By Bethany Biron. Source: Glossy.
Exclusivity has long been a tenet that fuels the fashion industry, and now Alice + Olivia is taking the concept to its Instagram account.
Today, the brand announced its launch of a private Instagram for customers and friends of the company, under the handle @aliciaandoliviashop. The account will give top shoppers a first look at new products, as well as the ability to shop styles before they launch using Curalate’s Like2Buy platform or by emailing the brand’s personal shopping service via email.
“Our Alice + Olivia customers and brand fans are really passionate, and I wanted to create a dedicated and specially curated product environment just for them,” CEO and creative director Stacey Bendet wrote in an email. “@aliceandoliviashop is about beautiful images that really show the design and details of our collection. A selfie just doesn’t cut it sometimes.”
The account will function secondarily to Alice + Olivia’s main account, @aliceandolivia, which has more than 649,000 followers. Interested consumers are required to send a request to follow the account — it currently has just shy of 100 followers and nine posts, which include products from Alice + Olivia’s first-ever sunglasses collection, a collaboration with eyewear startup Eponym.
A private account allows a brand to glean information and shopping patterns from its most dedicated consumers. Bendet said the account will act as a “virtual retail experiment” and that she and her team will test various rollouts and activations through the channel. Her team will be able to analyze consumer insights, along with data mined from the e-commerce site, to tailor a more personalized experience for the Alice + Olivia shopper.
“It’s no secret that Instagram is my favorite platform,” she said. “For me, it’s self-expression and inspiration mixed into one. At the end of the day, I want to inspire our fans through fashion.”
Alice + Olivia is taking a cue from brands like Everlane, which launched a private Instagram account of its own in January 2016 under @EverlaneStudio, accepting followers at a cap of 100 per day. Nike has a similar effort: It uses its separate Nike Lab account to showcase shoe launches.
“It’s like an Instagram incubator,” Red Gaskell, head of social media at Everlane, told Glossy in a previous article. “We want to gauge criticisms, and we’re making it private in order to have a curated, high-value experience. People will feel like they’re in on something.”