On Monday September 19th, we were invited to a private viewing event for Moda Operandi at the Presidential Suite at Missoni Hotel. Hosted by Fatma Al Gharabally, and surrounded by a small yet fabulous gathering of fashionable ladies, the Moda Operandi team attended to all the guests in the best way possible.
Moda Operandi is the first shopping portal of its kind. It is a members-only, luxury fashion retailer that allows members to pre-order items straight from the runway through online "trunk shows", sometimes a mere hours after the collections hits the catwalk. Items available to be ordered include ready-to-wear clothing, accessories and jewelry.
Founded by Áslaug Magnúsdóttir, former Head of Merchandising at Gilt.com, and Lauren Santo Domingo, Contributing Editor for Vogue US, Moda Operandi is a one of a kind online shopping concept. Through their experience in the fashion industry, the ladies managed to create a completely new shopping experience.
What separates Moda Operandi from other online fashion retailers is the ability to pre-order items before they hit the stores, as well as ordering items that were made only for the runway, and will not make be made for retail.
Sometimes, however, runway looks may not be available on the site because they were not priced by the designer, and therefore cannot be available for sale until they are priced.
Basically, this is how the site works:
- After a designer presents their collection at a runway show, Moda Operandi shoots photographs of the complete collection (including individual shots, details shots and a video for each look).
- Hours after the show, a select number of looks will be displayed on the site in an "Online Trunk Show".
- A couple of days later, a larger number of looks from the collection is displayed on the website for 3 days. During the show, members may pre-order any of the available pieces from the designer's collection. (Members place a 50% deposit when they place an order).
- As soon as the designer produces the items (this process can take up to a few months), the site notifies the members and the remaining balance is charged.
- When the full payment is made, customers receive their items before they hit stores worldwide.
Among the designers that Moda Operandi works with are: Vera Wang, Thakoon, Proenza Schouler, Derek Lam, Alexander Wang, Marchesa, Mathew Williamson, Jonathan Saunders, Marios Schwab, Christopher Kane, Erdem, Nina Ricci, Isabel Marant, Giambattista Valli, Missoni, Vionnet, Alberta Feretti.
The event was held at the panoramic Presidential Suite on the 17th floor of the hotel. Upon entering the suite, you sign your name at a register in the entrance for a chance to enter a raffle.
It was a warm and inviting space, with guests sitting around a handful of dining tables. Each table had an iPad on it, where guests were able to register on the site and browse through the different pages. There was also a lounge seating area and a gorgeous terrace overlooking the Gulf Road. All around the lounge were a number of different Hermes bags available for sale (showing just a tidbit of what the site has to offer).
As soon as all the guests arrived and were seated at the dining tables, Moda Operandi's Co-Founder Áslaug Magnúsdóttir gave a short presentation about the site and how it works. Guests were encouraged to ask questions about the site to inquire further about it. After that, the MO ladies went around each table, helping guests register online, as well as talk about – what else? – fashion!
A nod to Missoni for serving the most elegant hors d'oeuvres that matched the interior perfectly (both creatively and artistically through incorporating the suite's color palette)! A dinner buffet was also served at the terrace.
At each table setting, guests were treated to a small box filled with Laderach chocolates as well as a $250 gift voucher to purchase from the site!
At the end of the event, a raffle was held and the MO ladies pulled out 3 random numbers and the winners won tickets to New York Fashion Week February 2012!
It was a lovely evening that we enjoyed thoroughly. Thank you to Moda Operandi and Fatma Al Gharabally for choosing to include us in this event.
– Alya Al-Othman
Images by Khaleejesque. Top image courtesy of Fatma Al Gharabally