- Sharon Camara |
An e-shop platform solely dedicated to luxury shoes; that is the promise offered by MarthaLouisa.com. The e-shop, which will be available from 15 March 2018, will exclusively offer shoes from the big fashion houses as well as from young designers, together with a promise to size and quality. Behind this ambitious project is a German couple and not their first foray into luxury e-commerce - we are talking about Susanne and Christoph Botschen, founders of the luxury e-commerce site MyTheresa.com. FashionUnited had the opportunity of meeting them in Paris on the launch of their new platform, MarthaLouisa.
You are returning to the online sales sector three years after selling your MyTheresa.com site. What are your reasons for returning?
Susanne Botschen: We felt incomplete, that our hands were tied and that we couldn’t move, but the passion has never left us. We have always loved shoes! Some people are just happy to make a profit, play golf, collect works of art or even do nothing, but that’s not for us. We really miss the fashion industry and absolutely wanted to return to it. At the same time, we have always kept an eye on fashion and we feel that the large groups were continually becoming more powerful, that the offers have become too wide and that there was no longer any real selection. We felt that this was the time to propose a more specialist offer.
Christoph Botschen: After travelling for three years, I knew we were not going to carry on doing that for the rest of our lives and that we had to find something that we were passionate about and that we knew how to do. That is how MarthaLouisa.com was born.
Tell us about MarthaLouisa.com
Susanne Botschen: The concept consists in selecting carefully so that the consumers feel that they have been advised and do not find themselves confused by a selection that is much too wide. Fifty percent of the shoes that we are going to be offering come from the big fashion houses and the rest will come from talented and promising young designers. It will still be luxury, but affordable luxury. I think that today there is a great deal of new talent and it is a good time for them, in particular in the shoe sector.
“I think that in fact all women have a little bit of “Martha” and a bit of “Louisa” in them”:
Why did you call your platform “MarthaLouisa”?
Susanne Botschen: “MarthaLouisa” represents our heritage, our DNA. We have always been in the habit of using the first names of girls. Before the site MyTheresa.com, we had a physical store with the same name. “Theresa” is an old first name that is easy to pronounce in all languages, and this also applies to the name “Martha”. These are sophisticated and intellectual first names. As for “Louisa”, it is a first name that has feeling of youth, with a sexy aspect as well. In fact, I think all women have a bit of “Martha” and a bit of “Louisa” in them.
E-commerce platforms such as Maatchesfashion.com, Net-A-Porter.com and even MyTheresa.com offer luxury shoes. What do you think about the competition?
Susanne Botschen: There is no platform exclusively dedicated to shoes; it’s a different approach, a different business. When you offer all categories, you become very polyvalent and your business grows; if you concentrate on one category only, you become the specialist and you are essential. We want to make shoes more accessible, more quickly so and we have a different approach. We think that it is the time for a specialist in luxury shoes on the market and we want to be the essential platform for enthusiasts. Listen to Susanne Botschen talk about the MarthaLouisa.com launch
How did the collaboration with different brands come about?
Susanne Botschen: The project was welcomed enthusiastically. When we started to approach the brands, our former collaborators were extremely loyal. Our reputation is certainly the reason for this. They all know that we are serious and reliable people. We have established our reputation and I think that that is the reason why these important brands have agreed to work with us. Listen to Susanne Botschen talk about working with brands for MarthaLouisa.com
Are you planning collaborations and special limited collections?
Susanne Botschen: Absolutely; at present we have two upcoming collaborations, including one with Prada. They are the first to whom we proposed a collaboration and therefore they are the first who have accepted. We certainly envisage doing further collaborations in the future.
What are your long-term objectives for MarthaLouisa.com?
Christoph Botschen: To become specialists in the sale of luxury shoes online and especially to become an essential address.
In 2018, do you think online sales will be more profitable than retail sales?
Susanne Botschen: Times have changed and people want to have access to products more easily and more quickly. I think that consumers’ patience has been constantly falling and online shopping is more practical. But, I don’t think retail will die; it will continue to attract with new offers.
This article was originally published on FashionUnited.fr.
Photo: Website screenshot of MarthaLouisa.com, FashionUnited, Karlo Otto pr.