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Is the cold shoulder luxury labels have been giving e-commerce starting to thaw?

Prada’s first ipad app makes its fashion debut this week, and as expected it is slick, opulent and highly stylised, much like the Italian powerhouse itself.

Developed by Hollywood visual-effects guru James Lima, the Il Palazzo app allows visitors to take a tour into a virtual palazzo, which will house a series of the brand’s capsule collections and special products.

Il Palazzo currently shows the Prada men’s and women’s Portrait sunglasses collection and later this month the luxury label will unveil the Bloom jewellery range, including flower filled necklaces, bracelets and earrings.

More importantly, the label’s latest foray into technology shows that luxury brands may at last be softening their hardened stance on online sales. Where the high street has been riding high on the e-commerce profit-train for some years now, high-end designers have been reluctant to jump on the I.T bandwagon.

But the importance of connecting with the customer and adapting to whatever tools they are using has begun to hit home.

Eran Leon, footwear and accessories buyer for discount premium fashion website Cocosa, spoke of the changing attitudes of luxury labels towards online shopping.

“Last year many designers, particularly Italians, were reluctant to move away from bespoke boutiques, but they are beginning to realise that online shopping is the way forward,” he explained.

Eran credits the luxury appearance of the Cocosa website with encouraging high-fashion brands to engage with e-commerce. Despite boasting off-price fashion, the online retailer has developed a webpage worthy of the premium products it sells- chic, glossy and not a red Sale sticker in sight.

In fact Cocosa has taken its site one step further down the techno-genius path by becoming the first retail website to use a responsive wire-frame design. The ‘one-size fits all’ logic reacts to a range of devices, meaning the site can be viewed with ease on mobiles, tablets and computers. This interchangeable compatibility makes shopping online a breeze for the target market.

As e-commerce becomes an ever strengthening component in the fashion industry, and a highly lucrative one at that, luxury fashion brands catering to a constantly evolving market, cannot afford to miss out.

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