In 2018, it is a widely accepted fact that data is the new oil. Information is worth more than its weight in gold – we crave it and the hunger to know more is what keeps sites like Google, Twitter and Facebook going. Fashion has always been a forward-thinking industry. While it pays homage to the classics, it has never shied away from doing the unthinkable. So what happens when you bring fashion and data collection together? Tagwalk.
When Alexandra Van Houtte came up with the revolutionary idea of creating a Google for fashion, she was met with a fair amount of dismissiveness. “They said it was too niche, that it only catered to bloggers and assistants and lower rungs of the fashion industry, that it couldn’t scale. Even my parents started having their doubts about where the business could go,” she told the New York Times.
However, Van Houtte saw the potential in her idea – after all, she had spent countless hours browsing through websites to find a particular look, during her work as a fashion assistant. This mindless, monotonous task plagues assistants in the fashion industry throughout the year.
“Even if you are the best buyer or trend searcher in town, no one can have an immediate recall on that much content. Now, if you remember that Prada used neon last season and want to see who else did for a mood board, you can do it fast and with just a few clicks of your mouse,” Van Houtte tells NYT.
Initially, she funded her idea by putting up her flat on Airbnb. Within two months of its launch, Venezuelan businesswoman Carmen Busquets invested in it. Once derided for her vision, Van Houtte now gets editorial requests from industry biggies who want to know what people are searching for – after all, knowing what people are constantly searching for can be a very profitable business.
“We can immediately see, and tell a brand, which looks are the most searched for, by whom and in which countries, as well as how a brand’s collection has fared compared to other brands overall,” Van Houtte told the paper. With that power in hand, Tagwalk is poised to take its next step and the fashion world waits with bated breath.