Fashionista: Where did the idea for Styloot start?
Carlota Espinosa: After Haute Look, I was approached by [Karthik Nandyal and Samir Patil], through a mutual friend and [their technology] was the one thing that nobody else I knew had. I was very intrigued, especially with what we call the “create your look” and I thought that was just really genius and every time I would speak with somebody about what it was, everybody would get very excited. So I really liked that and I thought, here is something that’s different.
How did you get brands and retailers involved? Was it easy?
A lot of it was just cold calling the websites and the brands and they were very, very responsive and very supportive and signed on. And we still continue to sign on new websites and brands. I think a lot of brands are interested and fascinated with the concept, especially with ‘create your look.’ It’s a win-win for both sides.
What’s next for Styloot?
We’re going to be rolling out “get this look” that’s literally going to be from street style, Instagram, from Pinterest, and we can take a photo of somebody on the street and literally re-create their look. We’re going to do that with severeal different people all over the country, eventually all over the world, and also through our app. Then, you can buy that look.
What did you learn while at Haute Look that helped with developing Styloot?
Everything. Haute look was an incredible experience for me. I was a TV producer for Fox and I covered news and fashion and entertainment, so I wasn’t very familiar with the web and it was a huge learning experience for me, and it was kind of exciting to see how it has evolved. Back when we launched, people did not know how to shop online or did not want to buy something that they could not touch and feel. Let alone leave their credit card info. But now, most everybody I know shops online now. It’s convenient; most of these brands offer free shipping and free returns. That wasn’t happening before either. And [working at Haute Look] also just [helped with learning] the lingo, how people talk.
One of the things with Styloot was I wanted it to be a beautiful site and I wanted it to be customer-friendly and I wanted people to feel like they could move around, but I also want people to have fun shopping because I’m a big believer that shopping should be fun; it should never be stressful.
Do you think Styloot represents the direction in which e-commerce is going? In terms of new technology and a more personalized shopping experience?
I think people kind of expect it. But yes, I think that’s definitely where it’s going.
Do you think flash sale sites like Haute Look are becoming less relevant?
No, I don’t think so. I think people are now accustomed to looking and expecting a deal because of flash sale sites, and so we do offer it on our site. [You can select] 30, 50, 70 percent off, so if you are looking for something on sale, you can find it. The flash sale space brought that on and I think people expect it on any website now.