Tag Archives: fashion

“You have to be strong to avoid buying things you don’t need or can’t afford.” LOL, isn’t that always the case?!

Fashionistas, will you be checking out Boutiques.com? I will but am skeptical at Google analyzing my fashion tastes. I like to think I’m not that predictable.

Amplify’d from www.wallstreetjournal.com

A Shopping Site Customized to Your Tastes

Shopping is on everyone’s mind this time of year. And with many of us opting to shop from the comfort of our homes on the Web, there have been various services popping up that cater to online shoppers.

I decided to test out Boutiques.com, a personalized shopping site recently launched by Google that analyzes your fashion style and creates a customized “boutique” that suggests a list of clothes, shoes and accessories you might like.

To set up your account, you have to answer a series of questions about your fashion preferences. First you’re presented a series of outfits, two at a time, and you have to select which of the two you like the most. Then you can be more specific about your style by saying which patterns and silhouettes you love or hate when it comes to shirts, pants, dresses and skirts. You also give your sizes and name your favorite designers.

Jonnelle Marte checks out the services offered by Google’s personalized shopping site, Boutiques.com.

According to Boutiques.com, my style is “Casual Chic,” which the site illustrated with brown leather boots, a loose-fitting striped tee and a black cardigan—pretty similar to things I own and wear a lot. But thankfully, I wasn’t limited to this category and could search under other styles, including “Edgy,” “Bohemian” or “Classic” when browsing the site.

For Google’s first fashion foray, the search company has created Boutiques.com, which features curated boutiques by tastemakers and bloggers. One of the hurdles the site faces is how to engineer for taste, WSJ’s Elva Ramirez reports.

I mainly enjoyed the site because the merchandise spanned across a wide range of retailers, and it was pretty easy to sort through it all. I could filter items by price, brand, store, color or designer, among other categories—and there was never a shortage of options. Hovering over an item created a pop-up window with similar items, which I sometimes liked more than the original suggestions. Still I sometimes would have liked a little more flexibility with the filtering options. For example, it would have been nice to be able to browse for multiple colors, but you could only search for one color at a time.

I also really liked that I could be specific about why I loved or hated an item and the site would adapt. If I pointed out that I really loved the color of a pair of boots, I would see more suggestions of shoes in that color. Likewise, if I hated something I could eliminate similar items from future suggestions.

I found the suggestions the site gave me were fairly accurate and for the most part, were things I would wear. But some of the items did not fit my style at all, or I found them to be too plain or too similar. I went back once and adjusted my preferences for styles just to increase the variety of clothing styles in my search results.

It’s pretty easy to go from browsing to shopping because every item is linked directly to a retailer that sells it. Though sometimes I clicked on an item only to find out it was sold out or to be directed to a similar item, that wasn’t identical to the one pictured on Boutiques.com.

Boutiques.com introduced me to some new brands that I liked, something I was hoping it would do because I think I always stick with the same stores and styles when I go shopping. And it also suggested some colorful dresses with funkier patterns than what I would normally go for but that I actually really enjoyed once it showed up in my boutique. The website is good if you are looking for outfit ideas but I wouldn’t make it my main shopping website. If you know exactly what brand or style you’re looking for it might be more efficient to go to a more specialized site, say one for shoes, or directly to a retailer.

I went to a store to try on some of the suggestions to see if they would look as good on me as they did on the site. Not all of the items were a perfect fit, but I did find some items I would buy. I was also reminded that while online shopping is really convenient, sometimes the best deals are still found in the store. One dress I tried on cost about 30% less in the store then it did on the retailer’s website.

So, is Boutiques.com worth it? You have to be strong to avoid buying things you don’t need or can’t afford. And I wouldn’t rule out other shopping sites, since retailers pay to be featured on this website. Still, it’s a fun free service that is easy to use and can get you thinking out of the box when it comes to fashion.

Write to Jonnelle Marte at jonnelle.marte@wsj.com

Read more at www.wallstreetjournal.com


Fashion and @Google are not 2 words I associate… until now. via @WSJTech

Only in the U.S. and only for women – for now. Human curators and visual recognition to provide recommendations…. I’ll be interested to see how well it works.

Amplify’d from www.wallstreetjournal.com

Google Jumps Into Fashion E-Commerce

Aiming to become the first stop for online shoppers of apparel and accessories, Google Inc. launched a fashion e-commerce site Boutiques.com, which uses human curators, visual recognition and machine learning technology to recommend items to shoppers.

The move thrusts the Mountain View, Calif., Internet giant into the rapidly growing online fashion market, an area in which Amazon.com Inc. and eBay Inc. are stepping up their offerings. It’s a lucrative market, with the online apparel and accessories industry hitting $19 billion in the U.S. in 2009, according to comScore Inc., and growing fast.

For Google’s first fashion foray, the search company has created Boutiques.com, which features curated boutiques by tastemakers and bloggers. One of the hurdles the site faces is how to engineer for taste, WSJ’s Elva Ramirez reports.

Boutiques.com doesn’t sell the items, which come from hundreds of online merchants such as Ralph Lauren, Steve Madden and Juicy Couture, but directs shoppers to sites where they can be purchased. Other sites such as Polyvore.com and Kaboodle.com, also are attempting to make shopping and browsing for apparel more fun.

Munjal Shah, a Google product manager, said the company worked with about 100 fashion taste-makers such as celebrities, stylists, and designers to pick out clothing they like and teach Google’s machine-learning algorithms about their style and tastes. Those partners include Oscar de la Renta and retailer Scoop NYC.

Google is developing ways to direct users of the company’s Web-search engine to Boutiques.com when they search for fashion items, Mr. Shah said. The company already has a standalone product-search service that specializes in “hard” goods such as electronics and draws traffic from the main search engine. The product-search site has grown rapidly over the past couple of years, comScore data show, but still lags behind Amazon and eBay in terms of the number of searches it handles.

Shoppers of Boutiques.com will be able to browse for items a particular expert has selected, such as shoulder dresses or high-heeled shoes, as well as any other goods that Google’s algorithms thinks are similar in some way. Shoppers can also build their own personalized boutique and get recommendations of products that match their tastes.

Boutiques.com is similar to Like.com, the visual search site founded by Mr. Shah for shoppers of apparel and other soft goods. Google acquired the site in August for about $100 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

Boutiques.com currently has the same business model used by Like.com, where merchants pay if shoppers end up purchasing the goods on other sites, or sometimes pay a small cost for each time a shopper clicked on their merchandise to learn more. Mr. Shah said the model could change.

Scot Wingo, Chief Executive of ChannelAdvisor Corp., which helps merchants sell goods on Amazon and eBay, said Boutiques.com is a solid first attempt by Google and one that leverages its core strength in search.

“Amazon is becoming so popular in e-commerce that people are going there to start some of their searches,” he said. “This is Google waking up to that threat.”

Boutiques.com is only available in the U.S. and only for women’s fashion, but is expected to expand in the future, Google said.

Write to Amir Efrati at amir.efrati@wsj.com and Scott Morrison at scott.morrison@dowjones.com

Read more at www.wallstreetjournal.com


Technology, access, connections & potential transforming the world of fashion; via @NYTimes. Happy #NYFW, #FNOnyc

New York Fashion Week kicks off and today is also Fashion’s Night Out in NYC. This article captures a new spirit in the industry. I love that technology plays a big part in the transformation of how things are done – along with a lot of creativity, connections and spirit, of course.

There’s a great Q&A if you click through and read the entire piece.

Amplify’d from www.nytimes.com
The Next Wave

Fashion always loves a moment, and none has captivated the industry quite so thoroughly in recent times as the ever-booming population of impressive young designers who have staked their flags proudly in Manhattan. Not a decade ago, the captains of industry were asking themselves who could revive American fashion in the eyes of the world, since the big guns of New York had grown stale, retired or expired, and Paris reclaimed the mantle as the place to be. A Paris Six emerged, as Cathy Horyn, fashion critic for The New York Times, noted in 2005, citing a small group of designers who held the most profound influence over global fashion at the moment, comparable to the Antwerp Six of the early 1990s, or the Japanese designers who dominated Paris in the two decades prior.

What is most exciting about what is happening in fashion now, however, is that it is not just six names who are making waves in New York, but an entire generation of designers who have the potential to transform what we think of as American fashion. The majority of designers showing during New York Fashion Week, which begins today, started their labels within the last decade, chasing the dream of fashion in a city that has not always been so hospitable to talented designers. In fact, very few who started here since the 1980s managed to survive.

Yet there are more new designers working in New York fashion than at any point in its history, a rush of tenderfeet that one can say with some certainty began in 2002, when Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, two students at Parsons the New School for Design, sold their senior collection to Barneys New York and became the toast of the industry with their label, Proenza Schouler. Their example changed the way young designers looked at their careers. They no longer had to apprentice for years or scream to be heard — New York was crazy for the new.

The savviest among them have created businesses that have eclipsed their predecessors in both scale and speed. Alexander Wang, who started his street-meets-couture collection in 2007, reached $25 million in sales last year; Phillip Lim, his contemporary, has flagships in New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Seoul. Their generation, which grew up with the Internet and the ease of access to information, is keenly aware of the power of fashion today in popular culture. They are also incredibly well connected, having formed a mutual support network through the many new initiatives designed to promote designers in New York, and uniquely suited to the moment.

“I suppose this is the first generation that has had access to everything in the palm of their hand,” said Simon Collins, the dean of the school of fashion at Parsons. “They can find factories on their phones.”

Read more at www.nytimes.com


Intstg collaboration from @giltgroupe & @target (opposite of @Rue_la_la & @ELLEmagazine) Fri 8/20 #fashion #brand

Is Target going up market or is Gilt coming down? An interesting collaboration… I wouldn’t have imagined Target’s brands – even the higher-end designer collaborations – as part of the usual “luxury designers and fashion brands” at Gilt. But, as I mentioned earlier this year, with the competition in the “private sale/sample sale” market growing daily, these early market entrants are going to have to continue to get creative – especially as the market begins to recover and shoppers open their wallets again.

This is an interesting, seemingly opposite move, as compared to Rue La La’s recent collaboration with Elle Magazine (focused on up and coming luxury designers like Whitney Port). What do you think?

Amplify’d from style.target.com
Target StyleBoutique Conversations on fashion, home and beauty.

Special Event: Shop Target’s Newest Designer Collaborations—Long Before They Are In Stores

Mark your calendar and register below. Beginning Friday, August 20, Target is partnering with Gilt Groupe, the invitation-only shopping site, for an exclusive 36-hour preview-shopping event of select pieces from Target’s newest designer collaborations with John Derian, Tucker and Mulberry.

Intrigued? We thought so. All you need to do is make sure you are a registered member of Gilt Groupe, a fabulous online boutique featuring luxury designers and fashion brands at prices up to 70% off the retail. In fact, you can register right here for free—and Gilt is throwing in a $10 credit to get you started!

So, start dreaming about John Derian’s handmade decoupage designs for home (think dishware, storage and décor), the perfect silhouettes of Tucker’s ready-to-wear apparel and the chic handbags from Mulberry, all available in exclusive Target collections.

The sale will only last 36 hours, and quantities are limited; Register for free now to ensure fast access when the sale starts for best selection.

Read more at style.target.com


“Real life Wintour whisperer” in @FastCompany -on @MBFashionWeek, @Wang_Vera, #fashion, motherhood/career balance

Amplify’d from www.fastcompany.com

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff Brings Fashion to New York’s Lincoln Center

Credentials: Remember how Emily Blunt flanked Meryl Streep’s Anna Wintour-inspired character in The Devil Wears Prada, whispering names to her at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala? Wolkoff was a real-life Wintour whisperer. She worked for 11 years as Vogue‘s director of special events, handling logistics — and, yes, all those names — for those galas at the Met.

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, Lincoln Center, Director

Photograph by Peter Hapak

EnlargeSophia Loren

Photograph by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Big Idea: Create a fashion hub at New York’s Lincoln Center, which Stephanie Winston Wolkoff calls a “blank white canvas that hadn’t been filled.” “We need to incorporate fashion into every element and institution,” she says, “whether it be through designer-lecture series,

Big Idea: Create a fashion hub at New York’s Lincoln Center, which Stephanie Winston Wolkoff calls a “blank white canvas that hadn’t been filled.” “We need to incorporate fashion into every element and institution,” she says, “whether it be through designer-lecture series, photography exhibitions, or collaborative efforts between artists and designers.” Wolkoff is starting with Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, which this month relocates to Lincoln Center from Bryant Park. Much as Lincoln Center has tried to diversify the audience for performing arts, the fashion-week director plans to democratize the typically insider-only event, via programs for designer-loving everyday Janes, including a Vogue consumer fashion show for 1,000 non-industry people featuring clothes that are actually available in stores.

Gala as brainteaser: Organizing the Costume Institute ball “was like a chess game. I knew every detail about every person at every single seat. I worked with other editors to decide what guest was wearing what, so they wouldn’t come in the same dresses. I made sure exes weren’t seated with exes.”

BlackBerry or iPhone? BlackBerry. “Indispensable!”

The Supermom myth: Wolkoff says her experience as a working mother taught her “there’s no such thing as Supermom. I thought I could have the best of both worlds, except the guilt inside of me took over.”

Life lessons from Anna Wintour: Wolkoff says she learned two key things from the editrix and mom of two, whom she calls her career role model: “That you actually can have a balance between family and career. And to follow your instincts.”

Read more at www.fastcompany.com


Fall shopping is on my mind; loving this cashmere piece from @bluefly #fashion

Unfortunately, I left it in my cart too long and it sold out. But they have other colors and you’ve got to check out all the different ways to wear it.

I’m also getting excited for boots! What are your faves for fall?

Yes, please

I’ve been avoiding writing too much about fashion here for fear of not being taken too seriously. But these were too beautiful not to post and if you know me, you know I love incredible shoes.

Christian Louboutin’s Bianca 140 patent-leather pumps – available at Net-a-Porter.com, among others. How about that blue “peacock” color! Gorgeous!

Michelle Obama’s Inaugural Outfits

There was a lot of chatter about Michelle Obama’s outfits yesterday, as expected. Personally I loved the inaugural dress and matching overcoat designed by Isabel Toledo. I thought the lemongrass color was gorgeous on her, the texture looked season-appropriate and the neckline was elegant and beautiful. And I absolutely adored the coordinating J. Crew green gloves and Jimmy Choo green patent pumps. It takes a special and confident woman to pull that off.

Obama Inauguration

Unfortunately, I didn’t feel the same about her ball gown, designed by Jason Wu, that evening. Although I loved the crystals and appliques, I didn’t think the cut was very flattering on top or to her waist. Although, after what was certainly a long day, I’m sure she was grateful for the free-flowing design. All in all, she looked beautiful and elegant, yet approachable.

What did you think?

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week – a Look Inside The Tents!

I don’t usually write about my work clients on this personal site but I do write about fashion and shopping, so I thought I’d mention this really cool initiative by my client Gift Girl.

Gift Girl has teamed with My It Things to create Inside The Tents – an aggregated inside look from fashionista bloggers and reporters covering the coveted New York City event. Check it out – here’s the mission statement – and keep up on everything fashion coming out of Bryant Park in this coming week.

I wish I were there!