17 Fashion Sites Every Fashion Industry Professional Should Know About

0 Posted by - 11/09/2009 - Retail

As the fashion industry adapts to technology, more and more fashion sites and communities are coming to fruition every day. Digital space is becoming increasingly cluttered as brands build their own social networks and burgeoning fashion bloggers use their blogs to develop their expertise in any given niche.

Last February, we wrote about the top 25 fashion-oriented sites everyone should know about; recently, AdAge released its top six fashion site picks for fashion marketers.

With so many social networks, branded fashion communities and blogs, we’ve decided to share which ones continue to hold our attention.

Fusing Fashion + Technology

1. Inside The Tents – Now in its (upcoming) third season, Inside The Tents offers up-to-the-minute online news coverage on everything related to New York Fashion Week. Creator Yuli Ziv (founder of Style Coalition and My It Things) has done an amazing job in creating real-time coverage, and the site aggregates blog posts, on-the-spot interviews with designers, fashion-related Tweets and tagged Flickr images.

2. Polyvore.com – As far as social fashion websites go, Polyvore is leading the democratization of fashion in the digital space. What’s more, Polyvore now offers amazing opportunities for fashion brands and retailers with their custom PPC programs (rumored by many brands to deliver better conversions than Google – WHAT!?!?). Polyvore allows community users to create and edit fashion sets created from items saved from real online stores. Once completed, members save the “sets” they’ve created and share them with other community members; sets can be embedded to most social networks and to any blog.

3. Weardrobe.com
– Weardrobe is addicting as it is beautiful. Weardrobe touts that  it is “a fashion community focused not just on what you wear, but how you wear it”. Weardrobe was inspired by the unique and inspirational styles of “What I Wore” fashion bloggers and groups like Wardrobe Remix. Weardrobe even held their own blogger conference before S/S 2010.

4. MyItThings.com –  MyItThings.com is an online, user-generated fashion and trend magazine. MyItThings encourages its community to contribute their own articles, pictures and photos from their blogs and websites. The site even allows apparel and accessories designers to submit their own designs as content. The content is extensive – covering everything from home to men’s fashion to eco-inspired design.

Bridging Brands + Bloggers

5. IndependentFashionBloggers.org – IFB is a blog and community forum for fashion bloggers and website owners. IFB was created in reaction to corporate networks springing up faster than Jennine Tamm (author of The Coveted) could keep track of. IFB is a community of independent fashion labels, men and women who love some aspect of fashion/design and have dedicated their writing to their passion. The community is supportive and informative; forum participants are dedicated to supporting fellow members in growing their online businesses and monetizing their websites. Recently, the community has been trying establish guidelines for brands and bloggers working together and help address new FTC regulations.

6. SmashingDarlingSmashingDarling is  a site that’s hard to classify, simply because of owner Trisha Ginter‘s amazing online social engagement. It’s an e-commerce site, similar to Shopflick or MarketPublique, but geared towards emerging or small brands that want to sell their product lines online. Cleaner and less confusing than Etsy, the site is easy to use. Designers can create an account for free and upload their products. The products sell at set prices and the sales go directly to designers, minus an 18% selling fee. We feel this is more than reasonable given that average sales representatives take 15-20% in commission. What’s more, the Smashing Darling blog is an addictive read.

New Kids on The Runway

7. Clashe –  Clashe is an industry-oriented site. It is where fashion upstarts (brands, venues) or professionals (photographers, models, consultants, journalists) can all gather in one place. Users can create online presence through digital lookbooks or online portfolios that can feed into their social profiles and social marketing efforts. Clashe seeks to be a lifestyle guide for professionals (fashion designers, stylists, performers) to brand themselves, and it is a place where creative people can be inspired by each other’s work. The site is in its infancy, but I think it will grow well since it offers a solution to an industry problem. Creating print collateral is extremely costly, and this is FREE. Designers, or any industry professional, can upload their shots and send interested parties their digital galleries. This site also has potential to rival Model Mayhem – competition that is sorely needed.

8. Fashism – Fashism is simple. Users create an account and upload photos of their outfits, hair color or whatever they want community approval on. Users rate and vote on what’s uploaded. They earn points for participation. The site reminds us of “Hot or Not”, and you can spend hours rating, voting and leaving your opinions on urban style. We smell trending and forecasting possibilities with this.

9. We Heart It – We <3 It is a fashion social bookmarking site, in which users create online albums with their favorite images and videos. The only caveat for this site is showcasing individual identity, with it’s current model, the interface won’t allow clear representations of individual users. Social sites should allow individual recognition.

10. FadMashion – FadMashion is a networking platform for fashion industry designers and retailers. Retailers can find new designers, and designers can connect with journalists looking for emerging fashion brands. The community already has 1000+ professionals.

11. LadyLux – Created by Elizabeth Wahler, the online luxury publication seeks to cut through the clutter of the internet and find products, people and causes that fit the webzine’s beliefs of “Good For The Sake of Good”. Oftentimes, articles published to blogs and websites are now content consumption. When that’s done, quality falls by the wayside, but not here. LadyLux’s approach to news, trends and the industry offers a refreshing, clearly defined viewpoint on all things related to luxury – whether it be affordable luxe to haute couture. (Disclosure: LadyLux is a project we work on an on-going basis).

Digital Marketing + Industry Insight

12. PR Couture – Founded by Crosby Noricks (Sr. Social Media Strategist for Red Door Interactive) PR Couture is an online resource for successful, emerging and aspiring fashion publicists, designers, students, and educators to share tips, tricks, challenges, and commentary about the role of public relations in the fashion industry.

13. Fashionising.com – A social site for fashion professionals. The site offers a mixture of fashion news and trends. I consider it one of the best blogs on emerging and extremely fashion-forward trends out there.

14. BusinessOfFashion.net – Business Of Fashion is an online portal about the latest international fashion news. BoF explores issues at the intersection of fashion and business, leveraging a network of writers in New York, Los Angeles, France, Italy and Germany who deliver opinionated analyses on emerging designers and global brands from around the world. BOF has recently added emphasis on independent fashion designers, writers and trendsetters working to clear the clutter from the convoluted blogosphere and draw attention to those offering well thought-out, original online content.

15. Spring SpottersThis is still one of our favorites! The Springspotter network consists of thousands of business-savvy individuals from all over the world. Ssers email Springspottters whenever they ’spot’ promising new business ideas. Accepted contributions get rewarded with cool stuff  (iPods, gift certificates, books – stuff users actually want) and sometimes get mentions in the Springspotter newsletter.

16. PSFK – PSFK is a trends research company that publishes a daily news site and provides information about trends research. Their email newsletters provide awesome insights in consumer trends across multiple industries.

17. Refinery29 – We love Refinery29; whatever it is you seek, it’s here. From trends and how-to’s, to what’s hot in Chicago, to designer interviews – R29 has its thumb on the pulse of consumer fashion and content.