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Zac Posen - window shopper
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  Zac Posen - window shopper
Zac Posen
window shopper
by Alycia de Mesa
April 23, 2007

It isn't everyday that one finds high fashion at the intersection of technology and entertainment. Yet young, Hollywood-darling designer Zac Posen and his team have managed to do just that in an intriguing and breath-of-fresh-air kind of way.
Posen, still in his twenties, has become a boldfaced name in fashion through his fluid, nostalgic designs draped onto young starlets at award shows. His company is reported to be on the verge of expansion, including a menswear line and less-expensive bridge line.

After interning at the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute and with designer Nicole Miller, Posen began his own company in 2001 at the age of 21 and has been backed by Sean Combs (also known—at least for now—as Diddy) since 2004 through Combs' Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group. In late 2006, he teamed with Nikon to provide his own retro inspiration on a Nikon CoolPix digital camera case.

Zac Posen - window shopper Though he is young, he is aware of the importance of protecting one's brand. In 2006, Posen, along with veteran designers Diane von Furstenberg and Narciso Rodriguez, joined the Council of Fashion Designers of America in lobbying Congress to create anti-piracy policies to protect their creations from companies such as ABS and the Gap, which have been mass-producing inexpensive knockoffs of the pricier designer versions. (European Union law already contains similar provisions.)

Is Posen's knowledge of fashion and branding further accessorized online?

The designer's site is built around an intriguing mix of Flash technology and flash photography. Rather than take the traditional approach to web splash pages with frames and information peppered with various images and graphics, the site's theme puts a visitor on the streets of New York, window-shopping outside a Zac Posen store—and it's all about the visual.

The images parlayed throughout the site are high-resolution photographs layered upon one another, giving a fun, realistic, almost three-dimensional feel to the site. Most of the site, including the splash page, features a full-screen exterior store façade with large picture windows spotlighting various clothing and accessory products. Navigation is through a simply designed navigation bar below the shop.

Details are pronounced throughout—from the stone building façade and potted topiaries to the windows reflecting real-life exterior images. (There is even the intermittent yellow taxicab speeding by.) The realistic use of reflection, shadow, and movement do well to bring Posen's fluid, feminine designs to life versus employing the standard print ad/brochure look so many of his competitors adopt. (Though like other fashion-designer sites, your browser window will be hijacked and resized to particular dimensions.)

To interact with the site, products displayed in the window can be clicked on directly to produce an over-exaggerated close-up plus the specific product name. A "magnifying glass" allows the viewer to move around the product to see specific details up close as well. Because the site is Flash-driven, pop-up windows are presently non-existent. (But you'd better have a fast Internet connection.)

In addition to product, "Ma Vendeusse" is an artsy featurette recalling the days of a slackless, made-to-order dress society for women as told from the perspective of an older French woman and featuring women in (what else?) Zac Posen designs.

Overall, the Zac Posen site takes advantage of web technology as up-to-date as Posen's designs. Posen's creations may not be accessible to those without a lot of money to spend on fashion, but his site is accessible to anyone with a swift Internet connection.


Alycia de Mesa is a brand consultant, speaker and writer with more than a decade of industry experience ranging from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies. Her latest book is Brand Avatar – Translating Virtual World Branding Into Real World Success (Palgrave-Macmillan).

*Due to the constantly changing environment of websites, some reviews may no longer reflect the current website for this brand.
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