January 3, 2000
Vive La Vie
Jewelers looking for an example of a high-end Web site probably can't do better than Vive La Vie, the new luxury e-zine for the ultra-rich.
From its carefully chosen editorial (focusing on fine wine, exotic travel, china, furniture, fashion and, of course, jewelry) to the high-maintenance blonde in the frou-frou dress who decorates its home page, Vive La Vie (literally, "Live the life!") appeals to visitors who can afford the goods. Instead of product specs and prices, Vive La Vie focuses on the lifestyles of those the affluent view as peers.
These include such personalities as jewelry "raconteur" Robert Mouawad, watchmaker Jean-Claude Biever of Blancpain and Corinne Djouie of Cartier. Click on a thumbnail image to watch four-minute interviews of industry leaders discussing their careers and philosophies, as well as tours of resorts such as the prestigious Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat and a Hong Kong fashion show.
"The word jeweler is mystery, it is glamour and it is vision," says Mouawad in one clip. "A jeweler is somehow this sort of magician who can turn imagination into reality." It may be softball stuff, but this site is about feeling, not thinking.
The "Luxury Links" section links to luxury companies' Web sites Fortunoff and Van Cleef & Arpels' home pages appear in a frame within the Vive La Vie site. Vive La Vie also plans to offer visitors an edited assortment of its advertisers' goods in an on-site shopping section still in development.
The only downside other than the $25 for a six-month subscription to reach certain areas of the site is the Quicktime streaming video takes forever to load and isn't the best quality when it finally does work. Vive La Vie creates such ambiance, however, that visitors experiencing problems might feel it's their fault for having an underpowered and déclassé computers.
- by Mark E. Dixon