A MOTILO MOMENT: Motilo.com, which launched in beta last week, aims to fuse the pastimes of shopping and social networking. The founders are Sofia Barattieri, a former banker, and Maysoune Ghobash, a former oil industry analyst. They wanted to recreate digitally what they loved doing on the streets of Paris and other shopping meccas — picking out clothes for each other, and offering no-holds-barred, how-do-I-really-look-in-this type of advice. Their privately funded site stocks clothing, lingerie, footwear, accessories, and beauty products, and carries 500 brands ranging from the Swedish high street label Cos to Gucci and Lanvin. Beauty products range from Benefit to Tom Ford. Video and text chat functions allow friends and personal stylists to curate, share, and save looks, and the site also features a magazine, and advice from fashion figures including Anna Dello Russo, London socialite Sophia Hesketh, and Laetitia Crahay, a designer at Chanel.
“Whatever she picks out for you, you’ll keep forever and wear over and over again. She has that eye,” said Ghobash of Barattieri, who was the driving force behind the launch. She added that she and Barattieri want the site to work not only as a locus for fashion lovers but as a communication tool. The site, which has a staff of 18, so far has notched 71,127 absolute unique visitors and 179,600 page views. It generates revenue by selling through affiliates such as Barneys New York, Selfridges, Calvin Klein, and Nordstrom and also has plans to build up its own e-commerce activity. The first brand that it is selling directly is Muzungu Sisters, the ethically sourced label founded by Dana Alikhani and Tatiana Santo Domingo. In addition to launching on Motilo, the two have also opened a pop-up shop for two months at Momo, a restaurant in London.