For online shoppers and fans of Ronen Chen’s eminently wearable, mostly monochromatic and minimalistic line of women’s clothing, the launch of the veteran designer’s US e-commerce site is akin to letting a 4-year-old loose in a candy store.
“We’re very excited,” said Michal Chitayat, Chen’s longtime marketing manager, who worked on the site’s development for nearly a year. “We know our brand and our customers, and we wanted something that would be simple, easy and intuitive.”
While shooting the brand’s 2013 winter line in a Tel Aviv studio, Chitayat flipped through the pages of the website on an iPad, pointing out particular features on the site, including the flat, front-and-back views of each piece that allow shoppers to see the clothing in every variation; a “Meet Ronen Chen” section; Chen’s top picks; and the photos and testimonials of Ronen Chen customers in Israel. And she placed extra emphasis on the black-inked, hand-drawn vertical line separating the site’s navigation bar from the rest of the page, a tongue-in-cheek reference to Chen’s “never-ending quest for the perfect line” in his clothing.
“There are tons of women who don’t yet shop online, and we wanted this to be personal, and easy to understand,” said Chitayat, who worked with an American web-design team to create the site, aiming to resonate with that market. “One of Ronen’s strengths in Israel is that local customers know that he is the man behind each piece. They feel as if he made each piece for them.”
The entire 2012 collection, including tops, tunics, skirts, pants, dresses, jackets and knits, retails from $59 to $299, and there will be free shipping on the US site through December 15. For now, the company has two warehouses in New Jersey: One services the 400 boutiques and stores stocking Ronen Chen items in the US; the other handles the website orders.