By Stephanie Huang ’16Fashion Columnist
With wave after wave of blogging websites emerging, fashion blogs these days are not uncommon. However, what is uncommon is The Coveteur, created by best friends Erin Kleinberg and Stephanie Mark, a blog dedicated to revealing what makes the people of fashion (including bloggers) who they are—their closets. The Coveteur showcases covetable clothes, accessories, artwork, and quirky collectibles that make fashion stars who they are. Though it seems promising, Coveteur has recently fallen into relying upon commercial practices that perhaps jeopardize the original intentions and integrity of the website.
Two best friends, Kleinberg and Mark, feel that someone’s closet is a window into what the person is like. The site’s motto is a quote from designer Dries Van Noten: “It’s more interesting to have just a picture of a small detail—then you can dream all the rest around it. Because when you see the whole thing, what is there to imagine?”
“We love street-style blogs, but we wanted to take it a step further,” explains Kleinberg. “This is kind of like deconstructing it; let’s see all the items these people have that help make up all those outfits.” Visitors can take a peek at the closets, homes, drawers, hangers, and shelves of fashion insiders—editors, stylists, curators, and designers, from stylist Rachel Zoe to actress Khloe Kardashian.
The site got 20,000 hits on its first day live in January 2011. So far, Kleinberg and Mark have documented over 350 wardrobes, working from Kleinberg’s living room with photographer Jake Rosenberg. Yet the job is not all glamour—each shoot takes about three hours and involves a lot of traveling.
Despite the site’s success and innovation it’s the one recent add-on that has disappointed me is the notion that you can “shop” each of these covetable closets. What had started out as something completely about originality has become yet another opportunity for cloning and consumerism. While I understand that such a site would need profit to keep running, it seems contradictory that the closets that are so-called “distinct” to each person can now be replicated by browsers. It just seems like a glorified shopping experience now.
Is it too much to ask for one business to remain untainted by profit-motives and financial-gain? If “Ms. Magazine” can do it, I’m sure fashion publications and websites can, too.