The fashion world finally has its counterpart to Foodspotting, the iPhone app that helps users discover new foods, thanks to Pose, an app making its debut today.
This story first appeared in the January 11, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The object is to find noteworthy pieces of fashion, photograph them and share them with others via the app, Twitter or Facebook. Users can photograph any item, such as a pair of shoes or a fur vest. The emphasis is on items found in stores, but there is nothing to stop users from uploading an item worn by a friend or a stranger or something that they find in their own closets.
Members of the fashion world were invited to participate, including designer Norma Kamali, casting agent Natalie Joos, celebrity stylist Melis Kuris and Man Repeller blogger Leandra Medine.
“The purpose of this app is to bring value to your shopping experience,” said 25-year-old founder and chief executive officer Dustin Rosen, who previously worked at a small seed fund and a talent agency. “Talking to users, this category [fashion] really stood out as one that people were looking to interact with on the phone.”
The photos scroll by horizontally with the touch of a finger, as on ShopStyle and Foodspotting. Every item can be identified with its brand name and its price, as well as other details. Picks from select users such as Kamali and Medine will appear in their own separate stream on the app called “Posers.” Other streams show the user’s own contributions, those of other users and those voted most popular. The “Posers” are not being paid, said Rosen, although the company did send Medine an iPhone so she could contribute.
Kamali has been a big booster of technology in general — and the iPhone and apps in particular — in one case using an app to design a print in the back of a taxi.
“Apps connect experiences to a worldwide network,” she told WWD. “They are in the moment, [they are] unedited and [they] change the way we live our lives.”
Medine said she had uploaded a picture of a fresh purchase, a Charlotte Ronson utility shirt, and had retweeted “an amazing picture of an oxford shirt with a fur collar” that someone else had contributed.
“Everything goes viral very quickly, so you can be at Barneys trying on a leopard-print turban and get advice from your Twitter followers,” she said. “The main reason I’m interested is because I often tweet photos anyway, and the response is enormous [from her 7,000 Twitter followers].”
Pose is working on attracting a large audience, said Rosen, and has not yet settled on a business model. The company has seven employees and is based in Santa Monica, Calif. One possibility is letting retailers message users — perhaps when they are inside a store — as Foursquare, Shopkick and TheFind have done.
Two similar fashion apps, Fashism and Go Try It On, let users photograph items or hairstyles on themselves and share them with others to get wardrobe and styling advice.
Rosen said Pose was not originally intended to be like those apps but could be used to ask for advice.
Foodspotting, which helps users discover food by sharing photos of it, has said it would like to move into other categories such as fashion.