Photograph courtesy of Facebook/Printemps

Printemps Launches New E-Commerce Site With Inclusive Focus

Including size, gender and more.

Luxury Parisian department store Printemps has today announced the launch of its new e-commerce site with a greater focus on inclusivity.

According to WWD, the site took two years to develop and will offer gender neutral clothing options, displayed on a man and a woman side-by-side, as well as services for disabled clients and increased size ranges. Impressively, the site is also the first to cater to clients with colour blindness, dyslexia and Parkinson’s. As explained by the site, “For clients indicating they have Parkinson’s disease, extra space is added between sections to make it easier to click on something, while it changes colour for people who are colour blind.”

The site will be home to hundreds of the world’s best and most exciting brands, including Prada and Gucci, as well as Vivienne Westwood, Y/Project and Universal Standard. Size inclusivity is a particular focus for the e-tailer, with the company’s e-commerce director Karen Vernet explaining, “For us, thinness is not necessarily a symbol of beauty, and beauty is not necessarily symbolized by thinness – it’s an equation that has dominated the realm of luxury for years and years. Today things are starting to change, and I think we need to act – Printemps has responsibility in this area, we don’t want beauty to be associated solely with one specific body type.” Vernet says the store is aware that it will take time for consumers and brands to adopt this new strategy, however it’s one “that we believe in strongly,” she explained.

In regards to gender division, Vernet explains that the site will house clothing under verticals categorized for men, women and mixed. “For a number of sites you have collaborations, or capsule collections, but you always still have the men-women divide. We decided to make a mixed category. It’s built into the structure of the website – it’s not just a trend.”

As of now the site is only available in France. There is talk of an expansion into the US, however it remains to be seen if the site will be available to Canadian shoppers. Perhaps it will inspire local retailers to adopt a similar, all-inclusive approach? We can only hope.

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