 250 big brand names, including luxury labels such as Marc Jacobs and D&G.
ASOS is now the UK’s largest independent online fashion and beauty retailer and this year is set to take on cut-price label giant TK MAXX.
The site saw sales growing an incredible 90% for the year ending March 2008. It’s clear to see fashion-savvy shoppers are not letting the current financial climate stop them from indulging in a spot of retail therapy.
Nick Robertson, chief executive of ASOS.com, says 2008 will see even more. “The number of brands available on ASOS will increase from 255 in Autumn/Winter 2007 to around 600 by Autumn/Winter 2008,” he says.
“Our own label styles will also increase from 2,530 to around 5,000 over the same time period.”
ASOS.com started life as As Seen On Screen eight years ago in June 2000. It was built on the idea of showing young shoppers how to emulate the style of celebrity magazine favourites such as Victoria Beckham, Coleen Rooney or Kate Moss at a fraction of the cost. Today you can pick up an ASOS Tiered Hem Prom Dress in the style of Victoria Beckham (pictured) for as little as £35. Alongside these own-brand items “in the style of,” you can also pick up a pair of dVb brand sunglasses, as designed and worn by the lady herself.
The award-winning site is one of the few where you can pick up an outfit for under £50, get your hands on unique, one-off pieces by up-and-coming designers and buy all the latest beauty products. In total, it offers over 10, 000 fashion products across womenswear, menswear, footwear, accessories, jewellery and beauty.
ASOS have 1.65 million registered users on the site and it attracts over 3.4 million visitors a month. It reaches its members through twice-weekly emails full of the latest trends and products (all of which are available to buy on the site, naturally.)
They also produce a monthly magazine which takes on a similar style to its glossy counterparts and is full of fashion and beauty news, information about ASOS and celebrity style secrets. It is now reaching an even wider audience in electronic format as an application on the social networking site, Facebook.
The most significant development for the website in 2008/9 will be the launch of ASOS Red.
This will be a branded clearance section for end-of-season and markdown stock. Initially this will consist of approximately 20 brands, expanding to around 50 brands within six months.
Mr Robertson says: “We firmly believe that by applying the ASOS presentation techniques to this end-of-season stock, we will be able to enhance the image of the brands and the product and provide an overall better customer experience.”
ASOS.com’s target audience is quoted as “internet savvy 18 to 34-year-olds” but with a canny team selecting its wide-ranging products and an exciting year of developments ahead, you can pretty much guarantee its success will be anything but short-lived.