Monday, April 10, 2006

Online Fashion Consulting

The web has offered the consumer masses so many wonderful advancements to use such as email, e-commerce, databases, information, VOIP phones and the like but there are so many areas, where it still comes up short. Suppose your business if prepared perishable food. How and why would someone buy your cookies online when they can't see, taste or touch them? There are always early adapters and those that like to try new things, but getting the flood gates open to masses for such specialized businesses are difficult to do on the web. And the list does not stop with just perishable foods, what about service related businesses like landscaping, plumbing, legal and tutoring? The web has a cruel way of making the smallest 2 person outfit look like a legitimate deal, and who is to say that is a bad thing, except when my basement gets flooded and I need someone with real experience that wont turn a $200 problem into a $3500 headache.

This brings me to the world of online fashion. Its not hard to drop $25 on a Guess t-shirt, because we all know that an XL will turn into a L over time and we dont expect more than 3 high fashion wearings of any one t-shirt anyway. But when attempting to buy a 2 piece business suit without first trying it on, there in lies a problem. A picture of a model in the suit just wont lead me to spending $400 because I like the color.

Yet, this presents an opportunity to use the web for a service that is information rich and needs live pictures to be really beneficial. Imagine trying to learn how to play basketball with just words and graphics, no video of live players. I have a consultant that is in the fashion industry. Even moved from L.A. to NYC to be closer to the action. I am in talks with him to start his own website that is full of content such as tying ties, fashion trends, color selection, every modern man's basic needs and updated fashion tips. He currently blogs but has little time or motivation to take it too seriously. And no knock to the Queer Eye, but not every guy dressed fashionably has an allergy to women. The guy knows fashion well. However, what we have proposed is making sure that we can exploit the web for all it is currently capable of. For this reason the site will be rich with video content, not just diagrams and text of tying a tie, for example.

The only issue we are having is the one of considering how the site will generate revenue. Should it come from advertising such as Google Adsense? This may take away from the image he is going after. Should the site get money from referrals to request service? This may help but there is not much one on one help he can do for people in Wyoming as he lives in NYC. The most lucrative opportunity which I would like to strive for is the intellectual property/celebrity play. Give quality information away for free, in an effort to get a following and sign a deal for professional distribution/exposure. Why not package a quarterly fashion consulting DVD for a big name retailer, or a regional luxury car dealer, or as an online sales promotion. Do you have any ideas?

1 comment:

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