By  on April 26, 2007

A crop of new fashion-focused search engines and other innovative services are making it easier to find fashion online.Today Glimpse goes live, after several months of testing with about 2,000 shoppers online. The search was created specifically to appeal to women and focuses exclusively on fashion, beauty and home decor, said cofounder Jane Saltzman, formerly of Macy's and eToys. So a search for "pumps" will bring up only shoes, for example. The site is more visual than a generic search engine, and its editors have created pages that look similar to magazine pages about trends and celebrity style. "Once you start playing on the site, there's a lot of fun content," said Saltzman. "That's what we hope will appeal to our target customers." A notable feature is the sales alert. A shopper can select an item she is interested in, and the site will notify her when it goes on sale.When a shopper clicks on an item, she can go directly to it on the store's site to buy. Glimpse has standard affiliate agreements with high-end stores and brands including Armani Exchange, C&C California, eLuxury and Nordstrom. The site features 104 retailers and more than 1,435 brands. Glimpse is based in San Mateo, Calif., and has about a dozen employees. It was founded in April last year.ShopStyle searches similar stores and features an interface with a distinctive horizontal scroll. As reported, the site launched in February. This month ShopStyle added a "widget" feature that blogs and fashion networks are adding to their sites. The widget lets any site embed a particular search from ShopStyle into a story. For example, SheFinds earlier this month wrote a story about the resurgence of colored jeans. At the bottom of the article was an image showing three pairs of colored jeans. If a shopper clicked on the image, more jeans would scroll by, just as they would if a browser searched on "colored jeans" on the ShopStyle page. The images said "powered by" ShopStyle. If a shopper clicks through and buys something, the site and ShopStyle will split the revenue, said ShopStyle chief executive officer Andy Moss.Coutorture has customized the widget so it can be arranged in any layout, and is using ShopStyle to create feature stories that look more like magazine spreads than traditional blogs. Coutorture will make the technology available to other sites.Other fashion-focused search engines include Glam, BrandHabit and NearbyNow. The latter is focusing on local searches for mall-based stores. Another way to find fashion online is through the reviews site Buzzillions, started by PowerReviews of Millbrae, Calif. While not exclusively fashion-focused, its search and review features are customized for categories such as shoes or lingerie. It aggregates reviews of products from many stores around the Web and provides a quick way to find merchandise that others recommend. It also makes money from affiliate fees. PowerReviews ceo Andy Chen is a veteran of GSI Commerce (which runs Web sites for many apparel companies, including Liz Claiborne and Kate Spade) and Yahoo Shopping.

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