Moda Operandi, the online trunk show e-commerce site that lets you buy $1,200 shoes now and get them in the mail three to four months later, has been up and running for a short time. The site functions kind of like Gilt Groupe, in that designer collections are only available to purchase for a short period of time (36 to 72 hours) before the trunk show ends. It's also like Gilt in that you must be approved for membership — except unlike Gilt, not all applicants are approved. "Membership is being primarily developed through referrals," is all the site's founders (which include Lauren Santo Domingo) will officially say of the process through a rep. However if your approval is pending, it may be a temporary glitch — the rep told us over the phone today that the site got so many requests for membership that a backlog developed.
The policy of not accepting some people isn't necessarily about cultivating exclusivity, the rep suggested. The only requirement for securing membership is that you demonstrate you're a "big fan of fashion." So when you answer the application questions, such as what websites you read regularly, who your favorite designers are, and why you want to join Moda Operandi, sound like you know what you're talking about. Current sales on the site include Antonio Berardi (pictured) and Judith Lieber, while future sales include Adam, Manish Arora, and House of Waris. So maybe don't put things about how much you LOVE American Eagle. But I guess this would be okay.