In today’s Very Exciting Fashion News, it’s been reported by WWD that Comme des Garçons is launching an online-only direct-to-consumer brand coming this July. This will be the 18th brand for the company as Rei Kawakubo’s empire continues to expand.

Announced during the opening of China’s first Dover Street Market last week, CEO Adrian Joffe said this will be the company’s first “internet-based” imprint and that Kawakubo will be designing the site for it. Considering what a Rei Kawakubo-themed Met Gala looked like, we can only dream of what that means for the site.

Referred to as the “simple” collection for men and women, the online launch will be followed by six shops worldwide. Direct-to-consumer is a business model (and current buzzword) that many of your favorite brands operate under — Glossier, Everlane, Reformation, Warby Parker, etc. It basically means exactly what it sounds like: these companies sell directly to customers without selling their products through department stores or boutiques.

What does it mean when a brand with as much cultural capital as Comme des Garçons gets into the online-only business? We may not know for sure until the new brand is launched, but it definitely indicates where fashion is headed. Direct-to-consumer is now seen less as an outside-the-box gamble and more as a viable business move — more viable, it seems, than traditional models.

News of the launch comes at the perfect time for the company, whose sales are up 30% to $300 million, WWD reports. Sales at New York City’s Dover Street Market alone have gone up 50% since the Kawakubo-themed Met Gala exhibition.

While you’re waiting for July, check out Comme’s recent collection with Dr. Martens in the meantime. They perfect the low-top, casually dressed-up dad shoe with the signature Doc Air Cushion sole. 

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