Oilily is described on its site as "a premium worldwide fashion label focused on creative, independent women and women at the center of young families with children between 0 and 10 years old." The brand carefully takes aim at these women via lifestyle-oriented messaging, claiming that its products are created for "women who dedicate themselves to creating the richest possible life experience for themselves and their families." With a price point that can only place Oilily in the luxury category, the brand means "rich" in more ways than one. We visited Oilily-World.com to see if its online experience inspires our inner boho-momma enough to lay out the big bucks.
An initial click leads visitors to an intricate Flash fantasy sequence, designed to simulate an animated collage, with the Oilily crest and a flying bird twittering about all over the place. The navigation menu sits above this interactive collage. The compelling visuals reflect the brand’s artsy design sensibility quite well. Eclectic, indeed.
The most important thing a clothing/accessories brand should be concerned with online is how it displays and informs visitors about its products. The Collection section in Oilily-World is constructed with a traditional navigation, offering users a convenient way to veer between products, a Sizechart, a Storefinder search function, and a Gifts & Fragrances section.
The product pages feature six product thumbnail shots that can be displayed in a closer view, with brief product descriptions and close-up, detailed views. These are great for consumers to get a real feel for what they are looking at. Wisely, the page also features a "Goes Great With" window off to the side, recommending a complementary product and maximizing retail space. One annoying byproduct of fancy design and failing function lies in the microscopic size of the product description font, which makes cruising the site somewhat difficult without magnifying lenses on hand.
One interesting aspect of site design that compliments the overall brand experience is that the screen fades to the middle, like an old movie, when navigating from section to section. This kind of small detail reflects an intention to create an experience that embodies the theatrical mystique Oilily uses to seduce consumers.
As Oilily-World has no e-tail function, it directs users to retail locations with the Storefinder. This page is pure function, with a series of pull-down menus; each new one appears once you’ve made your previous choice. The Press and Media section is also functional and well-organized, but as with the Storefinder, it isn’t as magical as other pages.
Oilily-World is also used as a vehicle to promote Oilily’s interest in fostering artistic talent. Apparently the brand sponsors a gallery, and the site features an artist each season.
All in all, Oilily-World offers visitors some serious razzle-dazzle when it comes to look and feel—just the thing the brand is famous for. A luxury clothing/accessories brand should provide users with a multifaceted online experience. By using innovative design ideas augmented by sound, Oilily does a good job of keeping its eye on promoting its products, doing it in a way that is every bit as sophisticated and whimsical as its products. Although it seems to have a hard time marrying seductive design with ease of use and function, Oilily-World makes a decent tool to coax the cash out of its target audience.