November 23, 2010

Geek and Chic

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When interested in scoping the latest fashion trends, Google is probably not the first place of choice to pop up into your head. Unless you are using as your search engine, it probably has nothing else related to your next season's wardrobe.

However, Google has shocked the online community last Wednesday, circulating lots of buzz with their new e-commerce website As if their own online search engine, Gmail, and Youtube wasn't enough to manage, they have now taken a dip (or more like an Olympic dive) into the pool of the fastest growing categories on the Web - apparel, accessories, and footwear.

Similar to existing online shops like Shopstyle.comRevolve Clothing and Retail Therapy, which have all been around for some time, allows consumers to create their own shops with real merchandise to buy. However, what is unique about is that these shops can be shared, creating a new world of social networking in the e-commerce world. Celebrities, designers, and even bloggers have already set up their own "boutique" so consumers can shop and dress like their favorite style muse or brand, whether it's the fashion house Marchesa, American designer Diane von Furstenberg, actress Sarah Jessica Parker, TV reality star Olivia Palermo, or bloggers Susie Bubble and Rumi Neely. For those who are more trend driven, boutiques can be explored through a refined selection of trends, ranging from Classic, Romantic, Street, and Boho. Using the same lingo as Twitter, you can "follow" these boutiques and keep a list of your favorite shops.

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Google has a huge advantage over other mega sites like Amazon and Ebay, which have both been trying to improve their apparel sector for years. It is much more understandable to consumers to go to Google's for a $1,000 designer dress rather than Amazon and Ebay, which are more about finding you the best deal for your dollars. is less interested in finding you a money-saving purchase and rather much more interested in giving you a new, exciting shopping experience. With Google's popularity and the more or less blank attachments to (in comparison to Amazon and Ebay), they have a clean starting ground with millions of eager online consumers.

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And to go above and beyond, also just launched their free iPad app with user-friendly interface, making today's iPad shopping as close to the real deal of browsing clothes on an actual clothing rack. Greeted with a welcoming chime when you launch the app, it is similar to the sound you hear upon walking into a shop. All about imagery with very little text, storefronts can be browsed by a flick of the finger. 

Combining the latest trends of social media, online shopping, and the idea of the curated, is a product of what consumers are demanding today. It is a genius concept of combining something new with the familiar, making it an excitingly fresh concept that is completely adaptable to today's culture. Using language and visual layout that is now second nature to most of us, this site may quite possibly be a huge indicator of where the retail industry is headed next. If you are like many of us here at MBF where we use Google's Gmail for email, Blogger for blogging, and Youtube for videos, you may be asking yourself "How dependent have we become to Google?!"

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