TOP 40 DESIGNER FASHION ONLINE STORES
Do you want to know which are the best designer fashion online stores where you can find the best products, great customer service, best prices or just a wonderful digital experience? Then take a look at the results of wearona´s detailed reviews of the best e-boutiques of designer fashion brands.
When you decide to go shopping online for designer apparel or accessories, you have so many options to choose from. While many of you take a look at international multi-brand stores like Yoox or Net-a-Porter, the majority visits directly the e-boutiques of the leading fashion brands. But how do you know which one is the best?
Based on wearona´s online store reviews for almost 40 fashion online stores, we can now recommend the ones that offer the most fulfilling experience based on four major factors: product selection, service and customer care, price-quality ratio and, last but not least, design and user experience. For each category, the stores could score a maximum of 5 points. Therefore, the highest possible score was 20.
The big winner is the Roberto Cavalli online store which managed to score all 20 points thanks to the great diversity of products and its interactive website. The e-boutiques of DKNY, Gucci and Furla are also worth a loud round of applause for their top scores. The variety of products, good services and attractive features made these online stores fashionistas’ favorites. When going on your next online shopping spree, make sure you also have a look at the e-boutiques of Burberry, Coach, Moschino, Topshop, Versace, Alexander Wang, Balmain and Dolce&Gabbana — brands that are great examples when it comes to prices and amazing digital experiences.
Top 12 Designer Fashion Online Stores
When it comes to fashion e-commerce, the brands can be divided into two main categories. First, there are the ones that put a strong focus on integrating their online identity perfectly within their brand image and build up their e-stores as an important complementary sales channel in parallel to their physical boutiques. Here we can successfully include names like Roberto Cavalli, DKNY, Burberry, Tom Ford, Furla or Moschino.
Then there are the labels which have a very important heritage and an impressive history, who prefer the classic interaction with their customers. Here we can include Hermès or Chanel, which are very popular online and are in the process of expanding their e-commerce features.
Best of the Best
We can proudly announce that from all the fashion online stores we have reviewed Roberto Cavalli is the big winner. The Italian fashion house managed to perfectly combine all of the four factors that were at the basis of our reviews: vast product selection, great service and customer assistance, a fair price-quality ratio and above all, a very stylish and user-friendly e-boutique.
At the Roberto Cavalli online store you can shop past and present collections from their ready-to-wear and Just Cavalli lines for both men and women, but also new-born and home products. The Sales section has also earned the brand maximum points for its product selection.
The large number of shipping destinations and the easy-to-access-and-navigate interface earned it even more points. A big plus is the extensive lit of shipping destinations. Though based in Europe, the online store covers Europe, New Zealand, China, United States, United Arab Emirates and many more locations.
But let’s go straight to what a fashionista is most interested in when shopping at the designer fashion online stores: prices. How much does it cost to buy a dress with the trademark Cavalli prints? Apparently, not as much as you would think. As in the case of every designer, the Roberto Cavalli online store offers luxury goods, dresses and shoes that are red-carpet material. However, it is great that you can also find affordable items.
In case you don’t find what you desire in the Roberto Cavalli online store, there are plenty of other entertaining and interactive features available like the Lifestyle section (about the brand’s other business branches) or the video section of Cavalli Atelier.
Roberto Cavalli: Diverse selection with past and present collections | Iconic designs and fabrics | Home ware | Sales | Extensive shipping destinations list | Fast shipping | Interactive website
DKNY, Furla and Gucci are the runner-up names to remember if you are considering online shopping for designer wear but don’t be fooled by their second place position. In the world of luxury fashion, the three very different brands have scored perfect scores in the most important categories: product selection and price-quality ratio. There are plenty of advantages when shopping at these fashion online stores.
Furla offers a high variety of perfectly executed leather products, as you would expect from an Italian label, a leader when it comes to exquisite craftsmanship. When shopping at the Furla online store, there is no need to worry about trends coming or going — the products all have a timeless beauty, a classic elegance. The e-boutique scored some good points for the seasonal sales section, where prices are down even by 50%. Also, it is one of the very few online stores where you can sort the product pricing from low to high or from high to low.
Customers are encouraged to stay loyal to the brand. So, if you haven’t yet spent your style budget here, this is the perfect time to start. Furla offers some discounts to loyal customers, ranging from 5% to 15%, which makes it one of the few fashion online stores that has a well-structured loyalty program. Top this off with a very wide selection of handbags and bags, shoes and more, all available on a very “clean”, easy-to-use website.
When it comes to DKNY, the American label automatically greets their customers with prices displayed in their local currency. The e-boutique scored high points for its interactive and user-friendly settings: it’s easy to get by and to find your favorite products from the most recent collections in the Donna Karan New York and DKNY Jeans lines. The looks are youthful and the prices are affordable. Speaking of prices, the e-boutique earned our loyalty thanks to its generous Sales section.
When it comes to helping its users and making the online shopping experience easy and enjoyable, DKNY does a great job. The e-store provides certain tools you can use to Save (an item) For Later or a quick way to find out if a certain products will be available soon. There is also a Quick Shop feature that saves a lot of time if you already know a product. Few customers complained about this urban, cool brand’s online store, but some mentioned as the only inconvenience the long delivery date. The shipping costs, however, are modest. The New York label has a very good price-quality ratio and an impressive range of apparel and accessories, fresh off the runway.
Finally, the Gucci online store offers an impressive range of fashion products. The perfect mix between menswear, womenswear, kids fashion, shoes, accessories, fragrances, luggage and pet accessories. What I found really useful for a fashionista here is that it’s really easy to go shopping for gifts; the Italian label offers so many possibilities. You must be wondering how much would you have to spend here for a gift? Depends on you. The variety is also valid for the pricing. Gucci excels when it comes to the glam factor. The products are exceptionally crafted and the e-store services make for a great shopping experience.
You can ask for the help of a personal shopper just by submitting a quick form and if you have any other inquiries, you can check the terms and conditions for shopping. You will most likely find a version in your native language, which makes everything a lot more simpler, doesn’t it?
Furla: Craftsmanship | Diversity | Sales | Affordable | Loyalty program
DKNY: Affordable | Easy and quick to shop | Save for later | Currency adapted to customer’s state
Gucci: Diversity | Gifts | Glam factor | Personal shopper | Adapted terms and conditions
The third place in our countdown is reserved for eight fashion online stores. We are talking about e-boutiques which scored 18 out of 20 points in our review. Burberry, Coach, Moschino, Topshop, Versace, Alexander Wang, Balmain and Dolce&Gabbana.
Burberry is an example to follow when it comes to fashion e-commerce. Its website is so much more than just an online store. There are entertainment features, interesting programs to watch and many original features like the one used for presenting the historical facts of the British fashion label.
The Burberry e-store excels when it comes to the variety of products. You can shop their iconic trench coats or scarves, but also the trendiest runway looks. You can shop looks straight from the runway, modeled by famous faces like Naomi Campbell or Jourdan Dunn. You can also buy items for your home or even luxurious toys. How does a cashmere teddy bear in the iconic Burberry checked pattern sound?
Burberry offers its customers the possibility to create their own trench coats and then show them off on the label’s website. In the Art of the Trench section, you can also upload your street style photo wearing the iconic garment. This scored high points when it came to customer care or should we say customer interaction and loyalty programs. Besides the amazing shopping features, Burberry also offers some great things to see or hear like their Acoustic initiative which promotes young British artists.
Topshop is one of the most popular high street brands in the world. In our chart, it scored high points in two of the most important categories: product selection and price-quality ratio. Not to mention the extremely inspired collaborations with various names in the fashion business or showbiz which have sold out almost instantly. Remember Kate Moss’ stint for the British label? Topshop adapted their creations to what was needed on the high street fashion market. So, you can filter the products on the Topshop online store by fit: petite, mini, tall or maternity, depending on your own silhouette. You should know that the mini line is for children.
The Versace online store looks great, full of color and glamorous. No surprise there. The best thing about it is that it offers a high diversity of fashion products: ready-to-wear pieces for women and men, but also footwear, accessories, jewellery, fragrances, lingerie, beachwear and much more. Here, you can also shop the Versus line (for men and women), Anthony Vaccarello x Versus, the Young line and the Home Collection. Each of these main categories have their own subsections. If you are looking for something special, head over to Shop the Story category. For a big name such as Versace, I would say it is refreshing to see their take on e-commerce is so modern.
Alexander Wang. The cool, sporty, urban label has a website that perfectly matches its identity. It is fresh, easy-to-use and enjoyable. The clothes are on models, so you can get a clear idea of what you’re buying. Shipping is complimentary on all orders, which is not something you see very often. The e-store ships to over 50 countries, which is great for such a newcomer in the luxury designer wear world. Prices are usually under the four figure spectrum, but the real deals are in the Sale section.
Coach has a very simple and easy-to-navigate fashion online store. It offers a great range of quality products and some items that are available exclusively online. You will find anything from their most recent collections and collaborations. The price-quality ratio, especially for their wonderful handbags, is unmatched. I am not sure if the best thing about this online store is their product range or their customer services. The Coach online store ships to all parts of continental United States, Alaska, Puerto Rico, Canada, Hawaii, but also PO, APO and FPO Boxes. For continental US, the e-shop offers free shipping for orders over $150.
Balmain is currently one of the most popular brands in the world and is getting a lot of spotlight. So should its amazing online store where you can already shop the Fall 2015 collection from the French fashion house. For each product, you get the full look, so you know what blazer goes best with which skirt or pair of trousers. You also get some recommendations for shoes and accessories, so that you make the best of this online shopping experience. It is like having a Balmain stylist by your side as you click away high fashion items into your shopping cart. The e-boutique also operates exchanges and returns, which is useful, especially when you buy a gift for someone. Speaking of gifts, the Balmain e-shop earned an extra star for shipping all its products in a stylish white box.
The Dolce&Gabbana online store offers the latest apparel and accessories that you have seen on the runway plus some extra products that are just as stylish, even though no international top model walked down the runway wearing them. Underwear & beachwear included too. The e-boutique always reflects the inspiration behind the Italian house’s collections. Right now, you will end up feeling like you are on a vacation right by the Mediterranean Sea if you have a look at the homepage.
This e-boutique is particularly user-friendly, easy to get around and find your favorite items. Their shipping destinations include countries from all over the world, from China to the United States via Russia and Bahrain. Prices? Decent, considering the apparel from D&G will soon pass as pieces of Sicilian cultural heritage. Or at least they should.
Moschino, the amazing playground of Jeremy Scott, has managed to transcend its playfulness to its online store. Here, you can shop all the latest collection from all the brands in the Moschino family. This includes Moschino Cheap and Chic and Love Moschino. The great news is that here you can shop by trend. So, depending on what inspired Scott, you could be searching for items using filters like Jurassic Girl or Barbie Look. The capsule collections are also available.
Shipping is available for 53 countries and you also get two weeks to change your mind about a product you have just received. Prices are average for such a high end label; the price range for apparel starts at under 200 Euros, but it all depends on the items. This fashion online store is, as expected, particularly original and easy to use. It is all in tune with the designer’s playful vision.
Burberry: Product variety | Customer interaction | Entertaining features | Customization services
Coach: Exclusive online products | High variety | User friendly | Great prices
Moschino: Great user experience | Good prices | Extensive shipping list
Topshop: High variety of products | Perfect price-quality ratio | Great filtering features
Versace: High variety of products | Homeware items | Modern website
Alexander Wang: Extensive list of shipping destinations | Complimentary shipping | Good prices
Balmain: Great display of products | Styling tips | The newest products | Operates exchanges and returns
Dolce&Gabbana: High variety of products | Good customer care services | User friendly
Below, we have detailed the way fashion online stores have scored for each of the four most important factors we take into account for a review.
Where do I find the best products selection?
This refers to the variety of products available in the brands’ online stores. The online shops that offer the best variety are Michael Kors, DKNY, Balmain, Roberto Cavalli, Gucci, Alexander Wang, Coach, Burberry, Mulberry, Moschino, BCBG Max Azria, Kate Spade, Versace, Cartier, Saint Laurent, Topshop. These online stores offer all or most of their product range to the customers who decide to buy from their e-boutiques.
A good example here would be Burberry. The British label has invested a lot in its online store. This means you can buy products for women, men, children, including beauty items and their iconic trenches and scarves. Actually, for these items, the brand has created special categories that celebrate the heritage of Burberry. This would be an example for any other label that wishes to maximize its profit in this era.
Fashionistas will be thrilled to know they can order the newest runway looks from the comfort of their own home or office (though we don’t necessarily encourage online shopping at work). Roberto Cavalli, for example, is one of the fashion brands that sells their latest collections online, but you can also buy items from past seasons. The best thing about this? The prices are reduced for past collections.
Michael Kors is another good example of “how to” when it comes to online fashion stores. This bridge brand has managed to earn its way among the most popular on the planet and it is easy to understand why. It promotes the idea of affordable luxury. You can shop apparel, shoes, jewelry, handbags (of course) and so much more. Also, a bonus are the filters and the categories that are adapted according to season or occasion. There are also some charity causes that are promoted with the help of the online shop.
Missoni, the iconic Italian fashion house, famous for its glamorous knits, has also managed to create a very attractive online store. Here, you can buy items for men, women and girls from the most recent collections, but also past ones. You will also find some products that have reduced prices.
Several famous fashion houses like Chanel or Louis Vuitton have made a special selection of items that are sold online. Chanel offers fragrances, beauty and skin care products via its online store. You can also get a good glimpse of their remarkable apparel, fine jewelry and watches. Louis Vuitton sells apparel, but the focus is on handbags and travel luggage (naturally, this is how the company started), but accessories are also available, from eyewear to wallets.
Hermès is one of the fashion brands that has made a clear and strict selection of the products that are sold online. It is more about silk bandanas, scarves and some leather accessories, rather than Birkins and Kellys.
Where do I get the best service?
From our list of almost 40 luxury fashion fashion online stores, five got the maximum score in this category. We are talking about the official online shops of Loewe, Versace, Alexander Wang, Gucci and, of course, Roberto Cavalli.
Probably the most important thing when it comes to online fashion stores is the service and customer care features. When you buy something from a website, you need to make sure that it fits or if not, that you have all the means to return it. The same thing goes if a product is faulty. Also, if the description of an item is not clear enough, you should be able to quickly contact an e-store representative who can help you and offer you the information needed.
It is also important to offer the possibility of exchanging items. Now, of course, I do not refer to the personalized products. But, if you bought the wrong size and you really want to have that dress or pair of shoes, I think it would be fair and expected that you have the possibility to exchange it.
For example, some designer online stores have made their exchange system just like the one for returns. In some cases, the buyer must also cover part of the costs. However, the brands that have scored highest in this category are the ones that make this process a “no expense” one for the customer.
Another aspect that weighed heavily at this point was the delivery service. If a certain brand has a short list of states where shipping is possible, they’re more likely to get a lower score because it’s important to make your products widely available. I have also found brands that make deliveries to PO Boxes, APO and FPO Boxes. Coach is the best example when it comes to delivery services.
Shipping costs are an important aspect for each customer. In some case, standard shipping was free. Here we can mention Alexander Wang and Tom Ford. The urban, sporty chic brand decided to offer complimentary shipping to its loyal customers. Some fashion online stores offer this service if you go past a certain amount, but usually we are not talking about huge amounts — in the case of Coach it’s about $150. However, most cases involved certain costs that usually were above $10.
When it comes to service, we took into account the possibility of personalizing some items, especially leather bags, wallets or even some basic clothing items. For example, Louis Vuitton is one of the labels that has this kind of service done via hot stamping (you will find all the details on their website) or via their My Monogram service. Who wouldn’t want their very own personalized LV bag?
You have several categories of products to choose from when it comes to adding a personal note to this high-end item (bags, wallets, agendas etc.). Lacoste and Ralph Lauren offer their online customers the possibility of personalizing the iconic polo T-shirts. The American brand has quite a complex tool for this and you can also choose the color of the T-shirt or the logo, besides adding your initials.
Some customers search for gifts on these fashion online stores. Most of them have a special category of products dedicated to this type of shopping, but most people prefer to buy a nice dress or a great watch which is definitely a better gift idea than a golden key ring with a logo. Now all you need is a gift box. In most cases, the gift wrapping service is free and you have to request it before you finish the online purchase. However, some brands feel like all purchases should be considered gifts. Whether it is a gift you give yourself or something you decide to buy for a family member or a friend, it is important that you get a wonderful package. Louis Vuitton delivers all their products in gift wrap and so does Balmain who prefers to spoil its customers with their trademark white boxes.
Who has the best prices?
In this segment, we tried to balance out the prices and the value of the products on the high fashion market. We took into account the heritage and the prestige of the label, the quality of the products, the cuts, the design, fabrics and any other factors that might justify five figure prices as seen at Victoria Beckham or Tom Ford. Dolce and Gabbana can charge more than 3.000 Euros for a dress, but the craft is amazing: eEmbroideries, embellishments and the finest lace.
Roberto Cavalli managed to be an example here as well. The Italian fashion house uses some of its trademark fabrics with its iconic prints for the amazing dresses and jumpsuits that cost, in average, around 1.500 Euros. You will pay more for leather products, especially leather jackets that have special effects and detailing. Also, the pure silk chiffon dresses, fit for the red carpet, will definitely cost more than that. But in these cases, we are not just talking about products bought from high fashion online stores, we are talking about investments.
The price for such a piece is more likely to grow as time goes by and turns it into a magical vintage item. Not just high-end fashion brands manage to pull-off this ideal balance. Coach is an American label which is also among the top 13 labels that have the best price-quality ratio. The New York-based brand sells an amazing selection of handbags. The company has an indisputable tradition in leather manufacturing and even though it is associated with the term ‘affordable luxury’, there are no faults in the quality system. The handbags are priced from $150 to $900 and you get extended warranties.
The apparel is priced higher in some cases, but it all depends on the type of product. Jimmy Choo, Saint Laurent, Balmain, Furla, DKNY and Topshop are other fashion online store where you can find a fair balance between quality and price.
Now, you may have noticed that online fashion stores such as Victoria Beckham, Cartier, Miu Miu, Tom Ford or Bottega Veneta have not scored the most points in this category, but it is all a matter of perspective. In the case of Miu Miu, a brand in the Prada family, expectations are high. The creations are the result of the designer’s vision which might not always match the expectations of customers.
In the case of Victoria Beckham, though the quality standards are high and the cuts are clean, the prices rival those of well-established fashion houses like Gucci or Louis Vuitton. Customers have long acclaimed the brand’s potential to become an iconic name in fashion, but were not quick to pay a a five figure price on an alligator handbag from the label’s e-boutique.
Where is it easiest to shop?
We live in a digital era, where the investment in the virtual world can mean significant support for the development of a brand, be it an exclusive, luxury one. Some fashion houses used this space to tell their story, to promote their heritage, not just sell clothing and shoes.
The best example in this category is definitely Burberry. The British label’s CEO, Christopher Bailey, has made it a priority to use digital technologies in the fashion business that he runs, starting from their physical stores to their complex website. It is not just about clothes, but also about interaction and communicating with the customers and the Burberry Community.
The e-boutique has amazing photos, graphics and from the homepage, you can easily access the Art of The Trench extension which allows you to upload your photos wearing the lovely, iconic Burberry trench coats. You can also listen to music and discover some amazing new artists involved in the Burberry Acoustic Project. So, Burberry seems to know how to attract young people and knows not only how to please customers, but also how to entertain them and keep them close.
Kate Spade, DKNY, Moschino, Lacoste, Furla and Tom Ford are other fashion online stores that managed to get well-deserved high scores. Tom Ford has a particular way of advertising his products, and his e-boutique is no exception. The homepage images are always memorable. At the time of the review, the high resolution photo of a man’s crotch wearing unbuttoned Tom Ford Jeans and a belt was definitely one to remember and it expressed perfectly the essence of the history-changing American designer. His unique, sexually-infused view on fashion was perfectly translated into the brand’s online store.
Salvatore Ferragamo, Saint Laurent, Christian Louboutin, Alexander Wang and Loewe are the fashion online stores that were nearly there, but don’t be quick to judge. While some customers’ feedback mentioned too plain or basic web pages, others stated that it is this very simplicity that they approved of since it made shopping faster. Fashionistas who constantly crave red sole stilletos also shared their experiences with the Christian Louboutin online store. They explained that the entertaining campaign images of Louboutin might make it difficult to get to the actual e-store from the homepage. But, hey! It is all in the name of fashion! Red sole stilletos nonetheless!
Now, after all that reading, it is time for a quick recap. From the reviews of 40 fashion online stores, we have established that the Roberto Cavalli online store perfectly meets the expectations of customers (scoring the maximum of 20 points), followed by Gucci, DKNY and Furla, which are almost perfect when it comes to online fashion retail: a variety of products, good services and attractive features. When going on your next online shopping spree, make sure you also have a look at the e-boutiques of Burberry, Coach, Moschino, Topshop, Versace, Alexander Wang, Balmain and Dolce&Gabbana — brands that are great examples when it comes to prices and amazing digital experiences. For a complete overview of high fashion online shops, make sure you bookmark our detailed analysis.
For each of the fashion online stores mentioned in the article, you can find individual reviews on wearona.com that detail the aspects of each e-store.