LOS ANGELES — HauteLook cofounder Carlota Espinosa is launching a new e-commerce site, Styloot.com, which aims to be the biggest online women’s shopping destination.
Featuring clothing, jewelry, accessories and footwear, Styloot offers more than 400,000 items from 4,000-plus brands through deals with more than 100 online retailers — ranging from Net-a-porter to Target, Bloomingdale’s to Banana Republic, and brands ranging from Christian Louboutin and Levi’s to Oscar de la Renta and BCBG Max Azria. The site’s search engine enables users to refine a search by brand, style, color, retailer, price point and type of sale (from 30 percent off to 70 percent off).
Styloot aims to set itself apart from other online retailers with similar search mechanisms with its “Create My Look” tool. The feature allows users to get even more specific by, for example, entering the type of toe, vamp, fastening and heel of a shoe, using a range of given descriptions and visual symbols that appear on a “mannequin” foot and leg as the user clicks on her specifications. For tops, users can similarly choose their neckline, sleeve, overall style and opening while seeing the silhouette change on the mannequin. For pants, they can specify the type of pockets, style, waist and so on.
Styloot also has a free app for mobile devices and tablets that allows users to take a photo of an item or an entire outfit that they may spy in a store or on the street, and receive a list of similar items, arranged by price point, within 24 hours. There are also the requisite inspiration boards that users can create and share on the site or via Facebook and Pinterest.
Each purchase is made on the retailer’s own site, with Styloot earning revenues through percentage points from each transaction.
“It’s exciting to see how online shopping has grown and changed since we started HauteLook,” said Espinosa of the site, where she served as vice president until it was sold to Nordstrom in 2011. “Back then, getting people to leave a credit card number wasn’t easy. Now women are supersophisticated in how they shop online, and they know what they want.”
In November 2011, Espinosa set out to create a new online shopping experience aimed at bigger, better and more, rather than only the flash sales that HauteLook helped popularize. She found investors and technical partners in Karthik Nandyal and Samir Patil, American-educated engineers and entrepreneurs who worked on Wall Street and are now based in Pune, India.
“Their technology was the only thing that I was seeing that had everything: the deepest inventory search, the visual recognition and technical innovations,” she said. The price of labor for college-educated employees is also significantly less in India.
While Los Angeles-based Espinosa focuses on the curation, look and flow of the site on the front end, making sure there are new items and trends added every day, her Pune-based partners create the back-end experience, including the search results for users’ ultraspecific requests and photos. “We have a team of grads from the Indian equivalent of FIT, who pore over the inventory to fill everyone’s search requests,” she said.
To build awareness for the nascent site, which went into beta mode last month, Espinosa is in talks to partner with a multimedia company that would generate traffic for site, while Styloot would bring prestige and credibility in the shopping community to said company. She also plans to add editorial and interactive content such as celebrity and real-life street-style images and celebrity photo feeds in partnership with a photo agency. The My Loot Insider feature already showcases Los Angeles stylemakers by presenting their shopping picks, a feature that will eventually expand to include fashionistas worldwide. On the product side, brand exclusives are a goal to make Styloot a discovery site for new talent and a destination for established designers wanting to get in on the action.
“Ultimately, I want this to be the first destination where women go to shop. It appeals to the savvy shoppers because there’s a range of price points and you can see everything in one place. You can also get ideas for what to buy, and shop the latest trends. The potential is really big,” she said.
While Espinosa declined to give financial projections, industry sources said a site like Styloot could net up to $5 million in commissions in 18 months.
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)