Saturday, June 19, 2010

Wunderbloc: The Ultimate Online Guide
to NYC boutiques

New York City is definitely a shopper's delight, but it can be a real challenge trying to keep up with latest and greatest shopping destinations. Enter Wunderbloc, an online directory of boutiques in and around NYC. Even if you're not in New York, the Wunderbloc site has great features like virtual tours and a marketplace, to provide you with the experience of shopping in New York from anywhere in the world.

One of the coolest things on the site is the 360 degree virtual tour, which includes high-quality 360 degree videos of the store interior. It also inadvertently provides a sneak-peek at the store offering.

The site also has an e-commerce section that allows you to shop products from many of the boutiques featured. There are varying amounts of pieces from select stores like Kaight, 20 Peacocks and United Nude. In addition to shopping by boutique, the navigation allows for shopping by neighborhood, which can be helpful if you would like to products from a variety of similar stores at once.

The Wunderbloc community is a place to connect with the city's fashion-obsessed and get personal recommendations on where to shop. You can also browse the gallery of photos for style inspiration.

Just like anything, Wunderbloc also has its drawbacks. Some parts of the site, like the reviews  and WunderblocTV, have not been updated some time, but for the most part it acts as a good introduction to the plethora of small boutiques in the city, and allows anyone to shop like a New Yorker, even if you're miles away.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Are You A Fashion Sellout?

It's an ugly question, one most of us would prefer not to answer, but after reading the post Fashion’s Biggest Sellout; You? by 39th & Broadway, I had to seriously question whether my appetite for fast-fashion might have more far-reaching consequences than just improving the finances of H & M, Zara and Forever 21. Everyone at one point or another has looked at a ridiculously low-priced garment and felt both the elation of finding a bargain coupled with the sinking feeling that it was probably made in less than ideal working conditions. Without any hard evidence, it's easy just to shrug off any thoughts of impropriety and go home with your new clothes: it's one thing to think that your clothes might be made in sweatshop and another to know that they are.

While weighing my fast-fashion dilemma, I came across the  BBC documentary series "Blood, Sweat and T-shirts." It follows six young people that love fast fashion as they work in the factories where these throw away garments are made. This program gave me great insight into a question that has been quietly nagging me: "how is it possible to make clothes for so cheap and still make a profit?" The answer, unfortunately, was just what I suspected: