The past year has brought about immense challenges for businesses. Brands have had to adapt to the on-and-off closure of bricks and mortar stores and many restaurants have kept afloat by expanding to at-home kits.
The shifting conditions ushered in by the pandemic have seen some brands rush to get an ecommerce platform up and running where they hadn’t offered one previously, while others have used the opportunity to completely revise their offering and push the boat out in terms of design.
When fashion designer Charles Jeffrey looked at taking his Loverboy label online, he approached Yes Studio with an open mind and eager to create a platform that doesn’t hinge on traditional ecommerce concepts. “He really wanted it to be much like his world – he wanted it to be an experience and he was talking about music and motion very early on,” explains freelance designer James Musgrave, previously design director at the studio.
The first iteration of the website, which launched last summer, sat the products in dialogue with Jeffrey’s illustrations to create a kind of ‘dreamscape’. The website design evolved with the latest collection, inviting customers further into the Loverboy world hosted by Jeffrey’s fictional persona Hamish. The interactive ecommerce platform draws inspiration from video games and VR, which the design nods to in details like the landing page button that greets users or the ‘choose your player’ line up of models.
“Especially with the lockdown and not being able to do shows, there was a real need to do something a bit more expressive, obviously for consumers but also for the [retail] buyers,” Musgrave says. “In a way, it’s serving more of a purpose of a catwalk show, where you’re seeing the garments on models in that way.” As the brand’s first real foray into setting up its own ecommerce platform, the Loverboy website had room to manoeuvre. “This was a new site for Charles – it was his first venture into ecommerce so it was a blank slate,” Musgrave says.