Blueprint for Style had a chance to chat it up with Alexandra Wilson, the brainchild behind Gilt Groupe. We decided to share the insights offered by this fashion and style guru whose background started at Louis Vuitton and Bulgari.
How did you start doing this? I had been working in the fashion industry....including Louis Vuitton and running US operations for Bulgari. As a regular sample sale shopper, I was very familiar with the irrational frenzy that takes over many women (and some men too!) during a top quality sample sale. I partnered with my long-time friend and classmate who had excellent ecommerce training from being at eBay for 5 years during the early days, and we took the plunge into start-up bliss.
When you secured your first "client", what thought popped into your head? When we secured Zac Posen as our launch vendor, I wanted to scream with excitement! It was such an honor and a great validation of our business concept pre-launch.
Ok you're a stylish being so, what do you tell your friends who are not as style savvy? It takes time to cultivate style. Magazines, tv and movies can be great sources of inspiration. If one has the means, hiring a stylist for a few hours to go through your closet, helping you put outfits together and showing you what to purge is extremely helpful and will boost your confidence. [BTW - we did not pay her to say this but, LISTEN UP!]
What differentiates "Gilt Groupe" from everything else out there? Gilt.com is an exciting shopping experience ... a great resource for discovering new brands. Since merchandise sells out quickly, members feel a sense of accomplishment, as though they have “won” something. This is unique in the world of shopping—both etail or retail. We also have Jetsetter.com for special deals on luxury travel and GiltCity.com for access to local services from restaurants, to spas to all kinds of delightful surprises.
What do you want Blueprint for Style readers to know about your company? Gilt Groupe curates a broad range of daily women’s, men’s, children, home and travel sales for it’s exclusive invitation-only members at insider prices.
Now for the fun stuff..... Beyond craving Italian and Japanese cuisine, what is your guilty pleasure? Massages! [Now we know why she can stay so cool under pressure....]
Alexandra is pretty in love with her wardrobe right now, so what are the 3 or so must-haves for you? Black straight-leg pants, fabulous jewelry/watch, and designer shoes are always key! But if she were stuck on an island, she says she would need her fabulous pink snakeskin lace-up Louis Vuitton sandals (Hello, "designer shoes" and they're snakeskin too)!
Ok we took up enough of Alexandra's time so just two more questions. First- what is the one item you would tell every man and woman to splurge on? A watch. And last question - where can we go to see 'fruits of your labor'? For an exciting shopping experience, visit Gilt Groupe using the link provided and become a Gilt member today!