MySpace Launches Fashion Channel

NEW YORK MySpace is dressing up.

The popular social networking site today unveils the MySpace Fashion Channel, a sub-community similar in format to MySpace Music and MySpace Movies, which will allow users to connect with fashion brands, designers and celebrities.

The site, located at myspace.com/fashion, will feature video diaries of celebrities’ closets and “fashion lives” through a segment called “The Fit,” the first installment of which will focus on French indie girl-rockers The Plastiscines. Moving forward “The Fit” will turn its sartorial eye on actress Hilary Duff and Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz.

InStyle magazine has partnered with the site to provide updated news content to users via a streaming feed on the channel’s home page, branded as “InStyle News.” In addition, MySpace editors will highlight featured designers, profiles and fashion-related videos. First up for the highlighted designers will be little-known Belgian stitch-meister Christian Wijnants.

Users can also browse a collection of amateur and professional videos from the runway shows of their favorite designers. And if they’ve got what it takes, some users will be called out as an expert for their aggressive stylings by bloggers from “Who What Wear Daily” as part of the MySpace Muse feature.

And for marketers, the opportunities to reach out and touch consumers, and their pocketbooks, are even more explicit.

“If you’re an apparel or fashion marketer, MySpace Fashion will give you a focus group to test your product and receive feedback from your core user,” explained Todd Dufour, director of strategic partnerships at MySpace. “Additionally, it gives designers a direct line of communication to the consumer.”

According to Dufour, that direct line of communication is vitally important to fashion brands at a time when consumers crave a personal connection with designers and labels. “In this day and age, consumers aren’t purchasing clothes because they simply look good, but rather … from brands they can connect with,” added Dufour, “And they have an opportunity to do that on MySpace.”

The channel will start making its presence known during New York Fashion Week later this month, providing users with streaming video coverage and recaps of red carpets and parties throughout the city.

The new initiative further deepens the networking site’s interaction with the fashion community, and many designers and industry luminaries have already staked out their own profiles, in addition to advertising with the company.

Recent examples include Armani Exchange, Hollister, Bongo, Victoria’s Secret and Chip & Pepper, as well as industry personality Patricia Field and lensman Dave LaChapelle. Paris Hilton gave the site exclusive access to the launch of her fashion line at L.A. retailer Kitson, and designer Alexander McQueen used it to spread awareness about McQ, his diffusion line.