Fashion took another step toward its digital future when former Vogue assistant Alexandra Van Houtte decided to convert what has long been a grueling manual process into a much more user-friendly format designed for the millennial, Instagram age.
In 2015, the entrepreneur decided there must be a better way to store and track all of the runway looks coming out of the big four fashion capitals of London, Milan, New York and Paris, the New York Times reported. Historically, that’s been a chore relegated to lowly junior assistants and others clinging to the bottom rung of the fashion totem pole.
Van Houtte knew from firsthand experience how monotonous the task of scrolling through sites like WWD and Style.com could be, all in search of an elusive look. Taking cues from the rapid rise of technology transforming and revolutionizing how we communicate and travel, Van Houtte decided to adopt a similar approach to her own industry, launching Tagwalk fashion search engine—what’s now often referred to as the “Google of fashion.”
The Tagwalk website organizes women’s and men’s looks by city, by season, by designer and by a pre-defined list of trend keywords, “asymmetrical” or “purple pants” or “statement sleeves,” for example. There’s the option to save favorites to a moodboard for future reference, and the site goes beyond the runway to catalogue street-style outfits, interview fashion personalities, and showcase up-and-coming models. It offers commerce as well, steering visitors to curated selections available from Net-a-Porter or Matches Fashion, for example, or more specific interests for consumers looking to shop all street-style shoes or perhaps “fluid dress looks” from spring/summer ’18.
Free to search on the front end, Tagwalk generates revenue by charging brands for valuable data like the most-searched keywords for any given season, which can help to ensure future creative efforts deliver a more desirable ratio of hits to misses.