If you’ve visited the fashion-loving part of the internet at all in the past week, then you’ve undoubtedly heard of Google’s new fashion venture, Boutiques.com. As the name would indicate, the site’s intent is to gather fashion from around the web together in one easily shopable place that allows celebrities, designers, fashion people and anyone else who might have some spare time to create their own “boutique” that is tailored to their personal style and preferences.
Google is one of the most successful companies on the face of the planet, period, so I had high hopes that its nerds would come up with some sort of magic algorithm to recommend great things to me after I filled out the site’s length style questionnaire. But other than successfully banishing all brown from my results, the site’s recommendations were middling at best: my first round of options yielded items as seemingly random as a red silk Alexander McQueen gown, a pair of white tennis shoes and a $50 pleather purse. Not only are none of those options relevant to my shopping life, but the McQueen dress was the only thing I’d be caught anywhere near. Can Google really create an algorithm that replicates personal style? (more…)