WWD.com/globe-news/fashion/online-networking-for-fashion-set-1897109/

NEW YORK — From Facebook to MySpace, LinkedIn to Twitter, social networking sites have become some of the Web’s most buzzed-about destinations. Now, Vince Gonzales, who exited his position as COO of Meltin’ Pot’s U.S. business in September, is aiming to launch a site that brings the virtual socializing concept to the fashion arena.&nbsp

In partnership with Michael Dizon, who has 10 years of experience working at marketing firms such as Agency.com and Publicis, Gonzales has launched a social networking site at MyStylePost.com targeting style enthusiasts. The site had a soft launch this summer, but the duo were in final negotiations last week to sign a kickoff advertiser to rev up operations in earnest. 

Like established social networking sites, MyStylePost.com encourages consumers to create profiles and then link to “friends,” whether from real life or simply through meeting online. Members recommend fashion items found on any e-commerce site on the Web, and share them with each other. Additionally, through profile questions that ask about members’ favorite music, brands and stores, people can see what other members with similar tastes are recommending. 

“We figure out what particular items will appeal to you most through your personality traits,” explained Dizon. “We help search through all the noise. Music tastes can tell a lot about a person, especially when it comes to fashion.” 

Since all the items listed on the site are available online, clicking on a recommended purchase brings you immediately to a relevant e-commerce site for easy gratification. 

To encourage users to join MyStylePost.com and make recommendations, the site will feature frequent contests and giveaways from sponsors for active members. Marketing partners on the site will have their own profiles where their brands are advertised in the same format and tone as members’ personal pages. Links to those pages will be given prime space on recommendation lists, and, similar to MySpace, members will be able to “befriend” those branded pages they like best. 

Additionally, Gonzales and Dizon plan on selling data from the site to interested marketers, regarding members’ online activity cross-referenced with their personality traits. For example, the site could provide information about the type of music that ardent fans of Nike listen to versus recent purchasers of Triple Five Soul. 

“Peer recommendations are increasingly important in all areas of consumer behavior, and we think this site offers a unique and effective way for fashion enthusiasts to share style advice with friends, while providing a completely new platform for marketers to reach those avid consumers,” said Gonzales.