Launched last year as a work aid for fashion assistants, Tagwalk has become one of the most sophisticated tools in the industry for trend forecasting, research and inspiration. And now the Carmen-backed digital fashion database, which has already accumulated some 25,000 users, has expanded its functionality to enable visitors to shop directly from the site.
Part of the existing platform founded by Alexandra Van Houtte, a former fashion assistant herself, Tag Shop has made much of the site’s imagery, which includes items from brands that officially show in the four main fashion capitals as well as those from off-schedule labels and street style looks, now shoppable, via partnerships with Net-A-Porter, Moda Operandi and Matchesfashion.com, as well as individual luxury labels.
The new shopping feature redirects users to the individual brands’ websites, something that Alexandra felt was critical for younger labels looking to introduce customers to their world. “I think it’s important for them to have a direct-to-consumer approach,” she told Natalie Theodosi of wwd.com. “Instead of only (thinking about) e-commerce, they should really push their own website and their own vision, because every young designer has a different way they want their consumers to shop.”
Fostering emerging talent has been a key focus Tagwalk. It already has a dedicated Tag Talent section on its site for up-and-coming brands, and their designs are just as likely to appear in a user’s search for a particular item as those from a major international label. “We are a search engine and every young label we take on is going to be exposed right next to the biggest brands that have a fashion show,” said Alexandra.
In return for a fee, Tagwalk gives theses fledgling companies exposure, sharing their contact details with its users, publishing founder interviews, connecting them with the industry and sharing data gathered from the site. Among the many brands that have gone on to gain global stockists and international recognition since joining Tagwalk are jewelry company Alighieri, which has just received Newgen sponsorship from the British Fashion Council; handbag brand Tara Zadeh; Danish accessories label By Far; LVMH award winner Marine Serre; and American label Miaou.
For Alexandra, the introduction of Tag Shop not only offers an opportunity to showcase “a global view of what has actually been produced, and what’s actually shoppable,” from the catwalk, but as she explained to wwd.com, lends itself particularly well to the fashion consumer who’s searching for specific items or looking to street-style images for inspiration. And it’s street style that she’s really pushing. “I really believe in street style,” she explained to Natalie Theodosi. “The way the people dress has a power in the way consumers want to shop.”