A company that wants to bring women and the Web together is attempting to carve a niche for itself in the fashion applications market.
Modacad just launched Styleclick.com, a shopping website for fashion, footwear, accessories and beauty products. E-shoppers can search for items by price, colour, style or fabric since the website displays side by side images from about 100 online catalogues.
Modacad president, Maurizio Vecchione, said the company provides advanced search capabilities and image manipulation tools. The company has about 11 years experience in 3D rendering, online catalogues and other visualisation technologies. He said the company is trying to replicate some of those off line experiences in a virtual environment.
"It will be marketed as the ultimate place to search for apparel products," he said.
Styleclick's search capabilities are supplemented with fashion news, tips and advice. Vecchione gave the example: "I have the dress, I have the stockings, now what shoes should I buy?"
The site is targeted specifically to women, who buy most of their own clothes, 70 per cent of men's clothes and tend to be more interested in visual features than price comparisons, Vecchione said.
While the services will be available in North America initially, Modacad will be targeting the international market, although a time frame has not yet established. According to Vecchione, Europe and Japan are top priorities.
A recent Jupiter Communications study reported consumer spending on fashion in electronic environments, which was projected at $71 million for 1998, is expected to reach $1.9 billion by 2002.
"No shopping solution, whether it's a store, a catalogue, or an ecommerce application, is right for everyone," Vecchione said. "But our research shows that 20 per cent of Internet users will be interested in using electronic commerce to purchase fashion products. It's our job to capture as many of those users as possible."
The company has strategic alliances with companies such as Earthlink, Informix Software, Intel, Hewlett-Packard and Sierra On-Line. Customers and vendors include Amazon.com, Broyhill Industries, Burlington Industries, Esprit, Ikea, J C Penney, Levi Strauss and Walt Disney.
Plans include future technologies which could be integrated into Styleclick.com that would allow Web surfers to scan in their own body dimensions, enter hair and eye colourings and try garments on an electronic version of themselves.
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