Smashion combines social networking and fashion

Ashley Soley-Cerro

Vanessa Kuo (top right corner), Smashion’s marketing manager, surrounded by models at the company’s launch party. Photo courtesy of: Smashion

Fashion enthusiasts have been connecting for years by using the accessibility of a cyber community. The business world has caught on to the idea, and Smashion, a website that allows users to connect through buying and selling the latest trends, is one the latest companies to jump on the bandwagon.

“The concept is a social fashion site to connect buyers and sellers with new and pre-owned merchandise,” said Vanessa Kuo, the marketing manager.

Imagine Facebook with a stylish twist. Users have their own individual profiles, complete with a picture and short biography, as well as their favorite designer and stores listed.

Items are displayed much like they would be on eBay. A picture, description and price is displayed, along with the shipping cost. Sellers can tag items according to brand, specific style (such as tops or boots) and gender to promote the chance of a buyer finding it. Unlike eBay, sellers can sell items without any additional fees or percentages taken off the top by the website.

Smashion’s forum section strongly resembles a social networking site. Users can create a discussion topic and post comments, photos or questions, while chatting with other users about the topic. There are over a dozen categories, including celebrity fashion, catwalk and a shopping diary.

Pictures of designer Jeremy Scott’s show at fashion week, which was a creative take on outfits worn by DC Comic book characters, can be found under the catwalk category. Debate over flared and wide legged jeans making a comeback in 2011 seems to be a hot discussion topic.

Since mixing and matching fashion is part of the appeal to using Smashion, the gallery section is an ideal place for discovering what fashion can be creatively mixed or displaying an outfit you may be particularly proud of.

Delesha Hamilton, who owns two stores, said she hoped that the site could be used to advertise her shops and broaden her clientele. Yet, she has been less successful than she had hoped.

“Honestly, I only use Smashion because it is easy to use,” Hamilton said. “I don’t like that it isn’t growing fast enough. I have some of the most items on it, and I have only sold seven,” Hamilton said.

Blogging is also an essential part of the website. Smashion has its own blog, Smashion Babble.

The lounge section offers users links to various fashion blogs, websites and videos that Smashion recommends. News articles from such sites as “Glamour” magazine, Perez Hilton and “Lucky” magazine are also linked in the lounge section.

Smashion began in October 2009 and has two owners that both chose to remain anonymous.

“With the downward economy, they began noticing more people buying second-hand fashion,” Kuo said.

Smashion is still a private website, but it will be looking for external funding very soon. Currently, all profits are made through advertising. The business hopes to gain popularity through promotion on fashion blogs or word of mouth.