On a beautiful Thursday evening of May 29th, 2014, a fashion brand that is generating a lot of buzz in Boston, held an exclusive event at Emerald Lounge in Boston to announce its 2.0 launch. But a 2.0 launch of what?
I’ll be honest, I never heard of BOUTIKEY until I attended this event and I love what Founder, Tiana Haraguchi has accomplished so far and is aiming for with her team. In a nutshell, BOUTIKEY is a cross between a Groupon, Pinterest and Facebook for tech savvy fashion lovers who want to find the best deals from the local boutiques that they know and love. It also provides the boutique owners that are on BOUTIKEY to reward the customers for their support with special deals, promotions and announcements.
BOUTIKEY is a fashion innovation that I can definitely get behind, because it solves a few problems in my opinion: 1) It provides a hub for the app users who are looking for places to shop that are not as conventional like a Nordstrom, H&M and etc. 2) Creates a much more niched and simpler avenue for the boutique owners to market their stores on as opposed to the broad bases of a Pinterest, Facebook and other social media platforms. Therefore, I easily see the local fashionista who wants that special outfit for an event and has hit on nothing on the major departments stores and a small boutique might have that hidden gem for her to buy. From my understanding the user adoption of the app has been strong and I was informed that they currently have 800 users for the iOS based app that will soon be coming to Android.
Lets get to the actual event. It was a great mature young crowd of socialites that fit the avatar of those would use an app like this. Nice environment for people to mix & mingle before the actual fashion show with passed hors d’oeuvres with music selection provided by DJ Massive. Also the choice of Emerald was a great decision for using an unconventional venue for a fashion show and providing an intimate trendy backdrop for a dynamic atmosphere.
The actual fashion show I was not a fan of. I understood the intent of having all the boutiques blended into the flow of the fashion show, but I think it hurt the look of the show then helped it. The lighting from a photographers perspective was not great, so it was tough to capture nice clear consistent shots of the amazing designs that boutiques had for BOUTIKEY. There was even a point in the show, where there was a pause and Tiana had to come out and apologize for the delay because there was malfunction backstage. Very noble of her to be upfront and honest with audience but that definitely had to be awkward for her, I hope someone got yelled backstage! Lastly, being a fashion producer myself, I think the thing that hurt the most to watch was the actual models. Only about 5 of the 15 models looked legitimate and the rest really just had some awkward walks, poses and poor energy. For me that really was a letdown for such an amazing event and the beautiful designs that they were rocking for the boutiques!
Nevertheless, I think the event served its purpose in terms of bringing more awareness to the BOUTIKEY brand. I am very curious to see how consumers respond to the app in bigger fashion markets such as NYC & LA. I expect them to do very well as the quantity of boutiques and speciality shops are much greater in those areas and who doesn’t love a good deal?!