Italist, one of the world's largest online shopping portals, dedicated to selling designer brands from Italy's independent fashion retailers, has launched in South Africa.

The site provides South African shoppers with access to 150 luxury Italian multi-brand boutiques that stock over 750 designer lables. It promises limited edition offerings as well, that are 'almost impossible to find anywhere else', except in leading stores Italy's big cities.

Italist CEO and co-founder, Diego Abba, says: “Without leaving their homes, both men and women will now be able to shop at some of Italy’s most beautiful stores, which have only ever been accessible to South Africans who travel overseas and visit the boutiques on the streets of Italy.

“Shoppers will have access to a wide selection of exclusive products from brands such as Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Celine, Givenchy, Gucci (pictured above), Missoni, to the most current designers such as Off-White, Golden Goose and Mary Katrantzou.”

Consumers can enjoy competitive prices on their purchases, which are priced the same as they would be when purchasing these goods from luxury boutiques along the streets of Italy, but with a better assortment and at lower prices than the rest of the world.

“In creating Italist, we wanted to revolutionise the luxury shopping experience for everyone around the world, where they can conveniently browse and purchase premium goods through this one-stop marketplace.

“Seeing as South Africa and Africa has one of the largest potential e-commerce markets, coupled with the ever-growing love for designer products, we saw this as an opportunity to establish our presence in South Africa to fill the gap in the online market for luxury products.”

The platform also has a 24/7 customer support feature, where customers can be assisted live during the browsing and purchasing process.

Since Italist launched two years ago, the brand has grown exponentially and is now available in more than 85 countries. “This highlights both the site’s credibility and the demand for an online marketplace for luxury goods,” says Abba.

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