The genius of Style.com's iPhone application is undeniable. For anyone who considers the site a resource--a sort of modern fashion library, if you will--the app has made searching for a specific look, a front row image, or a show date as easy as a flick of the thumb. That's why over 750,000 people have downloaded it over the last couple of years.
The Conde Nast site's new application for the iPad, which launches today, is similar in its function--just bigger and better.
"Some around the office are calling it fall's must-have accessory," editor-in-chief Dirk Standen jokes, kind of. In reality, it's got all the "core elements" of Style.com's iPhone app, but with the advantage of a much larger, clearer screen. Which means videos play a bigger role in the overall content strategy. In fact, Style.com has teamed up with Nowness on a co-produced video series. There will also be interactive shopping videos--bringing the site's market stories to life--as well as Tim Blank's classic runway videos. (Great news for those of us who were huge fans of his E! show Fashion File.)
Maybe most important, though, is the fact that all Style.com runway content will be available--all the way back to 2000. And the images are big and beautiful. They're more saturated and alive than any other device--even my 27-inch iMac computer screen.
The runway section of the app works very much like the website--you can click on thumbnails instead of going through a whole slideshow.
All in all, it works really well. It's useful. And that's where most fashion apps miss the point. If the the app doesn't have a purpose, then users will quickly forget about them. Style.com's app is sticky because it's a necessity for its reader.
Why can't most magazines figure this bit out? Standen believes some pubs have difficulty translating their content onto a new-fangled toy because they haven't mastered the internet yet. "Style.com was born digital," he says. "We know how to create compelling fashion content for the web."
You can download Style.com's new app onto your iPad today. And yes, it's free.