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05-06-2008
  1
flaunt the imperfection
 
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La Garconne
La Garçonne: Feeding Indie Fashion to the Masses

June 3rd, 2008 - Global








Named after a controversial 1920s French novel, Fairfield, Connecticut-based e-commerce site La Garçonne speaks to the girl with a slight—or not so slight—Francophile complex. Translated as "the bachelor girl" or "the flapper," La Garçonne draws inspiration from French fashion icons including Jane Birkin, François Hardy and Catherine Deneuve. For owner Kris Kim, who stocks the site with her wardrobe favorites including 3.1 Phillip Lim, Alexander Wang and Staerk, La Garçonne is about a hand-crafted, personal experience. She designed the original website herself, and she oversees the irreverent editorial, including "Garçonne We Love," where shoppers can currently explore Parisian actress Clémence Poésy's look, highlighted by pieces from Heimstone, Ksubi and Mayle.
We sat down with Kim to talk about her grand plan for La Garçonne.
JC Report: What were you doing before La Garçonne?
Kris Kim: I've worked in the industry since the day I got out of school. I started my career at Dana Buchman working in the textile department, then moved on to working at Marie Claire in Korea as a "International Communications Coordinator," which really meant doing a lot of translating from English into Korean and vice versa. However, this was the first important stepping stone into a career in public relations and marketing, where I started off working for Prada in Korea for five years. Upon moving back to New York, I did stints in PR for Katayone Adeli, Hogan and Hermès, and headed the operations for Y & Kei in New York.
JCR: How did you get the project off the ground?
KK: I took a break from the fashion industry for over a year, and got my personal life in order. After having my child, I decided that I was ready for a new project, and I finally had the courage to take that plunge. I've always had the ideas—now it was time to make it happen. While pregnant and not as mobile, I shopped online constantly getting ready for the baby's arrival. During that time, I realized how very little there was on the web for fashion. And I also didn't understand why an online store could not be as beautiful and pleasant to shop in as a brick-and-mortar store. One of my favorite things to do is to visit my favorite stores and discover new ones—walking through some of them is such a therapeutic, happy experience. Why not bring this same aesthetic to cyberspace?
I didn't understand why all the existing online stores were so busy-looking and chaotic, to say the least. For me, this was not the shopping experience I wanted—and so was born La Garçonne, which was designed and merchandised to look exactly like what I was looking for on the web—for all the girls like myself—loving fashion and taking it very seriously. With this idea in mind, and with my new born baby in tow, I personally designed the site—every big and small web design house I talked to was only willing to turn out a generic site, and the fees were too much. And with a $25,000 buying budget, I called around to designers and convinced them to sell to me.
JCR: How has the internet changed trends and the way the fashion-obsessed interpret them?
KK: Call it the Information Age, the YouTube Era, we live in a time when fashion trends and ideas spread so much faster and die just as quickly. Because of this, I think there is tendency for those who truly love/respect/obsess over fashion to stay with looks that are classically-inspired with a dose of the current trends. Designers such as Alexander Wang and 3.1 Phillip Lim do this so well.
JCR: What distinguishes La Garçonne from other e-commerce sites?
KK: I believe the look of the site strikes a cord with people. We live in an age where there is too much of everything, everywhere. We narrow things down and present them in a way that is clean, simple and beautiful. And a good merchandise mix helps. We don't sell anything that we wouldn't want to wear ourselves.
JCR: Do you ever want a brick-and-mortar version of La Garçonne?
KK: Absolutely, all the time. We consider this the next step for La Garçonne. However, we want to do it right, in the right place, at the right time. It is so difficult to do both very well—keeping our philosophy and store images intact in both places is a challenge and winging it is not an option.
JCR: How do people shop today?
KK: With the economy where it is, I think consumers are looking to shop for what they truly love (even if they spend a little more), rather than shopping for the sake of shopping. Based on what we have found in our own business, consumers are not as brand obsessed as they were, say, a decade ago.
JCR: Fashion brands and boutiques have been beefing up on in-house editorial as of late. Do you think your editorial helps to sell the product and enhance La Garçonne as a brand?
KK: Yes, our in-house editorials are crucial because this has direct correlation to the branding. The look of La Garçonne is quite specific and is always inspired by a single main concept—a "garçonne" way of dressing and living. The girl, the makeup, the clothes and the setting in our editorials consistently play a big part in telling this story. Also, from a selling standpoint, when you place the products in a certain lifestyle setting, it makes more sense for customers—especially when they cannot have an up-close experience.
JCR: What pieces are you excited about as warm weather comes to Connecticut?
KK: I think simple-chic is the word. We've been excited about the oversized tees and bottoms, accessorized with big gauzy summer scarves and gladiator sandals.
www.lagarconne.com
This interview was conducted by Jessica Arthur.

jcreport.com

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05-06-2008
  2
a hymn to darkness
 
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I love La Garconne...
Always a great selection...
Thanks for posting!

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09-06-2008
  3
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One of my new favourite online stores...

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09-06-2008
  4
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^Tis mine too..it's overtaking blaec.com on my list of favourite online stores.
Lagarconne is hitting the right notes on its selection, and I love to browse their sale/outlet section every now and then just to see what I can pick up on a whim.

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10-06-2008
  5
Aby
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It's one of my favourite too, always inspiring, their selection is impeccable and coherent. There's always something I want to buy but always hesitated to do the whole overseas shipping.

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11-06-2008
  6
girl who fell to earth
 
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i'm pretty sure i've heard of the site but haven't really looked into it...

the article and this thread have peaked my interest though

thanks for the thread softie

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12-06-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aby View Post
There's always something I want to buy but always hesitated to do the whole overseas shipping.
From my experience, it was swift and reliable! They delivered with Fedex, nobody was home on the day they tried to deliver, so I signed the slip for them to leave the package at the back door, and it was there the next day! It shipped really quickly too, and I'm in Australia, which usually takes a while for things to be sent to...

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07-11-2008
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Meg
inspired contemplation
 
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La Garconne
Since I know many of us shop there, I decided it was time to dedicate a thread to the shop of many dreams :p

Anyway - what are people's thoughts/experiences/faves? I must admit, I check it everyday since they update that often and things sell out quite quickly. Right now, I'm hesitating on buying a Heimstone dress on sale (wrong size and the color would probably not suit me but it's so darn pretty) and the Stendig wall calendar. I also love some of the really rare labels they stock like Rose. If I have a complaint, it's that I don't think they stock a big enough array of sizes. I'm not sure if it's the brands or the buyer, but a lot of things don't come in anything larger than an M, or a US size 8.

Anyway, here's pic of my current lusts:

Stendig Calendar

dress by Rose. They don't have my size and it would never fit me (I'm too petite for the length and the back cut out) but it's so beautiful.

Heimstone dress that is taunting me.
all pics from lagarconne.com

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08-11-2008
  9
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I love to go to the website and browse - their selection is great and I would wear every piece in a heartbeat. It's also one of the rare websites where you are able to get Zucca online.
Their sale section is a great place to get some nice pieces..right now I must admit I just can't stomach paying retail prices. My only complaint about La Garconne is that some of the past seasons' offerings are still at really high prices, even after the discounts. And of course coupons are few and far between...but mostly the website is so well-styled that I am drawn in.

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08-11-2008
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I bought a great 3.1 Phillip Lim clutch on sale from La Garconne a while back...
It's a great store, and really easy to shop with!

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08-11-2008
  11
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I love their lookbooks, everything is so stylish and well put together. I wish I could shop from there more often

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08-11-2008
  12
Aby
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I think there's already a thread for La Garçonne... which is one of my favourite internet shopping site.

I love their selection and the styling is always inspiring.

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08-11-2008
  13
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thanks aby, good memory...

I found it and merged both threads.

I'm a daily visitor as well but always hesitate because they are located in my state and I hate paying tax...but much of zucca this season has tempted me anyway.

I dont understand why they dont carry anything over size 6 either?

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08-11-2008
  14
Meg
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^
I know. Esp. when they put "Brand fits small" and their biggest size is a size 6 (it's hard to even find the 8's). Not sure why this is. I agree that some of their sale stuff is still overpriced, and is anyone else eyeing that beautiful lavender Zucca dress in the sale section?!

I knew this other thread existed, but it was for the interview and I wanted one specifically for shopping, though I agree it makes sense to have them together :p

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08-11-2008
  15
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I love this site, too. However, I always am frustrated with their sales ... I've had my eye on a pair of shoes for months, waiting for them to go down in price, but alas, not meant to be I guess.

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