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Google's New Retail Venture Boutiques.com Launches Wednesday

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A few weeks ago Google sent out an invitation to an intentionally vague "High Tech Meets Fashion" launch this Wednesday in New York City. The fashion industry has been atwitter ever since with speculation that the web behemoth will announce a new online shopping platform. Details have been thin on the ground, but a report in today's WWD sheds some light on the new project, which will be a website (Boutiques.com) where anyone can create their own ecommerce boutique:

Anyone will be able to create and share their own personalized shop by selecting style preferences and the looks, brands and items they love—in the end making it easier and more stylish to buy fashion on the Web.

The search company has tapped Sarah Jessica Parker to set up her own personalized shop and is reportedly wooing Katie Holmes to do the same.

Oscar de la Renta, Tory Burch, Cynthia Rowley, Marchesa, Isaac Mizrahi, Tracy Reese and Erin Fetherston are some of the big names Google has invited to set up their own virtual stores on the site, although shoppers will most likely also be able to draw on a huge variety of fashion brands for sale online to stock their virtual shops.

Visitors will not actually complete a purchase on Google, but will click through to a brand’s online store or a retailer who carries the item, such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York, Net-a-porter or Yoox.

· Google Moves Into Fashion [WWD]