While there’s nothing quite like the ability to browse a store and try things on, the world of mobile connectivity to keep up with fashion continues to dazzle.
It’s almost a given. Online shopping has developed in ways nobody could have conceived a decade ago, to the point where most people will reach for their mobile or tablet and shop online in some form on a regular basis.
At its most basic, the ability to save a trip to the shops by bringing up your preferred brands on your phone or tablet gives online shopping allure. Free postage, hassle-free returns, it’s no substitute for the experience of real-life window shopping and bricks-and-mortar stores, but it has its perks.
The next step saw online-only boutiques, sites like Net-a-Porter presenting edited collections, and then, the Polyvore-style concept which ties in conversation through user-driven content and acts merely as a searchable portal for partner-sites (if you haven’t tried their search function already, you must, you’ll never look back).
Social shopping community Bluesky takes online shopping a step further, giving users the opportunity to create a profile and select brands to follow, providing a personalised, regularly updated feed of new products to shop. Known as a catalogue app, Bluesky exemplifies the next-level thinking becoming more common in online retail, where service is making a comeback.
“Since its release in May 2013, more than 20 million catalogue pages have been read on Bluesky,” says founder David Mah.
The Bluesky website incorporates Australian and international brand’s look books, edited selections from local bloggers and an online store that spans men’s, women’s, kids’ and living ranges.
Brisbane designer Parisa Arean of Teal & Tala has found success by offering original prints and designs through partnerships with artists she also found online, connecting through Instagram and other social media.
With a formula of originality and strategic partnerships with bloggers and socialite brand ambassadors, Arean’s first original creation, a hydrangea print playsuit designed around an artwork created by her mother, was the first in a series of run-away hits.
“Last year I came across some talented artists on Instagram and decided to contact them directly and see if they would be interested in working with us,” says Arean.
“I loved everything they posted and knew their aesthetic would be a perfect fit. I feel like exclusivity with fabrics is quickly becoming a crucial part of Teal & Tala’s branding as customers really appreciate that a fabric was designed and not just purchased. It also allows us more control of the design aspect and produce exactly what our customers love about us.”
Collaboration is a reoccurring theme in an online marketplace where the next source of inspiration is a short scroll down and like-minded creatives are a few clicks away.
Illustrator and fashion darling Kerrie Hess recently partnered with Brisbane-based phone and i-pad case store The Dairy, with a range of six iPhone and Android phone cases featuring illustrations of her favourite Parisian destinations from Cafe de Flore to the Eiffel Tower.
“I am really proud to be part of this all-Brisbane collaboration that has amazingly been embraced in so many countries,” says Hess, with orders being shipped as far as Paris, Russia and Romania.