Industry. Ebay Builds Its Fashion Foundation. Second City Style Fashion Blog

March 2, 2007 • Fashion



If you can go vintage you can also go Ebay, at least that’s what Constance White is hoping for. The Style Director (and Project Runway judge) was trying to make the Oscars synonymous with Ebay during last week’s rush to dress the stars. And why not? So far, Businessweek reports that Ebay is actually ahead of megabrands Victoria’s Secret and Land’s End is terms of drawing an audience so the battle is almost won.

White has been a powerhouse at Ebay. As she works tirelessly to raise eBay’s fashion quotient, reports Businessweek. "White ‘brings credibility to eBay,’ says North American head Bill Cobb. A former New York Times style reporter and Elle magazine editor who joined eBay in 2003, she is a regular at runway shows, hunting down designers willing to sell their creations on the company’s site, if only for a short time. In 2004, White homed in on Proenza Schouler, a fledgling brand that was starting to crop up in fashion magazine spreads. In the deal, the label offered more than 100 items exclusively on eBay’s auction site for 10 days. Almost all the items received bids, and 30% sold, for a total of $7,127. "It’s all about building buzz among fashion influencers," says White."

And there is good news.
"White snagged a handful of designers, including Stephen Burrows and Douglas Hannant—favorites among New York socialites—to provide new dresses for eBay’s pre-Oscar showing at the Four Seasons. Those brands, like many high-end labels, aim to get in front of regular shoppers who probably wouldn’t buy their pricey gowns but might spring for some less-expensive accessories. "The value of our relationship with eBay is about exposure," says John R. Miller, managing director of the Stephen Burrows brand. Post-Oscar ceremony, eBay is keeping the clothes, hoping to get them onto more celebrities down the road.

White also pens a blog on the eBay site giving practical clothing tips for real-world scenarios such as "meeting the parents." Among the advice: "Find a middle ground between wild and wallflower." It isn’t a bad description of where eBay would like to be."

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–Joanne Molina for Second City Style

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