Hearst Luxury Collection, the division of media conglomerate Hearst that includes popular publications like Elle, Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, and Town & Country, has revealed its plans to launch an innovative e-commerce platform named “The Tower.” The company has appointed Ken Downing, a former executive at Neiman Marcus, as the chief brand officer to lead this exciting new venture.

“The Tower” will feature four distinct online stores that will share a common cart, platform, and back-end technology system. While each magazine will have its own store URL with a unique design, customers will have the flexibility to seamlessly navigate between the different brands through integrated content and top-level navigation.

The main objective of this new marketplace is to merge content and commerce while fostering a strong sense of community. This strategy aligns with the growing trend of shoppable digital content, which can be observed on platforms like Ssense and High Snobiety. By incorporating editorial content with e-commerce, Hearst aims to capitalize on the authority and reputation of its luxury publications to give its marketplace a competitive advantage.

Kristen O’Hara, the chief business officer of Hearst Magazines, believes that the future of luxury purchases lies in the digital realm. O’Hara states that companies that provide content, curation, and customers to luxury brands will play a significant role in transforming the way commerce operates. She expresses confidence in Ken Downing’s leadership and his ability to bring their vision for The Tower to life. With over three decades of experience in luxury retail, including 25 years as senior vice president and fashion director at Neiman Marcus, Downing is well-equipped for his role as the chief brand officer.

Downing will work closely with the editorial teams of the four brands to ensure that the unique identity of each publication translates effectively into an engaging online shopping experience. He is enthusiastic about his new position and emphasizes his passion for delivering exceptional customer experiences and exceeding the expectations of luxury shoppers.

The first store of The Tower is scheduled to launch in Spring 2022, with the remaining three stores following throughout the year. By combining its renowned publications with a curated online shopping experience, Hearst aims to establish itself as a prominent player in the luxury e-commerce market.

Useful links:
1. Ssense
2. High Snobiety