Ann Arbor locals in search of specific fashion and style advice before a job interview, first date, or a night out may not have to look further than their own computers.
The desire to get feedback about one’s appearance and style sparked three recent University graduates to create a new website called DTLOK.com — Does This Look Okay? — which allows people to post pictures and get constructive feedback about their appearance and style.
LSA graduate Drew Tevrizian said he originally came up with the idea for the new site, which allows people to leave comments and vote on photos, after growing up with a sister who was interested in fashion and noticing how much people desired feedback for their choices in clothing.
Tevrizian said he has no knowledge of fashion, so he enlisted the help of his friend and Business School graduate Michael Eichberg.
In need of someone able to code DTLOK.com, Tevrizian said he used Craigslist to hire John Gorman for the position. Tevrizian added that Gorman has been “the backbone of the website,” because of his voluntary work on getting the site up and running.
After three months of work, the site launched Apr. 1, and it received 8,000 hits on its first day, primarily from around the Ann Arbor area.
The website is currently attracting about 300 visits per day, partly due to advertising around the University campus and peer encouragement, Tevrizian said. The website’s traffic, he said, has spread beyond the Ann Arbor area anymore but rather it has spread to other cities, including some from around the world.
DTLOK.com relies on Facebook and Twitter for online advertising, but Tevrizian said word-of-mouth advertising has been most effective in drawing hits to the site.
Gorman said he believes DTLOK.com has been so successful because of the idea itself and how insecure and vain people can be. The website, he said, offers an outlet for people to receive anonymous feedback about their appearance, like ways in which they could improve their outfits.
“It’s not meant to be superficial, it’s meant to be a boost of confidence,” Eichberg said.
For those who are new to a city and don’t have anyone to get feedback from, the site acts “like your second friend,” Eichberg said.
In order to use this website, visitors do not need to create an account. Instead they will need to provide an e-mail address so that comments on their photos can be sent to them.
Tevrizian said the lack of user sign-up helps to limit abuse of the site, because only the user who posted the picture can see the comments. He added that he, Gorman and Eichberg try to minimize site abuse with the option to “flag” photos that are inappropriate because they want the site to be a noncontroversial resource.
As well as getting feedback on a photo, people can also browse the site and get style ideas that may allow them to expand their stylistic horizons and promote individuality, Eichberg said.
Gorman added that while he expected more women to use the site, the distribution of visitors has been pretty equal among men and women.
Though Gorman is no longer involved with the site, Tevrizian said he and Eichberg would like continue to challenge themselves, and they hope to ultimately be able to profit from the website by eventually charging users to post photos. In return, he added that they would make the online community more interactive by having professional fashion consultants and designers offer specific fashion advice.