Fighting Eel

Fighting Eel is an online boutique founded by designers Rona Bennett and Lan Chung. It’s fitting that this vacation-wear company was born in the land of perpetual summer, they opened the shop in Hawaii in 2003. Since then, they’ve grown to four retail locations in Hawaii, launched an e-commerce store, and started a sister-line called Ava Sky.

Fighting Eel is known for beach chic women’s wear that is sexy and simple. The designs are meant to transition from laid back to luxe by pairing the outfits with different footwear, so you can wear the same outfit all day and night and stay on trend.

They have an attractive shop website that has a white, modern and minimalist look with photography displayed in a gallery-like portrait setting on the homepage. At the top of their shop site the first thing they feature is their new masks that have been incredibly popular and mainly sold out throughout the pandemic.

Something else to note about Fighting Eel is that they use many of the same patterns in very versatile ways. For clothing stores that are new with more limited inventory, this is a clever way to offer more products and styles without having to order more fabrics.

On the Fighting Eel store site, when you hover over a product it transitions to a secondary photo which gives the garment a lifelike movement and allows them to showcase their clothes at different angles. Once you open up a product page you see a series of 3 enlarged portraits with the clothing specs on the left side. What they choose to highlight here is the details of the material, information on how to care for the garment and exactly where it was made.

Fighting Eel has a very detailed menu so that customers can search for exactly what they are looking for while limiting their clicks. You can search specifically for their top-selling items like cardigans, tanks and tops, and jumpers and rompers from their primary navigation under the ‘shop’ tab.

For their new merchandise they have an online sample sale section where you can view a few of their latest releases. You also get a taste of their lookbook and sample sale section when you scroll further down the homepage. These sections have a curated and classy feel which makes the new collections look really desirable on the site.

If you click into their lookbook landing page you can shop a look by the collection and see everything that they offer in the product line in one microsite page. Their lookbook pages don’t include any pricing or shopping cart functionality so this portion of the site acts more like a photo album and feels a bit like looking through a magazine.

Fighting Eel has dedicated a top navigation menu position to their e-gift cards which can be a very smart way to capture the users that may be looking to purchase something for a friend or partner.

Although Fighting Eel has done an amazing job with their e-commerce, they still use their site as an opportunity to draw people into their physical retail stores in Hawaii and they have a page dedicated towards store locations.

Another highlight of their store website is the “our story” section where they highlight their founders and how they got started. This helps visitors to feel connected to them and adds an element of intimacy which makes you want to support their brand.

Fighting Eel has done a great job at creating a simple and attractive site that has a high-end yet relaxed feel. They’ve used a minimal style and given their photography plenty of room which makes a pleasant visual impact. If you’re looking for examples of how to create navigation structures that are user-friendly for a medium-size inventory store, it’s worth noting how they’ve laid out their pages.

The magic of the Fighting Eel site is that it gives you a vacation feel while you’re shopping. You’ll notice the models featured in all the images look happy and relaxed, which sets the mood for finding the perfect outfit for your next trip.