I checked out My Fashion Database (MyFDB) after co-founder Zoe Saldana appeared on Project Runway. I’m not usually so quick to check out celebrity side projects, but given her surprisingly effective turn as a fashion judge, I figured it was worth a look-see.
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… another Pinterest? What immediately sets MyFDB apart from other celeb-backed sites such as OpenSky, Send the Trend or ShoeDazzle is that the focus is not on commerce, but content curation; essentially a Pinterest for devoted fashionphiles. I think. The homepage is filled with images culled from magazine features and ad campaigns; however, a major weakness of the site is that it’s not apparent who the site is for, and how one might use it. I literally don’t see how I can use it. There are no apparent actions for me to take. There is nothing for me to click to interact with what I see. I can’t ‘like’ anything, I can’t create a collection, and I can’t follow anybody. All I can do is click into a collection and leave a comment. Surely this will change as a registered user of the site, but the website should be enticing users to sign up by offering actions they can take, not forcing them to sign up to figure out how to engage with the site. Not long on the site I had the burning question of why, in the column on the right side of the page, are Miley Cyrus (musician), Robert Pattinson (actor) and Katie Holmes (actress/designer) all listed as models? Katie Holmes has 79 credits, which is surely impressive… but what do credits mean in this context? Is MyFDB a game that celebrities play, and win credits to in the process?
Learning About the Site
It seems that MyFDB is something of a Crunchbase for the fashion industry. You can look up ad campaigns, people, or magazines. People earn credits when they’re credited in a body of work, whether behind-the-scenes in an ad campaign or photo shoot (as stylist, photographer, etc), or as the talent. For Katie Holmes to have 79 credits as a model means that she’s been featured in twelve magazine spreads or advertising campaigns. Busy woman! What’s really cool is that people and roles from across the fashion industry are captured, from food stylists to post-producers to editors to make-up artists. You could hypothetically start following a creative assistant low on the totem pole and essentially follow her entire career (in online clippings). That’s a powerful tool for anybody trying to familiarize themselves with the industry. What’s more, all of this information comes with a personalized component: you can follow people, “collect” images, and comment on magazine covers and ad campaigns.
A quick Google search revealed that MyFDB is meant to be the IMDB of fashion; not Crunchbase, nor Pinterest either – although it captures elements from all of these sites. The new user experience is very poor, but thanks to the information they’re trying to capture MyFDB has the potential to become the site of record for the fashion industry.