Without a doubt, it’s time to take a closer look at what designers, fashion brands and industry fans have been getting up to online. From live-streaming fashion shows, envy-inducing social media chronicles, mobile shopping apps and e-retailer pre-sales, the fashion world is becoming more and more tech-oriented. And while customers love these new innovations, brands are also loving the benefits that come with increased technological and online engagement.
Rebecca Minkoff is one company that has had business thrive thanks to its digital presence, which includes an e-commerce site, blog and social media presence across Twitter, Instagram and, most recently, Vine. However, the biggest payoff came with the launch of the Rebecca Minkoff Spring 2013 jewellery collection via a YouTube video featuring Man Repeller blogger Leandra Medine. Uri Minkoff, CEO of Rebecca Minkoff, told WWD, “January  became the biggest non-holiday e-commerce month sales wise in the company’s history. January jewelry sales specifically have increased by 250 percent over sales from November and December combined.”
Indeed, partnerships do make a difference, especially for fashion brands. Earlier this month two fashion-themed hackathons took place during New York Fashion Week. (Don’t worry, we also needed to Google the definition of hackathon: they’re collaborative events where developers gather to create a new app or software platform in a limited amount of time.) One hackathon was presented by Condé Nast and focused on the goal of creating an app for the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). The winning app was SWATCHit, which connects fashion designers to artisans and producers in emerging market textile industries. The second hackathon, hosted by Hearst, saw part app, part online shop Drobe win top honours. Once live, it will allow users to mix-and-match clothing items from various retailers. More information will be available on both apps as they are further developed and released within the next six months.
If you’re thinking that the digital world has only added to the frantic pace of the fashion industry, you may be correct. However, to keep you up-to-date we’ve uncovered five websites that are creating buzz in the fashion world and are designed to help you socialize, interact and shop with ease.
<a href="http://www.discoveredd.com/"><b>discoveredd.com</b></a><br />
Discoveredd is a social discovery platform (think Pinterest) specifically geared towards fashion. It allows you to share things that you have “discoveredd” and curate them to your liking.<br />
<b>Ideal for:</b> Fashion lovers who are always on the hunt for the newest trend, best street style and all things beautiful. <br />
<b>Bonus:</b> Torontonians Stephanie March, Erin Kleinburg and Jake Rosenberg of The Coveteur have been featured on the site’s Spotlight page, which features many of fashion’s top trendsetters by sharing their “top 10 discoveries of the moment.”
<b><a href="http://www.hukkster.com/">hukkster.com</a></b><br />
Browse Hukkster’s featured store <a href="http://www.hukkster.com/featured-stores">list</a> and “hukk” products you want to track. When they go on sale you will receive an email. Thus allowing you to never pay full price for anything you want to purchase. <br />
<b>Ideal for:</b> Bargain hunters who hate paying full price for fashion.<br />
<b>Bonus:</b> <span class="noskimwords"> Some of our favourite American retailers—that just arrived or are soon to come to Canada—are featured, including Target, Victoria’s Secret, Tory Burch, Nordstrom, Intermix, Ann Taylor.</span>
<b><a href="http://chicisimo.com/">chicisimo.com</a></b><br />
Chicisimo allows members to create digital scrapbooks of their own looks and collect looks from other members that they like.<br />
<b>Ideal for:</b> People looking for style inspiration from real people or those who like to show off their own style. <br />
<b>Bonus:</b> Chicisimo is a global website that started in Spain and has a large population of overseas users making for great international street style shots.
<b><a href="http://www.shopittome.com/">shopittome.com</a></b><br />
Shop It To Me is an email service that takes your favourite designers and labels and your sizes and sends you daily or weekly emails with pieces that fit your criteria and are on sale. Basically it's your own free personal online shopper.<br />
<b>Ideal for:</b> Those with no time to shop for themselves.<br />
<b>Bonus:</b> For every 10 recommended friends that sign up, you receive a $20 gift card to a store from Shop It To Me’s list of selected merchants, which includes Bloomingdale's, Barneys and Gap.
<b><a href="http://www.shop-hers.com/">shop-hers.com</a></b><br />
<span class="noskimwords"> Shop Hers is a curated marketplace for resale luxury goods. Each piece is inspected and authenticated. And with a former Ford model, Nordstrom web designer and ShoeDazzle CTO running it behind the scenes we trust that they know what they are doing.</span><br />
<b>Ideal for:</b> People looking for designer goods at a good price, who don’t care if they're second hand.<br />
<b>Bonus:</b> Based on some simple criteria, you can be matched up with your Style Soul Mates. These are people that have similar measurements and style as you from around the world.