My blog post today features a Williamsburg-based fashion social media site Fashism (turns fashion criticism on its head) where users can rank each others’ outfits. Think of it as a way for people to Digg your Style. Here’s a Q & A with Fashism co-founder Brooke Moreland.
WG: How did you get the idea to launch a fashion-oriented social media site? (Well, if that is what you would call it.)
BM: I got the idea while shopping, naturally. While trying stuff on, I thought, “does this really look good?” I don’t usually trust sales people, because they always tell you that it does, so I decided to snap a photo and send it to a friend to get some feedback. Then I thought, “wouldn’t it be cool if I could just send this to a site and get like TONS of feedback from unbiased strangers?” I met up with my husband who was shopping in the men’s department and we talked about it. Then boom. We called our friend Chris who is a developer and the three of us started working on it that afternoon.
When did the site launch? How many users do you have so far? What would you say is your general user demographic?
We had a private beta this summer with just our friends and family using it, then we launched to the general public in September. It’s hard to gauge the actual number of users because you don’t have to be registered to upload a look or vote, only to comment. But we’ve had thousands of photos uploaded to the site so far, and tens of thousands of comments. No look goes untouched; everyone always has something to say.
Do you feel the looks that people post for rating are reflective of current trends in Williamsburg/Greenpoint? What has been your favorite look so far?
I would say the demographic is mainly women aged 17-30. But we do have plenty of men—I might even say 25%. We also do have older women and men posting as well. They fit in well, and it’s good to get a different perspective. Most of the people on the site are from New York, Austin, LA, San Fran. But there are also plenty from the Midwest, and as far as Russia and Sweden.
I’m really into this one user who lives in Williamsburg who calls herself Nickiesixx and have since starting reading her blog. She has amazing style. It’s punk, it’s vintage, but always a tiny bit dressed up with sophistication and class. For example, in this look, she is wearing a dress she scored for free, a Zara boyfriend jacket, vintage owl necklace and some ankle boots. It’s definitely reflective of the kinds of trends you would see on the street, but still making it her own.
Do you see any trend patterns? Any other trends you see coming on the way?
Nothing gets people more riled up on the site than tights. Tights can be very polarizing, believe it or not. Except white tights. White tights are almost universally hated. But tights with designs are obviously very hot right now.
Another discussion point has been what to do about those boots with the toes cut out of them. Personally I think boots like that are horrendous, but people still seem to like them and don’t mind them with a tights-covered toe sticking out of them, so c’est la vie. But I still wouldn’t wear it. A Swedish woman tried to dress up sweatpants. It actually looked kind of cool. Some people were into it, others not. But I can see this maybe catching on in Williamsburg.
Any partnerships with stores, in NYC or elsewhere?
We have done events at Inven.tory and The Dressing Room in NYC and at buydefinition.com in Austin, my hometown. We have done contests with Modcloth as well as Williamsburg and Greenpoint favorite online fashion marketplaces Smashing Darling and Market Publique. We have a bunch more in store, but would love, love to do an event with a Greenpoint/Williamsburg store to keep it hometown. There is so much fashion and style here, why should I ever have to leave my neighborhood!