Google launches Boutiques.com



By Nicole Freeman

Google today unveiled Boutiques.com, an online shopping experience with a difference. Not only is it packed with the latest fashion items from celebrities, stylists, designers, and fashion bloggers, but it also uses state-of-the-art technology to identify your own individual style and come up with matching recommendations.

First and foremost, Boutiques is an online shopper’s dream. The thousands of items are divided into five main categories – Shoes, Clothing, Bags, Accessories, and Designers – which are then further divided into hundreds of sub-categories. Click on any item, for example Clothing/Tops/Halters, and you will see dozens of items, complete with picture, label, and price.

The Explore Boutiques tab gives you a choice of 9 different online boutiques, everything from Celebrities to Popular. Under Celebrities, you can admire – or critique – the styles and selections of personalities as diverse as Nicole Chavez and Jenna Fischer.

But the really fun part starts when you create Your Boutique. Here, you are presented with a seemingly endless array of different looks and each time you are asked to choose between “MORE my style” or “SKIP not my style”. Each time you approve of an item, the “Stylyzer” takes another step towards nailing down your own personal look.

Although sifting through all the different clothing choices is a bit like building an avatar, it is an entertaining and fun exercise. At the end, you will be classified as either Boho, Casual Chic, Classic, Edgy, Romantic, or Street, and Boutiques will gently steer you towards designers and labels that are a fit for your style.

Every item that comes up on the screen is accompanied by “Love” and “Hate” buttons. Click on one of these and you provide more data for the Stylyzer. The more selections you make, the more appropriate the site’s future style suggestions.

The site aims to build awareness for new styles and fashions of up and coming designers, as well as the established names. Although similar styles are grouped together, there is currently no ability to sort by price. In the “little black dress” category, for example, you can see a Calvin Klein design costing over two thousand dollars right alongside others for less than $100.

While there's no advertising on the site, clicking on the photo takes the visitor to a variety of online stores such as Neiman Marcus or Nordstrom, depending on the retailer that’s offering the item. While the site only offers a fashion experience for women, Google says it expects to include a section for men in the near future.



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