Are Creative Directors Retail’s Newest Style Stars?


As the line between editorial and e-commerce becomes increasingly blurred, retailers are turning to some of the best resources at their disposal: their in-house fashion and creative directors, who can create curated editorial features.

The latest example is Kate Spade — their site is now regularly featuring “Deborah Loves,” a collage of clothes, jewelry and bags in the same color palette chosen by Spade’s chief creative officer Deborah Lloyd. Roll over each item and a text bubble pops up explaining why Lloyd chose it. About a striped tunic in today’s feature, she writes, “This breezy tunic is perfect as a cover-up or paired with skinny white jeans. It’s a great hostess top: I can see myself wearing it while serving mint juleps on the lawn.”

Meanwhile, Shopbop has a dedicated tab on its “Lookbooks” page for “Kate’s Most Wanted,” featuring items chosen by fashion director Kate Ciepluch. And J.Crew’s creative director, Jenna Lyons, has been providing her POV for years with “Jenna’s Picks,” a popular monthly slideshow of her shopping list. “I want people to trust ‘Jenna’s Picks,’ and I think they respond to it because they’re looking for help editing: There’s so much noise, so many things to look at now. People say, do you really pick them? Absolutely!” she told last year.

These features work because they offer users a pared-down, easy-to-digest snapshot of the best items available on their sites right now. But curated lists have another big benefit: they bring instant personality and a human face to big brands.

[Disclosure: Kate Spade is owned by Liz Claiborne, Inc., the financial sponsor of this site.]