- Don-Alvin Adegeest |
Already dubbed the 'Google of fashion,' Tagwalk is a search engine that aims to service the fashion industry with new technology the same way other industries have been disrupted.
Founded by former fashion stylist Alexandra Van Houtte, Tagwalk uses a directory of 2,800 keywords, where a user can search by brand, trend, city, season, fabric or colour from any device, altogether creating a digital database of every garment, shoe and accessory that is tagged and organised.
Unlike shopping search engines, which presents consumers with options broadly related to keyword searches, Tagwalk is designed to help the industry track down looks with as much specificity as possible, for example a bell sleeve dress or a polka dot print from the seasonal catwalk presentations in Paris, Milan, London, and New York.
In an interview with PYMNTS, an online platform for the payment industry, Van Houtte states the idea came to her while working as a fashion assistant in Paris, combing through fashion magazines on a mission to research and catalog various looks for fashion shoots. It was grueling, tedious and time consuming, which made Van Houtte wonder if there were a better way to be doing this.
“For a multibillion-dollar industry that is all about being on the cutting edge, the whole system was totally hopeless,” Van Houtte told PYMNTS
One of Tagwalk's early investors was Carmen Busquets, also an early investor in Net-a-Porter. Busquets told the Financial Times: “I invested in Alexandra when Tagwalk was only two months old. Investing early on is always a big risk, but I make exceptions when I fall in love with the founder or an idea that will disrupt business and our lives as consumers.”
According to PYMNTS, Tagwalk is monetising its service in several ways without advertising or charging subscription fees. Instead the company operate as an e-commerce site allowing brands to feature in their database for a fee and offering consulting to brands on digital and social media expansion.
So who uses a fashion search engine
"What we have is crystallised intelligence,” Van Houtte told the Financial Times. “Our users are every single magazine, every single retailer, every single wholesaler, every single buyer in the world.” She also has fashion students, design directors, chief executives and marketeers searching the site, which allows registered users to create moodboards and search for collections as far back as autumn winter 2016.
Photo credit: Tagwalk homepage