Designer Kate Spade launched a new katespade.com that looks more like a lifestyle blog than an e-commerce shopping site. Their new website allows readers to "shop" or "play," a model whereby half the website is devoted to shopping the latest Kate Spade collection, while the remainder provides editorial content. Books, film, philanthropy and theater--topics typically covered by fashion magazines or Style sections--are all part of Kate Spade's playtime content.
The website also includes city-specific blog posts that provide tips on what to do after you've bought out your local Kate Spade boutique. Their recommendations in Georgetown, where Kate Spade has a freestanding boutique, include a stop at the House of Sweden, brunch at the Billy Martin's Tavern ("where JFK proposed to Jackie"), and a summertime picnic at Jazz in the Sculpture Garden.
Their revamped website is part of a growing trend in e-commerce. Many fashion brands are mixing obvious advertising and shopping promotions with seemingly unrelated editorial content. Arguably, the mix provides enhanced experiences for shoppers and drives traffic to e-commerce websites independent from shopping sales.
The fusion of fashion editorial and advertising is noticeable in other ways. Through the use of famous stylists, video production (like J. Crew's "J. Crew Goes to Italy) or editorial-style photography, brands are further blurring what once was a rigid line between editorial and advertising.
This month, Ann Taylor Loft merges editorial and shopping, too, inviting (or perhaps hiring) the "Seriously Chic Editors" of Glamour, Lucky and Self magazines to create six "Spring Essentials" from their current collection. The editors also provide tips on their website.