Daily Online Shopping Experiences
Every country and culture has its own distinct take on fashion, and Asia certainly ranks as one of the top, staying ahead of trends and not at all afraid to try new things. Their cute but hip style is praised by all, and is rapidly gaining popularity in the western countries while still providing a unique edge that makes the wearer stand out amongst the crowd. YesStyle is your portal for amazing fashion designs from Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. And not just one or two designers either. In the Category browser, sometimes you’ll see a “List All” option. Try clicking it for Women. As of right now, on February 17th, 2012, it returns 44,875 items. Yes, you read that right: 44,875 for Womens’ clothes! Mens is a smaller section, at a mere 14,052 items. We are talking separate listings here, and not “here’s the exact same thing in a different color”. Can we even fathom a selection of that size? Can Macy’s brag about remotely similar numbers? And these are just clothes, mind you. Jewelry, shoes, accessories, bags (yes, bags are a separate category) and beauty are all separate entities. (For those who are curious, those numbers are 21,208; 5,650; 10,748; and 5,455.)
YesStyle is from the makers of YesAsia, a website that’s been selling Asian movies and Asian movie related goods since at least 1998 (look for a review about them here in the future!). As one can see from the numbers, they are quite successful. But rather than creating yet another online fashion catalog that looks like everything else already out there, they have done something quite different.
When we shop for clothes online, how many pictures do we usually see for an item of clothing? Well, there’s front and back view, and if they’re nice enough they will provide a 1/4 turn view. It may have a model wearing it, it may not. I’m going to say that most of the time I see no more than four pictures per item, and in way too many cases, only one. At YesStyle, you may see10 or 20 or more pictures per item. And these pictures are quite something on their own. They are not merely forced poses in order to show you the entire item as it would perfectly fit a mannequin. They are natural, they are part of complete outfits, they are as if you actually wore them as part of a fashionable set. Sure, the models are thin and pretty, with obvious hair and makeup styling, but the photo settings as well as their poses are so much more natural than we are used to from the flat white backgrounds of Macy’s. Basically they answer our questions of “how would this look in real life?”
This picture is a great example of one of their shots. Is she sneezing? Wiping her nose? You don’t know but she looks far more comfortable than the hand-on-hips-with-elbows-completely-forward look. Did you notice that she’s walking inside a parking lot? I counted 22 pictures on this one page of her walking in the parking lot for the one item advertised. Most importantly, can you figure out what this picture is trying to sell?
Give up yet? It’s for her faux-leather biker jacket, which comes in black and ivory. What makes this picture great is that she’s not wearing the jacket just to show it off, but as part of an entire set, something a person is more likely to do (do we ever wear our clothes like the way the models wear it in catalogs?).
The above shoot takes place at a cafe inside an airport, rather specific but it makes it that much more interesting. I wish I could be so fashionable when flying! Spot the item: the photos are for the shorts she is wearing.
These photos makes scrolling down the page an eye candy delight, it feels like I’m browsing through a high fashion magazine made just for the item I’m interested in. The sets are also creative and inspiring, makes me want to browse through even if I don’t want it for myself. And then there those items that don’t look interesting at all on their own (we always come across those) but thanks to these pictures, we realize they can be crucial to an amazing outfit. It is an art, really.
Men do not receive less attention here, their outfits are fully accessorized and color coordinated. They are no less fashionable or colorful than the women. They are just as outgoing, just as stylish.
But I should just let the pictures do the talking here.
But it is not merely enough for them to have eye candy. There is an entire e-zine attached to the site, covering not just fashion but lifestyle, beauty, and probably many other topics I didn’t see. There are tips to copy celebrity fashion, photographers finding fashionably dressed people in the streets of Asia, an entire DIY section (like how to make your own hooded vest with cute ears), and the most in-depth fashion advice column that I have ever seen. The Ask Nikki section is where a fashion adviser is constantly answering questions complete with numerous pictures and links to products within the site that will help the person.
Even though they are importing products from Asia, orders over $150 qualify for free express shipping (supposedly 3 days). They even have a physical store in San Francisco (remind me to visit them the next time I’m in Lakeside), and they have sister sites in UK and Australia as well. This is by no means a small project. I will definitely be visiting the website repeatedly, if only for the endless eye candy. Buyer beware, however, all the clothes are made using Asian sizes. Do not look at the size labels but the actual numbers! Thankfully with each item they list the measurements, so choose carefully, there is NO vanity sizing in Asia. Measure yourself in centimeters, and be smart about your purchases.