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.