RealTime IT News

Italian Fashion Site Boasts 150,000 Web Customers

In an effort to enhance its online sales, Italian fashion house Diesel has gone one-on-one with its Internet customers by launching the Diesel Club.

Already exceeding 150,000 members, the club provides exclusive, sneak previews of upcoming collections, an advanced look at advertisements, and an e-mail newsletter of Diesel happenings.

"Perhaps the best feature of our Web site. . . is that we have always taken the interactive aspect of the Web seriously" said Bob Shevlin, director of new media. "We personally respond to all questions received via the Web--and we even give site visitors the possibility to ask questions directly to Diesel clothing designers."

Diesel has long been recognized for its enormous range of distinctive clothing products--from what is arguably the world's broadest selection of jeans to an ever-evolving range of bold, fashion forward men's, women's, and children's casuals. Complementing Diesel's innovative design touch has been a radical approach to communications and promotions, gaining the company notoriety far beyond standard fashion circles.

"Diesel puts a high emphasis on production values of its Web site," said Shevlin. "We have a virtual department and Web graphics team dedicated full-time to publishing on the Internet--and they are charged with the task of creating new materials to go online each week."

And create they do. Spread over hundreds of pages, the Diesel site not only offers fashions, but interactive, futuristic games like G-Police 1 and 2, and high-tech video artwork from 55DSL Extreme Sports--a top secret video game project.

Additionally, one can browse the global retail store listings, enter the live chat rooms, view historical print advertising, download Diesel television commercials, and explore the site's Guide to Successful Living material (such as an on-line phrase book for travelers and an interactive self-defense instruction manual).

Shevlin points out, however, that it is the online store that draws most Diesel Club members.

"One of our biggest focuses is expanding our virtual stores to cover the world--and in using our Web site to disseminate information to our customers more effectively. For example, we've recently reduced our print production of fashion catalogs from 1 million copies per season to less than 1/2 that because we are using the Web to present our new collections."