The Hunt: How Social Media Has Democratized Fashion

Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and the like have changed the way people are inspired to buy clothes.

“Social media and our devices are changing fashion.” — Kevin Systrom, Instagram co-founder

“This year, in fashion, it’s hip to be square…” — The Guardian

The opportunity for consumers to discover new brands and interact with products has increased over the past several years. It’s no surprise that as social media has grown, focus has shifted from the offline to the online world. Where consumers previously poured over print fashion magazines and holiday catalogues for inspiration, they now turn to the internet and their mobile devices, perusing fashion blogs and social media for the latest looks and trends.

In the summer of 2012, Facebook reported that over 300 million photos were uploaded to its site daily. That’s a huge number — not even taking into account photos uploaded to Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter.

The rise of fashion on Instagram was well-chronicled following Fashion Week 2013, including an article by The Guardian about the adoption of the mobile-native app among fashion editors and event attendees alike. Social media has democratized fashion by bringing high-end looks to the masses in real time and furthering the impulse to purchase immediately.

At The Hunt, we’re tapping into this desire by creating social transaction tools that help connect online inspiration and communities of people to help make every one of those images shoppable. On our site, people can upload a photo of something they want but can’t find where to buy online. Our fashion-savvy community finds similar products, exact matches, or outfit-styling ideas based on the image, and provides that person with product options and links to sites where they can make a purchase.

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We believe that the best technology solutions take real-world behavior, remove friction, and make the behavior simpler. We take the experience of shopping with your friends and bring it to life with our community. The Hunt provides users the ease of a Google search paired with the excellent customer service and experience of a personal shopper. In the same way that social media is democratizing fashion, we are democratizing fashion advice by allowing individuals to become expert trend investigators. It’s an amazing, almost magical experience when someone who you don’t know finds a perfect item for you to wear on a date or a job interview. The Hunt is about harnessing the intrinsic human desire to help other people solve a problem through a service — not a tool.

For brands and retailers, The Hunt presents an opportunity to present products to a hyper-targeted audience with a high intent to buy. As social media and digital marketing disrupt the traditional purchase funnel, brands are increasingly searching for ways to engage in a two-way conversation with potential and existing customers.  Two types of conversations about products and brands happen on The Hunt — consumer-to-consumer and brand-to-consumer. By introducing new products to people on The Hunt, brands can reach people online when it matters most — when they are motivated to purchase.

Tim created a community-driven shopping experience that makes it easy and fun to shop for the things you see in photos on sites like Pinterest, Facebook,Instagram and Tumblr and buy what you see. Prior to The Hunt, Weingarten spent eight years at early stage VC firm Worldview Technology Partners and three years as CEO of Visage Mobile.  www.thehunt.com

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Image: The Blonde Salad and Fashion Bomb Daily

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