Looklist goes after Pinterest with a search engine designed for fashionistas

Image Credit: Screen shot/Looklist
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What if fashion-collage-machine Polyvore and social-image-pinboard Pinterest had a baby?

Well, that lovechild would be a little service called Looklist, and it’s coming out of private beta today.

Let me explain: Looklist is a search engine for fashion images that lets you search, filter, and browse through thousands of images. It pulls from the wealth of fashion blogs on the Internet, indexes them, and then lets you go back to their original source if you’d like. You can use its search engine to create collections of items for inspiration or reference, and Looklist has a handful of sharing options to let you share those “fashion inspirations” through social media or specific people you want to send them to.

Not surprisingly, cofounder Shaz Sedighzadeh came up with the idea when he was trying to help a client of his pick out an outfit for a job interview and realized how complicated the process of searching for fashion items online is.

I played around with the beta product a little bit and it went pretty well, despite giving me some off-base results at times. The search engine lets you make as broad or narrow of a search as you’d like, from simple wanting to look at “men’s pants” down to searching for “women’s cold-weather, casual, brown fur jackets.” Each image in the results has a link to its original source, a link that does a Google image search for it, and a bunch of ways to share it, including Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

What’s interesting about Looklist is that it’s working on something that’s becoming a big deal lately in the world of image-based companies: the intersection of search and discovery.

As mentioned above, Pinterest is one company in this space, and it’s been beefing up its search and discovery efforts lately. Specifically, it recently released its “Guided Search” feature, which Looklist is somewhat reminiscent of. Guided Search lets you start to search for a keyword and feeds you not only the keyword you’re typing but also categories that are related to that keyword. The main idea is to enable discovery even through an imperfect or uncertain search, and Looklist could do that as well, even though it currently lets you conduct very specific searches. In fact, even when you enter incredibly specific search criteria on Looklist, the service helps you discover some brand new content.

Looklist also has a lot in common with Polyvore, a social network where users can create collages of fashion and lifestyle items that are also shoppable. Polyvore’s “sets,” as the company calls the collages, are not only used as inspiration boards by its users, but the items are also highly searchable through a variety of criteria.

Although it’s still very early in Looklist’s life, with more refinement of its product it could easily become a key tool for fashion bloggers and other fashion lovers who need to search and collect fashion images.

The company says its plans to add styling tips and more user account features, and even provide data about searches to fashion brands. A mobile site, and mobile apps are also currently in the works.

Looklist was founded around November 2013 by Shaz Sedighzadeh, and is based in Denver, Colo. The company is completely self-funded so far.

More about the companies and people from this article:

Pinterest is a social networking site with a visually-pleasing “virtual pinboard” interface. Users collect photos and link to products they love, creating their own pinboards and following the pinboards of other people whom they fi... read more »

Polyvore is the leading community site for online style where users are empowered to discover their style and set trends around the world. The company collaborates with prominent brands such as Calvin Klein, Diane Von Furstenberg, Lanc... read more »

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