Social shopping sites are among the hottest new categories online, with sites like Polyvore, Pinterest, ShopStyle, Snapette and Lyst drawing impressive audience numbers and investor interest. This week, another entrant has joined the fray at Feyt.com, differentiating itself with a high-end focus and the viewpoint and connections of its founders, Eleanor Ylvisaker and Ferebee Taube, both fashion-industry veterans.
This story first appeared in the February 11, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“There are lots of shopping sites out there, but we are targeting users who don’t have a lot of time to find what they want. It’s about making great recommendations and curating from a point of view,” said Ylvisaker, who was previously a co-founder of Earnest Sewn. Taube is an alumna of the public relations and celebrity services arms of Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Harrison & Shriftman.
Feyt soft-launched on Thursday with a blog and newsletter that gives users an early feel of the site. Street-style inspiration images are surrounded by related items chosen by Ylvisaker and Taube, such as a Vanessa Bruno camisole, Lela Rose sweater and Reed Krakoff bag. Each item can be bought from a linked e-commerce site, and Feyt generates revenue by earning a commission from each purchase. The site’s initial e-commerce partners are Saks Fifth Avenue, Net-a-Porter, Outnet, Shopbop, Kirna Zabete and Edon Manor.
The full site will debut this summer, offering users personalized profiles and online “closets,” customized purchase suggestions and an integrated social shopping experience. Algorithmic technology will recommend new items based on past purchases and potential purchases saved to a user’s online closet. Each item in the Feyt inventory of suggested purchases will be categorized via a multitude of potential tags, including product category, seasonal trend, body type, occasion and style, in order to make suggestions more personalized. “The more you use it, the smarter it gets,” explained Ylvisaker.
Purchases and saved looks can be shared with friends via Feyt or outside networks like Facebook and Twitter. Feyt will also highlight closets of notable style icons and personalities, as well as sponsored closets created by advertisers, which will create a second revenue stream.
Ylvisaker and Taube have five investors from the tech space helping to finance the site, via a convertible debt round. The duo worked with the consulting firm Launch Collective to get the company off the ground, with Sweden Unlimited designing the site and Pixafy developing the back-end technology.