Shopping, Google-style: Booming online fashion industry with new e-boutique

Google has launched an online fashion site that promises to change the way we shop for clothes online.Boutiques.com, which will cash in on the booming online fashion industry, links to through to stock from predominantly high-end designers, and allows users to search stock from multiple retailers.
Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen have both created their own ‘boutiques’ on Google’s new Boutiques.com site.
Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen have both created their own ‘boutiques’ on Google’s new Boutiques.com site.

Google has launched an online fashion site that promises to change the way we shop for clothes online.

Boutiques.com, which will cash in on the booming online fashion industry, links to through to stock from predominantly high-end designers, and allows users to search stock from multiple retailers.

The site will also be personalised, according to shoppers’ individual tastes, identified via a picture-led quiz, in which shoppers can decide whether a celebrity or catwalk look is ‘their style’ or not.

It also records cut, style and print preferences, for example a penchant for polka dots, or a particular dislike of maxi skirts.

The site has also invited fashion designers, bloggers and celebrities to create their own ‘boutiques’, including the Olsen twins and Carey Mulligan.

True Blood star Anna Paquin, for example, advocates an edgy style with recommendations that include skinny jeans from Genetic Denim, and high-heeled ankle boots by Alexander McQueen.

Fashion blogger Susie Bubble, by contrast, favours a more eclectic style with a brighter palette, including Topshop tees and footwear by 3.1 Phillip Lim.

A press release from the company explained: “The way we shop for fashion is different from how we buy cameras - especially online.

“With fashion, reviews and specs are less important; fashion shopping is about discovering something that fits your taste and feels right.

“Boutiques use computer vision and machine learning technology to visually analyse your taste and match it to items you would like.”

The company’s attempt to capitalise on the growing online fashion market presents a rival to Asos Marketplace, which is a similar concept, set to launch later this month.

The Asos model will differ, however, in that it will also allow users to set up their own ‘boutiques’ and sell their own designs.

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