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Show HN: My startup Curvio - IMDB for Clothes and Accessories on TV (curvio.com)
84 points by tansey on Feb 1, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 50 comments

Great concept, and I like how it's actually possible to scale it to have everything up to date, so you don't have to manage something at the size of IMDb.

I imagine the vampire shows will also be very popular, if you add them. The Glee Project as well.

Less excited about the Facebook log-in, but it's better than nothing for those with an account.

If I were you, I'd shop the site around to gossip sites like Perez, Popsugar and Buzznet as opposed to the tech sites like Techcrunch most of us think of.

I'd be interested to see to which degree this is a "website" versus a "start-up", but time will tell. Just remember that you should start this at a grassroots level with places like Zetaboards-powered forums. You'd also be doing yourself a major disservice, if you did not integrate a Tumblr blog with the site to capitalize on its viral capacity and its central fan demographic; Tumblr is basically the new Livejournal for TV show blather.

Is it possible to pre-populate the data for this from pre-existing sources (like the TV show itself publishing information about where the clothing is from?). The reason I ask is that I stumbled on a Mad Men "fashion show" where the fashion designer from Mad Men talked about where you could buy clothing like the actors wore from stores (Macy's, I think). I'm guessing this information is available somewhere, although maybe I'm wrong. Do you make money on the referrals to the department stores via links?

Seems very inconsistent to me. You could probably manage for some shows, but not all. For example, a while ago I felt the urge to figure out where the suits from Better Off Ted came from. It took a disproportionate amount of digging to even get a tiny hint. Never found out the actual answer

We do have some of the links as affiliate links. That's our first source of revenue which will hopefully enable us to bootstrap to the next level.

In principal, there should be a system to do this automatically. What we're seeing is that Hollywood has trouble getting it in place. Lots of issues arise and it's been tried before, but at the end of the day it has never been executed well. Our goal is to execute in progressively bigger steps until we can be working directly with the studios, but that's a long way away. :)

Awesome--good luck, I'll definitely check back often!

Nicely done. I can see a lot of possibilities for this app.

Having the ability to crowd source the answers seems like a good idea, but might be difficult to manage poor suggestions. I couldn't tell if there was some kind of "karma" type score for users that get the best answer.

We don't currently have a "karma" idea, but are working to add more game-like elements.

Have you made any connections with the actual wardrobe people working on these shows? Or the clothing manufacturers themselves? The companies that "graciously provide" the stars' clothing surely have a vested interest in promoting those clothes.

We've talked to a ton of people, including one costume designer for a well-known show and some mid-level people at a few retailers. Right now we are focused on gaining traffic and building up to the next level of visibility so we can start bringing interns onto sets, approaching manufacturers and retailers directly, etc.

Also, we encourage any independent fashion designers that have had their products (or similar ones) featured on a show to email us: team@curvio.com. We'll be happy to add their product and get them additional exposure.

Very interesting. I'll definitely come back when some other shows are available.

> Log in to Curvio with your Facebook account

... but will probably never log in.

Thanks! We're trying to expand quickly, so please do come back!

We tried to use FB sparingly. It's useful to us because if you want to post comments or suggest an item, it's now much more likely you're going to tie it to your account. This hopefully helps reduce spam, on top of the obvious benefits of sharing with others in your feed. You can also "love" (vote up + save) items if you're logged in.

The flip side is that the site is very usable without ever logging in, which is fine too. The login is only needed if you're trying to discuss or further interact with the site. I think it's a pretty good balance.

you should make it more obvious how to contribute or otherwise allow the user to cause more shows and stuff to appear.

I'm the same as you with regards to the Facebook account, but I know my friends who'd go for this wouldn't blink twice.

I'll spread the link around and see what happens.

This is a great idea.

1) Where do you get the data?

2) Will you do movies? I'd like to know what shirt Daniel Craig is wearing in several scenes from "The girl with the dragon tatoo" -- I'd like to know what shoes and suit Ryan gosling was wearing in "Crazy Stupid Love" etc...

3) if you get information from the costume designers/stylists of these shows - do they get a commission on sales of items from their designs?

Also - Post this to Quora and try to get the interest of Ashton Kutcher - he is very active on Quora, a well known startup investor and obviously entrenched in Hollywood.

    2) Will you do movies? I'd like to know what shirt Daniel
    Craig is wearing in several scenes from "The girl with
    the dragon tatoo" -- I'd like to know what shoes and suit
    Ryan gosling was wearing in "Crazy Stupid Love" etc...
I wouldn't be surprised if there were women who were interested in dressing up their boyfriends, fianc├ęs, and husbands as Ryan Gosling, too.

Is there a way to report broken links?


Clicking the sweater would normally take me to an online store I assume, but on this page it leads to a 403 on the J. Crew images server.

Good idea, we'll add that in as soon as possible. For now, here works. Thank you! We will get that fixed.

Love it - As Seen on Screen (http://www.asos.com) used to be like this for the UK - started off with the clothes from Trainspotting I think - but now it's just another highstreet type brand.

Definitely a gap in the market for this, esp if it's done well. Good luck!

You should resize your images and display the thumbnails throughout the site. Not sure what your stack is, but I use imagemagick bindings for nodejs to do just that (npm install imagemagick). Obviously imagemagick may be accessed through most programming languages.

This idea is great. How many times have I heard my gf saying "I need the same shoes as her" or "I love this dress" while watching a TV show and trying to google it without success most of the time. Hope you'll be successful!

Thanks! You wouldn't believe how many people told me more or less the same thing while we were developing this site.

Very clever. You have a unique idea and a great product so far.

In my opinion, you should really avoid calling yourself the ___ of ___, aka, IMDB of Clothes. I'm sure you can come up with a more appealing one-liner!

These guys are doing something similar http://www.deliveryagent.com/. They run this site https://securesale.seenon.com/account.php and others.

They are very corporate as you can see. You might be able to find areas where they fall short(markets not served, poor implementation, etc) and focus on those areas. If you do a good enough job they may be a possible exit strategy for you.


Last time I checked seenon, they picked like 7 items from the latest movie and ran those as exclusive offers for a week. There are tons of sites that pick out a few items and write blog posts about them or something.

We're trying to be more than that. We want to catalog items and provide a more comprehensive, permanent database. We also focus on similar (dress-for-less) items. Shows like Gossip Girl routinely have $5000+ items that have very similar knockoffs available.

It's good to see you have done your homework and are differentiating yourself from the competition. I like the knockoff and comprehensive strategy but "permanent" I am not so sure about. There is nothing permanent about the fashion industry, unless there is some nostalgic value of who wore what and when.

Good point! I think that's one hypothesis we have to test by seeing how traffic to different episodes/items drops off over time. I personally expect there to be fat tails, but seeing the data will be the only way to find out.

There may be value in providng knockoffs to nostalgic (iconic) items, ie giligans hat, pee wee herman's bike (is that iconic?), dorothy's dress etc..

How do you plan to unseat Cool Spotters? Is it mainly an organization issue, i.e. looks sorted by specific episode?



Right. In a lot of ways cool spotters is a competitor. I think the main difference is that we're focused on connecting people to the show itself rather than an individual celebrity.

I believe our design and positioning is also better than CS. We're looking to move to working directly with designers rather than creating a big community of people who upload random snapshots of shows/celebrities. There are a lot of designers out there who would love more exposure and we're hoping to give it to them.

I find that difference really, really great. Building a business around paparazzo photographies is creepy as hell to me and makes me feel like a private detective for visiting a site like that. It's like reading an opposition file on a politician.

It'll probably also make celebrities more likely to help you out.

Awesome--really like the subtle positioning differences. It definitely makes your platform much more appealing to designers/merchants. I also think its great too how you're focusing specifically on looks that can be easily obtained and not aspirational purchases ($5k handbags, etc.). Good luck!

Think I found a bug:

http://curvio.com/criminal-minds - black jeans 'from $187' http://curvio.com/criminal-minds/season-7/episode-10/the-bit... - has jeans at $25.

I think that's a caching expiration issue. We're on it-- thank you!

If I could make two recommendations,

One would be to have a mens section of the site, or a filter for mens items.

Additionally, I would recommend a little more emphasis on the ui design. At the moment, I would place it at good enough.

Customers coming to the site are looking for fashionable clothes, so your web design has to match that.

ASOS used to do this in a basic way and built a huge following amongst women. Nowadays they're more of a typical online fashion store: http://www.asos.com/

My wife says that ASOS didn't categorise by show/actor quite like this.

Very cool idea. My one suggestion would be to add an email signup to your homepage. Something along the lines of:

Be the first to know when new shows are added!

You could also add a form to the individual show pages by simply replacing "shows" with "episodes".

Tom Haverford wore this coat on Parks and Recreation a few weeks back that was very nice. I went to reddit and there were multiple threads asking about it -- a men's coat. This is a good idea.

Yup. Great looking coat. It was already sold out by the time I read the reply with the link.

Why isn't it possible for me to pick what episode I want to see the accessories from? The first thing I want to do after clicking "Gossip Girl" is pick the episode.

You can indeed do just that! :)

You click a show, then we show you a preview of each episode (top 4 items) from the most recent season.

You should post this here as well: http://www.reddit.com/r/malefashionadvice

I'm not at all in your target audience (I suspect), but this seems like a very good idea, well executed. No doubt to me that you'll find success.

Unlike a ton of sites and apps coming out these days, I can actually see how this will make money. Nice work.

I might be wrong. But aren't those pictures copyrighted?

This is very well done. Where are you guys based?

Thanks! We're pretty much split between Austin and Pittsburgh.

Why isn't it possible to search by movies?

Movies are absolutely on the road map. We are currently bootstrapping, so we had to limit ourselves to what would be the most popular to launch with at first.

Great idea. Good luck!

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