With social mirror LooknBe you'll never be alone in the dressing room

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Uhhh…now I know what you’re thinking : social network meets dressing room = scary and perhaps slightly perverted. But trust me, it’s definitely not. Now, I’m sure that you’ve wondered whether or or not your tie goes with your suit, if your shoes go with your jeans, if your hair looks ridiculous or if your nose is big. Who hasn’t, right? Well, next time you find yourself asking this type of question, consider asking LooknBe‘s online community rather than your not-so-neutral entourage.

LooknBe is a brand-new Paris-based startup for anyone that wants to get honest feedback about how they look. Leveraging its community as well as a team of experts, the platform acts as a “social mirror”. The team has even included a number of tools to protect user identity and reduce embarrassment. For example, you can erase your face before publishing a photo in your bathing suit. And even if all editorial information and photos are available to any online bypassers, users need to be registered on the platform in order to ask or give feedback.

Ah, but the best part is the upcoming iPhone application, which should hit the App Store in the next few weeks. Essentially, this free application will make it so that you’ll literally never be alone in the dressing room again. Next time you are trying on clothes in a store, you’ll be able to snap a photo and get real-time feedback from the community. But for that to happen, the number of registered users on LooknBe definitely obviously needs to grow. For the moment, it takes roughly 1 to 2 hours to get between 10 and 40 opinions from the 1,500 members.

It seems as though more and more social shopping sites are popping up these days. Ebay just launched their Ebaylookbook not too long ago. And there are tons of professionally-oriented sites, like Stylehive, which was bought by ThisNext in February. But LooknBe, who competes with GoTryItOn, seems to be more oriented towards makeovers and targets your everyday average internet user. I’d say it’s almost like the online version of a makeover TV show. And it wouldn’t be the first time we’d see TV inspiring French startups either.

The team is also in the process of puting together their business model, which will not be entirely ad-based, thankfully. In fact, LooknBe is lining up several models with more of a B2B orientation – where professionals and brands can have their own space on the platform and interact directly with the community.

LooknBe is planning to launch in 3 international markets before the end of the year, meaning the site will soon be available in English, Polish and one other language to be determined. Given their ambitious development goals, the team is also in the process of raising a round of funding. But in order to get the company off the ground, husband and wife co-founders, Olga and Stéphane Castellani, actually sold their apartment. You definitely don’t see that type of funding strategy everyday.

Anyhow, next time you’re wondering just how ridiculous you look, consider asking LookNBe’s community. I’m sure you’ll get a more honest opinion than that of you’re mother.

  • http://www.looknbe.com castellani

    The whole Look’n’Be team is very honored, thank you Roxanne.
    We’ve got many nice feedbacks of people asking us when exactly Look’n’Be will be available in their countries. We thank them all for their interest. The whole team is working very hard on delivering you the service shortly.

  • http://www.caturday.fr/ Camille

    I agree with the fact that’s no ordinary funding strategy, but then again, to get noticed by high profile investors, you need to prove that the project is a reality already, and that global commercial success is ’round the corner.

    Fundraising for start-ups here in France ranges from inexplicably swift and retarded (ie : “W00t I R lub’ dis kuncept” “Yeah, let’s drop a million euros and wear our socks on our hands !!111”) to almost impossibly hard to achieve (ie : “Yeah, I guess we could lend you 10 euros with a 57% interest rate, but the business needs to be profitable already and your personal assets need to reach at leat 150k”).

    Sadly, there’s nothing between these two extremes, so the most complicated part is to start the engine. Once you’ve got a solid, already running business project as Looknbe is, fundraising drops from impossible to challenging, which is a serious improvement.

  • Krivorot

    Dear Roxanne,

    I fully agree with your article. Looknbe is a great site. I finally got honest answers on my look. It’s really great web site that we needed since a long time. Sceptical at the very beginning I take a real pleasure and fun answering the questions of other Looknbe members.

    I can’t wait to have the I phone application.
    Long life to looknbe!

  • http://margowege.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/with-social-mirror-looknbe-youll-never-be-alone-in-the-dressing-room/ With social mirror LooknBe you?ll never be alone in the dressing room « Margowege's Tech & Gadget Blog
  • CrazyShopping


    I heard some weeks ago, about this web site (one may say one more!), through a friend. I connected to it without having specific expectations…and…. I became somehow addict: first by answering questions and giving my view proposed clothes, then by asking also some feedbacks on my own choices on how to arrange at the best pants and pullovers.
    Thank you to Olga and Stéphane for this great achievement . I am now waiting for the iPhone and smartphone application

  • John

    This is a really interesting site. I can’t remember seeing anything like this before…

    I will definitively give it a try.

    • http://www.iijiij.com Debbie Todd

      There’s a similar thing available for make-up, although without the social aspect of being able to get people to comment on your look.

      Innovation Investment Journal did an article on the technology back in June:


      They describe it as a “virtual mirror, where you can see what your face is going to look like, without going to the bother of putting on makeup.”

      It seems that EZ face kiosks will be located in stores so that customers can do a virtual version of “try before you buy”. It just remains to be seen how long it will be before this takes on a social aspect, allowing you to find out what other people think of the look before you buy!

      • http://www.looknbe.com castellani

        To Debbie: yes, you’re completely right. There are mirror technologies coming into the market. This is a very interesting technology and I’m convinced this will be in every shop in a couple of years. Now, the question is “Who provides the device and who provides the network” (like in telefony : Nokia is not AT&T). Look’n’Be will be the community, in partnership with manufacturers who are willing to offer a social dimension to the shop customers. The Iphone app we will relase in a couple of weeks will remain in your pocket whereas the mirrors we mention will remain in the shops. Something very interesting is going to happen. We’re searching for partners in Europe or North/South America. If anybordy interested, please contact me.

  • Lelemud

    wow cool site!

    When are you taking it to Germany ???

    • http://www.looknbe.com stephane from Look'n'Be

      Wir sind fertig für Deutschland (we’re ready for Germany). Looking now for somebody to develop the community there. Anybody interested ? We could come in in 15 days …

  • Virginy

    I love this site !!! I often go on it to give advice or ask for views about my look ! I’m waiting for Iphone application !!!!

  • Paul D

    Several decades ago, there was a very practical and useful book entitled Dress For Success. The main purpose of this publication was to counsel businessmen on proper clothing etiquette during special events such as job interview, meetings, product presentations, etc. The book has since withdrew from the mainstream, probably because fashion and other habitual aspects of dressing have changed drastically since then. This site, which has effectively reinvented fashion in the social world, has far exceeded its predecessor through a real time service. Personally, I am a bit too old to consider myself a candidate of the service offered, yet I see great benefits for younger generations. The authors of the idea found themselves in the right place at the right time and one can expect a spectacular success of the enterprise.

    Carry on and good luck.

    Paul D.

  • http://eu.techcrunch.com/2011/02/07/wheretoget-it-is-quora-for-shoppers/ Wheretoget.it is Quora for shoppers

    […] part of a new trend of social shopping services coming out of France. Some of these sites include social mirror LooknBe, social wardrobe Dress-Me, social live fashion site Ykone and video-based social shopping […]

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