When Carlota Espinosa co-founded Haute Look, e-commerce was transitioning from a shopping option to (at least in some cases) the shopping option. It was the beginning of the flash sale model and even as the flash sale space became crowded, Haute Look retained its value, selling for $270 million to Nordstrom last year.
That’s when Espinosa, then the company’s vice president, left. A few months later, current business partners Karthik Nandyal and Samir Patil came to her with an intriguing new ecommerce technology and about a year after that, Styloot was born.
The site leaves little to be desired: In fact, it seems to do just about everything you want an e-commerce site to do, plus a few other things you didn’t even know you wanted it to do.
Like Shopstyle or The Find, it’s a shopping destination that allows one to shop a variety of brands and retailers on one platform. And by ‘a variety,’ we mean a lot: Right now, there are over 4,000 brands and 100 retailers–and more are being added every day. Most recently, it’s brought on ASOS and Moda Operandi.
Where it has similar sites beat is with a personalized shopping function called “Create Your Look,” wherein you can search for, say, a dress, selecting such specific parameters as shape, length, sleeve type, neckline, color, and price. Each specification you select instantaneously appears on a virtual mannequin and search results appear next to that. So basically, you’re designing a dress, then finding out it already exists and you can actually buy it. It might sound complicated, but the site is so user-friendly that when you’re actually doing it, the process is simple and easy.
Styloot took that concept one step further with a free app, with which you can photograph someone, find items similar to what she’s wearing, and then shop them.
Espinosa’s partners are based in India, where, according to WWD, a team of grads from the Indian equivalent of FIT work to fill users’ super specific search requests from the back end. The trade also reports that Espinosa, who is based in LA, may partner with “a multimedia company” to generate traffic to the site. Ultimately, she wants Styloot to be “the first destination where women go to shop.”
We chatted with Espinosa over the phone about how Styloot came about, cool features they’re planning to add, whether flash sites are still relevant, and where e-commerce is going.