announcement

Google to apply visual search to high fashion?

November 15, 2010: 12:04 PM ET

An invite to a press event Wednesday has sparked speculation that Google will apply its newly-purchased Like.com assets to help consumers buy clothing they see online and in person this holiday season.

The invite (pictured right) seems to indicate that Google will be joining forces with the fashion industry.  According to Frockwriter, Google will be populating the boutique.com domain with a visual clothing search engine. This could  be something they've pulled from their like.com visual search acquisition earlier this year.

Our sources say that the new Google fashion initiative is called Boutiques.com and boasts not only online boutiques selling merchandise offered by various designers and retailers, but a large number of curated "boutiques" selling the looks worn by celebrities and other influencers.

There at least 19 participating American designers, from Prabal Gurung to Oscar de la Renta, with participating retailers including ShopbopNêt-à-PorterNordstrom,Selfridges and Bluefly.

The featured celebrities include Lady Gaga, Victoria Beckham, Emma Watson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Anna Wintour, Rachel Zoe and even Michelle Obama.

These high-profilers, presumably, have no idea they are included in the mix – they are simply being used as style inspirations for Google's designer label boutiques,  curated by Google insiders, who pull together products with a similar look to those sported by the celebs. Not very different from the "Get her look" feature in any fashion magazine in other words ...  except that in this case, you will be able to buy the product on the spot, with Google pocketing a percentage of sales.

Did we mention bloggers?

A handful of high profile regulars have, we understand, been invited to curate their own Boutiques.com boutiques – in exchange for a one-off payment of (low) five figures.

Perhaps related, Google announced today that product search would be gaining some interesting new features for holiday shoppers ...

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