Many of you have asked over the years why I haven’t switched over from Blogspot to a real website. Three months after I created Habitually Chic in July 2007, someone bought the domain www.habituallychic.com. I didn’t even realize it was something I needed to do when I started the blog and is why I later had to trademark the name. It was always my intention to regain control of the domain name but I was sidetracked by my book and other projects.
When the domain option of .LUXURY debuted, it sounded the perfect opportunity for Habitually Chic which is often described as a luxury lifestyle site. I could go from being behind the times to being ahead of them. I would also be in the company of many of the luxury brands I feature on the blog.
Monica Kirchner is one of the founders and CEO of .LUXURY the new domain of Habitually Chic. I was able to speak with her recently about this exciting new digital platform and what it means for the future of luxury industry.
How did the idea for .LUXURY come about?
There was a limited opportunity to become a part of the biggest expansion of the Internet since its inception, and we wanted to be part of that. We thought about areas we had a passion for, as well as industries still early in their migration online, and It quickly became obvious to us that the luxury industry would be the ideal focus. Luxury consumers are very tech savvy, heavily use the internet, and yet online the luxury industry is quite fragmented. The idea of creating a new space where we could bring together the luxury industry online was an exciting opportunity that we simply had to pursue.
What is your background? Have you ever done anything like this venture before?
I have a legal, finance and operational background. After practicing corporate law for a top international law firm, I spent almost 8 years in investment banking doing both finance and operations management. Since then, I have been involved with several entrepreneurial ventures and currently hold two active Board positions. So while the domain name industry is relatively new to me, the idea of building business platforms and brands from the ground up is very familiar to me. My partners and I collectively bring over 40 years of combined management, technology, and marketing experience, so we have a team with a lot of knowledge and capability, and I believe we are well positioned for success.
I think a lot of people have ideas of apps and technology they’d like to create but don’t know how to make them a reality. How did you actually make your idea come to fruition?
Like anything in life, being willing to take some risks, focus and committing to an end goal has been most important. But I think what also worked in our favor was that we were nimble and could adapt quickly as we worked through the two-year application process for the .LUXURY domain extension. Many, in fact most, of the new top level domains coming to market are owned by larger portfolio groups. Our single focus on luxury has enabled us to move quickly and take advantage of opportunities to set the stage for more than a top level domain, but a true platform and brand around luxury.
Not every luxury brand will change over completely from .com to .LUXURY. How do you see brands and companies utilizing this new domain?
.LUXURY is a brand new namespace, and it will be attractive to different brands for different use cases. At the highest level, it offers any luxury good or service brand a unique opportunity to define themselves within the luxury category. They can own a memorable and relevant domain name, and they can use it either for their entire digital website, or on a micro site, or even as a marketing vehicle to to enhance communication about a product, service, campaign, program or category (e.g. Mascara.luxury or Ritzspa.luxury).
A .LUXURY web address also enables brands to clearly attract and target the consumers most relevant to their message, in short the right audience. For example, an automaker may choose to use .com for its mid-line vehicles, but choose to market its high end offerings with a .LUXURY address. In short, .LUXURY domain extensions help support and reinforce the value proposition associated with the marketing of various luxury products and services.
Will .LUXURY ever open up to regular people or will you always personally vet each application to ensure it continues to remain truly luxury only brands?
We are entirely focused on building a platform to support luxury brands and the luxury industry. That said, we recognize that there are many categories of luxury, and by design we made the decision to be an “open” top level domain. That means we cannot discriminate against those that wish to participate. They are welcome.
That said, we can ensure that our entire focus, co-promotion, marketing and energy is around supporting the upper end of the luxury industry. Further, by strategically setting pricing to help drive exclusivity as well as support more extensive marketing, service and compliance efforts, we believe that we will not likely experience the volume, diversity and erosion of focus you see in other generic top level domains.
Finally, we offer an exclusive Brand Advantage program to only luxury brands that enables them to define how their trademark is utilized in the .LUXURY namespace.
Therefore, we believe that we offer both luxury brands and consumers an exciting new place to be.
You can read more about .LUXURY and my new site at WWD online and in print today too.
The www.habituallychic.luxury website has been under development for a few months and I couldn’t be more excited that it’s launching now that I’m back in New York. I look forward to bringing you more original photos and content in addition to the color compilations that you love so much. I know change is hard but the new site is such an improvement that I know you will love it.
The blog will redirect to the new website for about a year but if those of you who have me linked on your websites and blogrolls could change the url, I would really appreciate it. I would also love those of you who subscribe to the email version to come back and take a look too.
À bientôt !