Site Spotlight: Whisp

(Source: Whisp)Shopping and social media are colliding online, and we couldn’t be more delighted with the result. Whisp, a newly launched site founded by business partners Gassin Meknassi, Karoon Monfared and Moncef Zizi, brings fashion offerings from across the web to a single platform, and allows users to share and discuss them through a built-in messaging feature.

No more emailing five links to five friends when you can’t decide which dress to buy for your high school reunion. Instead, Whisp lets you drag conversation-worthy finds into a message box where friends can reply—or “whisp”—with a yea or nay. If necessary, they can also respond with one of the site’s original emoticons, such as Karl Lagerfeld saying "We approve!" or Bryan Boy declaring "So last year!" 

Among the brands and online shops featured on Whisp are Farfetch, Rag & Bone, Urban Outfitters and Stella McCartney. Additionally, the site connects to Facebook's messaging component, so you can discuss the necessity of Balenciaga leather shorts or Sophia Webster pumps with friends who've yet to join Whisp.
(Source: Whisp)We recently caught up with Monfared and Zizi, who shared their inspiration for the site and a few Whisp highlights. 

StyleBistro: Tell us about the name Whisp. How did you arrive at that?
Moncef Zizi: It’s short for whisper because the whole premise is that the experience is intimate and private.

SB: And what inspired the site?
Karoon Monfared: We were inspired by our wives, actually. We’d see them shopping online with ten or 12 browsers open and they’d always have their cell phone cameras out, or they’d be copying and pasting links into Gchat, because there was no easy way for them to share the products they loved with their friends. They were essentially adopting messaging platforms that aren’t fashion specific and doing it really inefficiently. We thought "Hey, we can create a great experience by allowing people to Whisp and connect with their friends." 

SB: The Internet is filled with shopping sites. Are you worried about getting lost in the crowd? 
MZ:  The good thing is that our product is very unique, especially in terms of how we think about social. Most shopping websites' premise on social is to broadcast everything; everyone has an opinion and everyone gives that opinion to the rest of the world. Our take is the opposite: You have an opinion and you only share it with the people who matter. You’re probably already doing that through text and email and Gchat, so we’re just making it more fun, more beautiful and super easy.

(Courtsey: Whisp) 

SB: How did your brand partnerships come about?
KM: We really thought about that fashion-forward shopper who loves to mix and match; someone who has Margiela shoes and a Celine bag, but they’re wearing a shirt from H&M or Topshop. Every brand and retailer that we carry has a distinct point of view that speaks to shoppers, and that’s how we went about deciding which ones to partner with. And there’s something for everyone. If you’re a luxury shopper we have that, and if you’re more into fast fashion, we have that as well.

SB: What content do you have in addiiton to e-commerce?
KM: We have lookbook photos so if you want to see a designer's inspiration or full collection you have access to it, and one thing we’re rolling out soon is a newsfeed. We'll allow you to follow brands, publications and bloggers that you love, so you can curate the content that’s most important to you.

Membership to Whisp is free and you can download the iPad app here.
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