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Image / Fashion

Stores filled with what’s trending on social media: is this the future of shopping?


By Freya Drohan
18th Jul 2019
Stores filled with what’s trending on social media: is this the future of shopping?

Have you ever double-tapped an outfit on Instagram and wished it would appear on the high street? The future of social media-influenced shopping is closer than you think.

The world’s first artificial intelligence-powered fashion boutique has opened, with racks brimming with items you’ve likely already double-tapped.

Aptly named The Trending Store, this brick-and-mortar shop in London’s Westfield mall aims to monitor social media to analyze and decipher what items are having their moment in the spotlight.

To pull off the project, which is only stated to be a pop-up, data platform Nextatlas will track over 400,000 influencers in 1,000 cities to gauge the must-have and ‘most liked’ fashions of the moment. The Trending Store will then stock these items – and only these items – allowing mere mortals to, quite literally, take a walk in their favourite influencers shoes.

According to the Daily Mail, only 100 items will be stocked at any given time. But it doesn’t stop there; as trends are monitored in real-time, these 100 items can revolve and rotate throughout the day depending on what avid Instagrammers are ‘hearting’ to their heart’s content.

Unsurprisingly, the project, which is donating proceeds to the charity Save the Children, made headlines all over the world as the first physical store to try out this concept. While technology constantly tries to be a bedfellow with fashion (I mean, how many apps have tried to pull off the ‘Shazam for clothes’ idea) it often fails.

This is likely because the discerning human eye knows and understands so much more about fashion and personal taste than algorithms and data can offer. While now-normalised services like high-tech dressing rooms and clothing size calculators are a nice addition, ultimately nothing has replaced the thrill and joy that is going shopping ‘the old fashioned’ way. This store, which marries our social media savvy, Keeping up with the Joneses tendencies with the simple, age-old ritual of browsing/touching fabrics/trying on clothes for size, could be the concept that really revolutionizes the industry.

So, what exactly would be in an Irish version of The Trending Store? Let’s take a look and see what has been setting your hearts aflutter.

A Tulle Dress

Pippa O’Connor’s tiered netted dress in a blush hue racked up an impressive 17,000 likes from her die-hard legion of fashion fans.

Veja trainers

Meghan Markle is a fan – and evidently, so are Irish people. When uploaded to Brown Thomas’ social media, these sustainable runners were liked considerably more than the account’s other posts.

A pastel jumpsuit

Of fashion blogger Louise Cooney’s most recent posts, a pale blue strapless jumpsuit seemed to send hearts racing: over 7,000 hearts to be exact.

A sustainable festival look

Sustainably-focused vintage lover Sarah Hanrahan of I Come Undone keeps fashion fans on their toes with her charity shop and Depop finds. Case in point: this outfit for Body & Soul, which is one of her most-liked posts recently.

Tiger print

TV presenter Nadine Reid isn’t afraid to shy away from print or colour – and neither are her Instagram followers. This tutu and tiger combo racked up likes recently.

A plaid blazer

Irish model Kate Valk, a regular on ASOS, has the kind of wardrobe that anyone would love to shop through. This recent post, with 1,700 likes, seemed to go down particularly well.

Denim jorts

Jean shorts – but not of the hot pant variety – must be about to have a resurgence. When London-based Irish influencer Yasmine Chanel shared an image of them, it garnered almost 24,000 likes.

Blazer dresses

Model and blogger Louise O’Reilly posted this lilac and diamante guna, and people truly went wild for it. Over 3,300 likes say this style is going nowhere anytime soon.


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