27. June 2012–
The Cools is a curated marketplace that allows users to buy, sell and share the fashion, design and art that uniquely defines them. It's a platinum version of your Facebook feed. Launched today from New York City, the platform is a playground for lifestyle bloggers, boutique owners, Unlike-type globetrotters, and style curators alike.
Scrolling through it feels like everything you've ever wanted in your second-favorite habitual browsing zone. It's people you haven't seen up close since following them on Twitter. And they've already raised $2.5 million in funding from private investors including Bob Pittman. Looks like this one's here to stay (at least as a tab on my screen.) Early supporters include Agyness Deyn, Dree Hemingway and CFDA award-winner Justin Giunta.
It's group blogging, pre-optimised as a marketplace
The Cools is a place to sell your 1920s "As You Like It" cobalt jacket that you bought in Copenhagen but don't really wear any more. It's an a mix of videos, stories, links and pictures posted by editors, fashion dropouts, and familiar globetrotters. Sort of like Nowness, you're prompted to call things in your feed "cool" (or "uncool", if you decide it against it). Many posts come with an additional "buy" button, allowing you to connect with the seller and buy what you're looking at. Users pay straight through an internal Paypal format that's black and intuitive like the rest of the site. You can "sell" and "shop", but mostly you'll just want to browse all the beautiful things.
"I actually can't add any more friends," Tel Aviv-based social media guru and new friend Ayelet Noff told me from the roof of the Soho House Berlin. "Facebook tells me I have too many." For people whose news feeds are OUC (out o' control) because of too many friends who don't actually know, The Cools is an elegant new solution for weeding them out.
For a person with a mix of careers (speaking of which, I need to run to my exhibit conference jury castle...), it's a way of sharing your costumes, writing samples, Barbie porn, and fake ad campaigns to an international audience who may actually like some of it. The platform lets you curate content posted by other users, so it's instantly collaborative. Your cool becomes my cool, and vice versa.
If thecools.com was someone's personal blog, whose would it be?
A lot of us cool people would hope it was ours. But then again, this is nothing anyone could build up alone.
Advised by LVMH’s scion Antoine Arnault, Fab.com’s Beth Ferreira, Italian icon Lapo Elkann and fashion designer Erin Fetherston, The Cools is an NYC startup founded in 2011 by Parisian entrepreneur Olivier van Themsche. It's clear the team's taken the year to figure out the glitches. Technically, it's not yet quite as effortless as Facebook, but in other ways it's far more.
Unlike on Facebook, The Cools platform doesn't generate an immediate widget when you paste a link in to your feed. Instead you have to click the "Link" icon, which opens a sub-text box where you then paste the link. When you're filling out your profile, however, the app is a dream. Favoring text boxes to drop down menus, it's a pleasure to use.
If you want to follow me, here I am. I think I'll stick with this one.
Dare I call it cool?