Apparel Search Interview with Myself : September 2008

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Here is an interview I have conducted with myself...

What is Apparel Search?

Apparel Search is a directory for the fashion industry.   The site now has a search function, but it is still primarily a directory and not a search engine.  This website covers all aspects of the apparel industry from fiber to fashion.

So, why do you have the word "search" in the company name and not "directory"?

Well, good question.  Not really sure.  Back in the late 90's when I started to develop Apparel Search, the word search was a rather large buzz word associated with the internet.  Although I did not actually develop my own search engine, as a directory site would help people that were "searching" for apparel relevant issues.  So even though viewers were not able to use a search function back then, they were in fact "searching" for information.  Hence, the words Apparel + Search did have relevance to the purpose of the website.

Does the Apparel Search website actually search the internet?

Actually, the site does have a search engine feature.  HOWEVER, the engine is currently set to only search the websites that are owned by the Apparel Search Company.  The engine is not set to search the entire internet. 

When using the search engine, to find information on the Apparel Search Company websites, are the results accurate.

I believe that the results are quite good.  However, just like any search system, the results are not perfect.  Although we currently use a very good search technology, I am not certain that the engine actually catches every single page that we own.  In the past, I have personally searched for a clothing company that I know is listed on Apparel Search, but had difficulty finding the companies listing when using the primary engine (so I turned to the directory method and found the company with ease).  In all honesty, I am not certain why the results are not absolutely perfect.  Maybe it is because we live in an un-perfect world...  Anyway, we will continue to attempt to provide you the best possible results.  Although not infallible, the engine is a very good starting point if you are looking for something on our websites. 

If you wish to search the entire internet, you can utilize the search engine at the Clothing B2B website (another website that we own).  The search technology at the clothing b2b site is currently set to scour the entire universe of fashion.

When you stated that the search function on will only search Apparel Search Company owned websites and that there are many of them.  I am curious about what all of those site are, could you name them all? 

You can find many of them at the Apparel Search Company Websites page. 

You have been known to state that the Apparel Search website is the best fashion website in the world.  Do you truly believe that?

Do you mean the "entire" world?  Or the imaginary fashion world that I circulate in...  In my little world, yes Apparel Search is clearly the best fashion site in the universe.  However, in the real world, maybe it is second, or third, or fourth, or well you get the point.  The reality is that there is no voting committee, so I am uncertain as to where Apparel Search would officially rank.  I can say that the site has many excellent features as well as features that some may feel are in need of improvement.  That is precisely why welcomes feedback and offers many opportunities for contributors to add their company, advise us of broken links,  add fashion news, add fashion profile, etc.

Is Apparel Search your favorite fashion website?

Yes, the Apparel Search website is my favorite.  However, the Fashion Industry Network has become a very close second.

What is the Fashion Industry Network?

I am very glad that you have asked that question.  The Fashion Industry Network, is a website designed for members of the fashion industry to communicate with one another.  This fashion network should not be confused with a "social" network.  Although our fashion savvy members communicate sociably, the site is technically a "business" network.  Our fashion directory site (Apparel Search) is a great resource for finding clothing manufactures, fashion wholesalers, clothing stores, etc., but the Fashion Industry Network provides access to personal communication.  The network helps its members by giving them a network to truly learn from about the different segments of the industry, via a question and answer process.  In my opinion, the ability to ask questions is an integral part of education.  For example, you can read about fabric testing procedures in the quality testing section of Apparel Search but you may not gain a true understanding of it.  On a member can communicate their questions directly with another member who has direct experience regarding the subject of testing fabrics.  For on this fashion networking site, members are free to ask questions to one another.  If a fashion industry member has questions regarding how to manage stock levels in a fashion boutique, they can actually reach out to colleagues in that area of the industry by going to the retailer group and posting  their questions.  Answers are as authentic as our members.

I have noticed that some members of the Fashion Industry Network, are not actually working in the fashion industry.  Why is that?

When I first launched the fashion industry network the intention was to only allow members that currently work in the fashion industry.  The problem with this decision is that I had difficulty saying "no".  When people took the time to create a very complete profile indicating that they had a strong interest in fashion it was very difficult for me to slam the door in their face.  In addition, I started to notice that fashion students wanted to join. In theory, as students they are not technically in the industry yet.  But because they are intending to join the industry, I clearly would feel like a jerk telling them that they could not join.  Furthermore, potential members indicated that they do not currently work in the industry, but wanted suggestions on how to enter the industry.  Again, it was difficult to simply ban them from the system.  Anyway, to make a long story short, I made the decision to allow people that do not work in the fashion industry to join the fashion industry network.  However, I still try to maintain an iron fist regarding members that sign up but do not appear to have a true interest in fashion.  If someone does not write a good profile or appears to be on the site for the wrong reason, I do not feel guilty at all banning them from the network.  Also, I very much want other members to take an active role in the membership selection.  If other members think that a particular member does not belong, I definitely listen to suggestions on who to ban.

Thank you for taking the time for this interview.

My pleasure.

By the way, if you think that it is strange of me to interview myself (talk to myself), you are probably correct.  However, you should have noticed long ago that the fashion industry is full of crazy people...

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