Behind the Scenes of Home Shopping

The home shopping world is undergoing a makeover.

View Slideshow

Two weeks ago, on the set of QVC’s “PM Style” show, Gretta Monahan demonstrated the new appeal of home shopping. With equal parts fashion-speak and folksiness, the stylist to the stars, “Rachael Ray” regular and co-host of “Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style,” used her perky personality to hawk her namesake footwear line and, more specifically, a peep-toe slingback sandal — in black, gold and muted snakeprint for $44.58.

As the stylist, alongside QVC host Lisa Robertson, interacted with Julie, a caller from New York, Monahan demonstrated the power of live TV, which allows designers to not just promote their products but connect with consumers on an intimate level.

“I picked up the black pair,” Julie said. “I’m so happy that you made this shoe in a wide width.”

“I have wide feet, too!” exclaimed Monahan. “People say, ‘Oh, you’ll break them in.’ But you never do. Your feet hurt every day. I’m so glad we had them for you.”

The pint-size stylist went on to rave about the shoe’s versatility. “You need that go-to shoe in your wardrobe, where you’re not going to say, ‘Does this go with this pant leg? Does this go with this skirt?’”

Robertson then weighed in with an even more practical reason to buy the shoes, for “those weddings where you’re standing all day, waiting in line for the punch.”

After eight minutes of casual conversation, during which hundreds of Gretta slingbacks found new homes across the country, Monahan exited stage left, making way for Joan Rivers to promote her bold beaded necklace, available for two easy payments of $26.97.

Clearly, this is not the stuff of home shopping’s past, when middle-aged men removed stains with magical creams or cut pennies with serious-looking scissors. This is the new generation of digital consumption, where buying fashion with the click of a remote is a socially acceptable — even entertaining — activity, rapidly expanding in both breadth and popularity.

Monahan is a symbol of the sea change. “In the past, designer brands weren’t really working with home-shopping networks. It was all private-label or small brands that couldn’t make it among the giants,” she told Footwear News prior to the broadcast. “But then I started seeing familiar designer names creating special lines for QVC. The consumer demographic [for home shopping] is changing. Designer short runs at H&M and Target have democratized fashion, and consumers are changing their shopping habits.”

View Slideshow
Page:  Next »
load comments


Sign in using your Facebook or Twitter account, or simply type your comment below as a guest by entering your email and name. Your email address will not be shared. Please note that WWD reserves the right to remove profane, distasteful or otherwise inappropriate language.
News from WWD

Sign upSign up for WWD and FN newsletters to receive daily headlines, breaking news alerts and weekly industry wrap-ups.

getIsArchiveOnly= hasAccess=false hasArchiveAccess=false