Visiting Dignitaries

Aw, We Think GQ Really Hurt Reed Hastings’s Feelings

(Screencap: Facebook)

GQ just published an in-depth feature on Reed Hastings, the endearingly gaffe-prone (RIP Qwikster) Netflix CEO. With a slew of original programming coming to the platform–including a new Netflix exclusive season of Arrested Development–Mr. Hastings is working diligently to turn the video streaming service into a true HBO competitor.

That’s all well and good, but Mr. Hastings has other worries on his mind: mainly, why did GQ scrap his photo spread? (No doubt the shoot would’ve given the Terry Richardson-Beyonce collab a run for its money.) Read More

Visiting Dignitaries

THERE WAS ONCE A JOB POSTING FOR BEYONCÉ ARCHIVIST

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Hey, you. You with the expertise in “servers and enterprise class storage.” What were you doing in 2011? If you’re not currently adjusting the temperature on the official Beyoncé archive in Midtown Manhattan–button up that cardi, it gets chilly in there!–you did that entire year wrong.

As GQ magazine’s recent cover story crowning Queen Bey “Miss Millenium” revealed, the sex on a some very-well-rounded sticks songstress is something of a total self-quantifying maniac: Read More

Daily Daze

Flash Dance! Luxury Flash Sales Sites Regroup After Layoffs

kevin ryan

Around 4 p.m. on a recent Thursday, all but 14 of the employees of the members-only luxury e-commerce site Lot18 got an email asking them to report to the new conference room for an urgent meeting. The remaining employees, including the vice president of operations and director of operations, received an almost-identical note but were asked to report to the “alt” conference room instead. They were told they were being let go, asked to leave the building immediately and instructed to return on Saturday to clean out their desks.

The survivors were shocked by the layoffs, which came a day earlier than planned due to inquiries by Betabeat. Lot18, which started with private sales for wine before moving into full-price wine and epicurean deals, has raised a total of $44.5 million from investors—its latest round spearheaded in November by the highly regarded Accel Partners. Lot18 also moved into a new office over the summer that features a tasting room, mounted LCD screens that pop up a buyer’s location on a map every time Lot18 sells a bottle and a permanent DJ booth. In its one-year existence, Lot18 launched several new verticals, bought Paris-based e-commerce site Vinobest, and announced a foray into Europe.

To industry insiders, the scenario sounded familiar. Mass flash sales—deep discounts that expire usually after one to three days—had been touted as the first real innovation in e-commerce in years, and start-ups that applied the flash-sales phenomenon to the luxury market had investors salivating. But the former venture capital darlings suddenly seemed to be hemorrhaging employees. Earlier this month, another site, Boston-based Rue La La, slashed 60 of its 550 employees after months of growth.

Suddenly, the question is being asked: Could flash sales for the well-to-do wind up being more of a marketing gimmick than a business model? Read More

Old Dogs Learn New Tricks

Gilt Groupe’s New Men’s Site, Park & Bond, Looks Duditor-Approved

He'd fit right in the Conde elevators.

Gilt Groupe founder & CEO Kevin Ryan sent out an email this morning announcing the launch of its new men’s fashion site, Park & Bond. Between the luxe offerings ($210 for an embossed Alexander McQueen passport holder, anyone?) the editorial layout and service-y content, the beta site comes across like an e-commerce version of GQ as filtered through the Lucky lens .

That shouldn’t surprise anyone who read Betabeat’s interview with Park & Bond president John Auerbach back in June, in which he explained…err…rather gracefully tried to side-step, the symbiotic relationship between the esteemed editors of Gentleman’s Quarterly and Gilt.  In Betabeat’s eyes the mutual benefits are clear,  Gilt gets some press (literally, P&B will have a page in GQ) and a marquee name to distinguish P&B from the seeming endless parade of new fashion verticals. And GQ, after years of being stymied by Conde’s  web phobia, gets a new revenue stream. Read More

Old Dogs Learn New Tricks

Gilt Groupe’s New Men’s Site Get’s Cozy With GQ, Like All Up In There

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Gilt Groupe just announced that its new men’s site, Park & Bond‒ a name that practically drips with the silver-spooned sound of privilege‒ will be partnering with Conde Nast’s GQ magazine on an e-commerce strategy. Not only will Park & Bond host an online store that features products “handpicked from the pages of the magazine by the editors of GQ.” But starting with the September issue, GQ is also promoting the venture in its pages and on GQ.com to drive readers to Park & Bond. Betabeat talked to Park & Bond president John Auerbach (Gilt employee no. 5), on the phone from the Pitti Immagine Uomo show in Italy, about the partnership‒and the genesis of that name. Read More