Did you catch the feminine but oh-so-cool offices of New York e-tailer Moda Operandi the other week in Architectural Digest? If you didn’t, you’re in for a treat. Started by New York fashion fixture Lauren Santo Domingo, Moda Operandi takes an age old concept – that of trunk shows – and brings it squarely into the internet age. For those unfamiliar with the company’s strategy, here’s how it works: the firm procures and shoots designers’ entire collections straight off the runway, making runway pieces available for purchase. For those not in the know about the inner workings of the fashion industry, many (if not most) of the pieces seen on the runway don’t actually make it to stores. Retail buyers have a strict sense of what customers will buy, and usually, the high fashion pieces seen on the runway don’t exactly fit the bill. What MO understands, however, is that there are many women out there who do want the high fashion pieces seen on the runway – and without a company like MO, they have no way to get them.
“There is so much more fashion coverage online, so women today are really seeing the collections,” notes Santo Domingo, while leading a tour of Moda Operandi’s headquarters. “They’re a lot savvier and more aware of the discrepancies between what they see on the runway and what they end up seeing in their local shops.”
MO chooses the pieces it stocks based on reccos from its forward-looking buyers (street style favorite Taylor Tomasi Hill, who left Marie Claire to come to Moda Operandi, is one of the brains behind the operation), plus interest indicated by preoders. Customers can also make an appointment to visit the gorgeously chic downtown Manhattan offices pictured here. This experience especially hearkens back a tradition popular in old New York: a time in which women would go to designer’s fashion shows, then visit their ateliers afterwards to pick out the looks which they wanted. MO allows for the same luxury – once customers have seen the looks on the runway, they can visit the MO showroom and order them for themselves.
A genius concept? Indeed – but what’s perhaps even more genius is the interior design of the MO offices. Seriously, how swoon-worthy is this office space?