In the 1800s, catalogs revolutionized the fashion industry by giving people access to clothes and accessories they wouldn’t have encountered otherwise. The digital revolution has done even more to give people unprecedented access to not only outfits but also information.
Snapshots from every major runway show are widely shared on social media by brand devotees and critics. Fashion bloggers now have as much influence as Anna Wintour. Shopping for couture from the comfort of the couch is hardly news anymore – you can buy everything from $1 flip flops to high-end sunglasses online. Personal stylist apps and no obligation try before you by services like Stitch Fix are a different story altogether.
Here are just some of the ways the digital revolution has changed the way we shop while also shaping the evolution of fashion itself.
The Hunt is an app that capitalized on the fact that there’s a personal shopper in every one of us. Users can post requests for help finding specific pieces or ask the community to suggest accessories to match an outfit or even put together entire outfits for this or that event. It is customized wardrobe advice (users can also specify sizes and budget limits) designed for fashion fans and given by 100,000+ fashion fans. Want to get guidance from the crème de la crème instead of the hoi polloi? The app also has a verified celeb user program that includes Kylie and Kendall Jenner, Kat Graham, Madison Beer, Tyra Banks and Christina Milian.
Chosen Just For You
The bespoke, personal shopper experience is now available to us all online. See something you love? The Snap+Style app is the virtual version of Cher Horowitz’s endless closet with pieces from Prada to Fendi and everything in between. Users can submit photos from their wardrobes or of clothes and accessories they love, and an expert stylist will reply with a selection of coordinating items from the user’s favorites or the apps brand partners (which include brands like Michael Kors, Theory, Tory Burch, and Diane von Furstenberg, among others). In this case, expert means professionals who have worked with retailers like Barneys and big names like Zooey Deschanel and Serena Williams.
Online Shopping Is More Fun
Shopping is a social experience with the Urban On app from Urban Outfitters. Users can connect with a like-minded community of stylish people while earning rewards like elite access to exclusive items and giveaways. Sharing photos via the app nets users a chance to be featured on Urban Outfitters’ social streams along with the opportunity to earn badges – in a cycle that goes do more, earn more, get more. If the Gamification of fashion isn’t your thing, however, there’s also the pure excitement of being able to order everything and everything, try it on and send back what’s not quite right. Zappos pioneered the model, but brands like Ray-Ban and others have followed suit.
Scoring Exclusive Deals
Chances are your favorite fashion brands have an app and want to reward you for downloading it. The Victoria’s Secret Pink Nation app, for example, gives users one-stop access to exclusive offers, invitations, sales and sneak previews. In return for these bennies, Victoria’s Secret fans serve as content curators for the company, so the content in the app stays fresh and on trend.
The Democratization of Fashion
Perhaps the best thing about the newly uber-connected world of high fashion isn’t the ascension of indie labels and the accessibility of old faves but rather the emerging democratization of fashion and beauty. Once upon a time what constituted fashion was dictated by a handful of relatively homogenous editors and ad execs. Nowadays, however, the influencers in this space are as diverse as fashion’s fans themselves.
In the end thanks to apps and the ease of online shopping, along with gurus who showcase clothing and accessories for all shapes and sizes and in all colors, it has never been easier to build a wardrobe that makes you feel great.
I still love just ignoring the crowd, going to the real shops with a set amount of cash to spend, and buying clothes I love at first sight. Does that make me old fashioned haha