Does the Internet need another aggregated shopping website? Francesca Helina, the former fashion marketing executive at Twitter, seems to think so.
Helina's new shopping website, Live the Look, offers users purchase suggestions based off of what they already have in their closet. After being prompted with three questions about closet basics, size, and style, Live the Look's algorithm pairs users with clothing suggestions that spice up their wardrobe much like the closet technology Cher from Clueless used to get dressed in the morning. The site was launched in beta this past December, and the official version will launch next month.
"Everyone has the same task when they first wake up which is to go to their closet and pick out what they want to wear. Our premise is that people have more confidence to buy if they have the visualization of what they've already got in their closet and pair it with something new," Helina told Racked. "There will always be other online platforms like Polyvore for customers but this will help customers with the every day experience."
Live the Look's product suggestion.
Once a user provides the website with their contents of their closet, such as a white t-shirt or jeans, Live the Look suggests choices from the 100 different products they have on their site. Helina is currently only working with smaller, independent fashion designers for now, as the site is "not supposed to be a layer of competition with Gilt."
"We work with unique, artisan vendors that present products you won't find at Nordstrom," she said. "It's going to be a platform to find emerging brands. We don't work with the generic because we wanted something with a more unique strategy at first."
Helina's new site is only a drop in the bucket when it comes to the online shopping market: from flash-sale sites like Gilt, HauteLook, MyHabit and Rue La La to standard aggregators like Wanelo, Svvply, and Canopy, Live the Look certainly has its work cut out in differentiating itself from competitors.
But Helina insists her new shopping site is "taking it to the next level," a term she admits is cliché but appropriate. A lot of sites use data points to give online shoppers purchase suggestions, but she said her goal is to help shoppers understand their wardrobe and inspire them in the purchase process.
Live the Look's homepage.
Live the Look's next challenge is social media integration. Helina spent three years at Twitter, starting in 2009 back when the company had something like 80 employees, and worked side by side with big fashion brands like Burberry, IMG, and Prabal Gurung to coordinate Twitter education and generate new social media ventures in the fashion world. She believes social media is an integral aspect in the online shopping experience and so is working to give Live the Look a unique "integrated social integration," though she will not reveal exact strategies just yet.
"The idea is that online shopping should progress more than just commerce," she said. "We're going to develop that and make it more sophisticated."
· Live the Look [Official site]
· Wanelo Wants to Crush the Category of Social Shopping [Racked]
· The Net-A-Porter of Dildo Shopping Has Arrived [Racked]