Online Fashion Shopping, Part I: BrunaRosso.com
By Pablo Avion
Time-machine back to January 2011: I owned two pairs of jeans, two shirts, and two pairs of beat-up shoes I’d purchased, used, five years earlier.
Let me explain: I was (well, technically I still am) a musician. Which, in LA, is code word for “poor.” Things have been looking up the past couple of years, which has meant purchasing a bed that’s not a single mattress on the floor, and a TV bigger than 12″ wide. Which has been nice.
Our editor Samuel recently introduced me to a phrase I’d never heard before. The phrase is “fashion victim.”
Apparently the term was coined by Oscar de la Renta and expounded upon by Versace, but to be honest I don’t really understand all the fine points. As I like to frequently point out, unlike our appropriately fashion-obsessed editor, my comprehension of important names, dates and epochs in the fashion world is limited, to say the least.
But I have discovered two things on my fashion journey, neither very original or even interesting: I like to buy stuff. And I know what I like. And the stuff I like, for reasons unknown to me, seems to frequently come from France and Italy.
So it is that I have discovered multiple outlets for my new lust for clothes.
The first of these sites is actually the newest. BrunaRosso.com caught my eye for a few reasons:
- The selection was intense. Really intense.
- The website was clearly new (as certain pages seemed to be being developed the day I found it)
- The website seemed to be for a boutique founded in the early ’60s
- And best of all, when I emailed with a question, the reply was immediate, friendly, and “felt” right
So I decided to ask them more about their store, philosophy and brand.
Interview with BrunaRosso.comQ: Where are you located? How long have you been in business? How did the business begin? And who runs it now?
We are located in Cuneo in northwest Italy, about 2 hours west of Milan, very near France and Monaco / Monte-Carlo.
Natale and Margherita Brunarosso opened their first boutique on 1st of August 1961, fifty-one years ago. The store began in local markets in Italy and France, selling household linens and cloth. From there it grew to a little textile store now consists of six thriving stores.
All the shops are still owned by the family. The second and third generation are working hard to continuosly improve. Natale and Margherita Brunarosso opened their first boutique on 1st of August 1961, fifty-one years ago.
What is your specialty? What defines the types of goods you carry? How do you choose / what are the criteria?
Our four buyers personally choose the brands we carry and the criteria are simple: we want items that create that special magic that will excite and inspire our customers. Every shop is further specialized to offer a tailored selection to the customers of each location.
Why did you decide to take the business online? What do you hope to bring to the marketplace?
Our company never stops. : ) Many companies have an impersonal, “cold” approach. Having been in business for as long as we have, we’re fully aware that we don’t face bytes but real people. We want them to have a good time shopping, human customer service and the sense of security that only an ‘old-fashioned’ boutique can give.
How do you want customers to feel when they shop in your boutiques? And for the online shopper, how do you hope to replicate that experience online?
We want our customers to feel happy and relaxed when they shop. Every customer is different. Some of them want to be fully followed and helped by a “personal shopper.” Others prefer a more professional approach and are more direct in their decision-making. Thanks to our 51 years of experience, we try to understand the customer and are always available for every need.
When will the website make its official debut, in terms of full functionality?
We will be at full functionality at the end of November. Just in time for Cyber Monday!
What are your favorite brands?
Well, with 1000 square meters [11,000 square feet] of space, Brunarosso’s stores have a really huge selection, including Prada, Miu Miu, Fendi, Gucci, Dolce&Gabbana, Tod’s, Hogan, Moncler and many, many others.
Personally? My favourite outfit would be a DSquared2 tee shirt, Paul Smith sweater, Moncler down jacket, Dolce&Gabbana jeans and Golden Goose sneakers.