Nowness.com, a digital magazine created by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, wants to teach you how to live a life of luxury. Relax. The site, at least, is free.
In a time when luxury sales are not exactly on the up and up, Nowness stands as a way for brands to connect with consumers—past, present, and future (they hope). The site, which has been running in teaser mode and will go into full launch today, serves as LVMH's answer to last year's closure of online store eLuxury.com, which was shut down largely because many luxury brands started offering e-commerce through their own sites. Rather than create another online shopping destination, LVMH enlisted digital commerce company CreateThe Group to create and position Nowness as an "information reference"—a place for users to experience "moments of inspiration" and "experience the luxury lifestyle online."
Nowness will feature original and exclusive content. Each day will feature a new theme (the launch-day theme appears to be "hair") complete with a handful of stories—videos, photos, or pieces of art revolving around fashion, art, or travel. Today, for example, features a video of model Lily Donaldson, with hair by stylist Sam McKnight, titled "Lily Donaldson's Flying Hair." A preview of the site featured a short film noir featuring model Agyness Deyn (below). A slideshow of fashion photography featuring highly stylized hair accompanies.
It's heavy on pretension, and we're not sure how it's teaching visitors anything based on today's showcase, but we're willing to let that slide, as stories featured on the site's soft launch were admittedly entertaining and informative—a look at the Ace Hotel's in-house Opening Ceremony store, a piece on sculptor Rachel Whiteread, a Frank Lloyd Wright slideshow.
Nowness hopes visitors, lured by the look or style of the content, click eagerly through pages and eventually leave feeling a bit more informed—not as if they've managed to complete a homework lesson, says Kamel Ouadi, digital EVP for Nowness. Too many other luxury sites over overloaded with information or all style and no substance. "We are an answer to that," Ouadi says. "Nowness a place to learn, with content that is easy to navigate."
Each "story," in an effort to squeeze some social media into the site, will ask users to rate it: "love," or "don't love." The site then tracks users' tastes and attempts to personalize their experience by presenting them with content they'll more likely enjoy.
The site has been attracting about 10,000 visitors a month since it's been in soft launch, according to Women's Wear Daily. However, 300,000 members have registered on the site, and LVMH expects that number to grow dramatically after the official launch. If traffic grows, Nowness will look for partnerships with other brands (we won't be shocked if they end up being all LVMH brands), helping them create original content, and eventually selling advertising space, though Ouadi promises it will be in a "subtle and chic way."
Those interested in a "luxury lifestlye" will surely be on board, but with individual luxury brands building destination sites and social media platforms of their own, LVMH may need to up the interactivity to put keep the NOW in Nowness.