Saturday, January 31, 2009

Shopflick Combines Shopping with Online Video

Shopflick is an online video‐shopping marketplace where shoppers can discover new independent products and the stories behind them. Designers, boutiques, merchants, small manufacturers, artists and personalities can all create closer connections with shoppers and increase sales through video. Since its launch in August 2008, Shopflick has garnered attention for its ability to combine two previously popular but unrelated online behaviors.

On the site, both consumers and designers create profiles. Designers create individual boutiques, where they can post videos to engage consumers. Technically challenged designers can use the Shopflick Filmmaker Marketplace (SFM) to find a "qualified, pre-approved" videographer to shoot footage. Best sellers are more prominently featured, and anyone can sign up for a designer account. Shopflick also recently expanded their video offerings to include an original signature series, The Hall of Style with Davida Hall. Future episodes will feature celebrity guests and how-to's for viewers searching for a way to look great without breaking the bank.

With its focus on indie fashion and unique use of video to engage consumers, Shopflick is sure to become a niche shopping destination for the fashion forward.

Friday, January 23, 2009

American Apparel Finds Models on Chictopia

Retailer American Apparel recently partnered with fashion blog social network Chictopia to launch a new ad campaign featuring members of modeling American Apparel clothes. It is the first time a major brand has used fashion network blogs to discover models. The campaigns will run on Chictopia's website as well as the girls' individual fashion blogs which independently receive hundreds of thousands of pageviews a month. The models wear a combination of American Apparel and the company's vintage line California Select.

"Instead of trying to tailor the ads for consumer, we're using that consumer in the ad." said Mae Kaufman, the American Apparel photographer who shot the ads. "All the girls had strong, individual styles that they were able to translate into fun, wearable outfits."

American Apparel, who is well known for refusing to use airbrushing in their advertisements, and Chictopia are showing that traditional media beauty standards are obsolete and inefficient.

"It's the future of fashion, where style is set for the people, by the people," said Chictopia CEO Helen Zhu. "There will always be value to runway models and glossy prints, but people most often look to real trendsetters amongst their community for fashion inspiration. Some of Chictopia's trendsetters have over one thousand fans watching their daily style blogs, and our site receives over four million pageviews per month from fashion enthusiasts. We are happy to be working with American Apparel, a leader in recognizing the value of true fashion influencers."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

On HerFuture, Women Find and Become Mentors

Motivational speaker and career coach Gabrielle Bernstein recently founded HerFuture, a Ning-powered social network that connects women looking for mentors with women looking to mentor.

“Many young women don’tknow how to ask for a mentor or where to find one," says Bernstein,herself a young entrepreneur who started two businesses at the age of 22."This site provides a solution for typical inhibitors such as shyness,fear, or a lack of positive female role models.”

On the site, users create a profile and have opportunities to join groups with likeminded women. Members share their goals and desires, and are encouraged to reach our for advice. The basic functionality is intended to cater to women with varying degrees of computer skills.

Inspirational women such as supermodel and philanthropist Petra Nemcova and bestselling author Karen Salmansohn are speaking out about the importance of HerFuture. Nemcova says HerFuture "reminds young women that we have the most amazing gift in our hands- the gift of creation. We create our own reality: Sadness or joy, struggle or success, love or fear. It is in your own hands!" Other influencers such as NIKE athlete Ary Nunez have profiles up on the site.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Brides Use Internet to Plan Wedding Registry

Emarketer recently reported that, in a study conducted by The Knot, engaged and recently married couples were making changes to their wedding registries, with affordable retailers and online shopping now in the spotlight. 44% of the 12,398 adults surveyed reported that the affordability of items is “extremely important” when selecting a registry store. 27% consider it “somewhat important.” Affordable retailers, such as Target, Wal-Mart and JCPenney are a more registry popular choice among brides, with Target representing 18% of all primary bridal registries.

According to Miriam Alexander, The Knot's vice president,“Brides are looking at the whole package and making some decisions. They’re becoming more savvy, interviewing service providers and negotiating.” The recent economic pressure is causing brides to conduct more research online while planning their wedding registries, with the Internet now ranked higher than friends and family as "very influential" in brides' planning.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Est. Today: Virtual Design Studio for Tweens

Est. Today is the latest virtual world targeted towards tween girls. The site was conceived by a husband and wife team that wanted to create an online fashion studio for their 12 year old daughter, and allows budding fashionistas to create, showcase, and purchase clothing and accessories designed by one another. The site provides three distinct offerings, each centered around fashion.

The community component is a virtual showroom, where users have avatars, chat, watch videos, answer polls, try on clothes, and shop for virtual items. The community section also offers a design contest, where tweens can vote on the winning design for a tee shirt. Finalists are displayed in the virtual showroom, and the winning design receives a $200 spending spree. The design studio is a fun, drag and drop tool with enough options to keep tween girls busy. Users can select backgrounds, designs, and accents, and logos. The designs can be saved and incorporated into a user’s virtual closet and even be put into production as a real clothing item. The site also offers a ready to wear shopping section where users can put buy stylish, age appropriate clothing.

Est. Today is a fun, engaging site that will catch the eye of tween girls who have outgrown more juvenile sites such as Webkins and Pixie Hollow, and may even be able compete with the successful tween fashion virtual world Stardoll.