Cloudinary Blog

How to manage images in a fashion website

Fashion outlets have evolved dramatically in the last decade. In the past, if you wanted to be on top of the latest fashion trends, you had to subscribe to all the latest magazines and every month wait for the mailman to drop them off. If you wanted to remember a certain outfit or designer, you could either dog ear the page ('bookmark') or cut out the model or design and literally pin it to your cork board.
 
Today, it's a whole new ball (game). After all, who would've thought that pinning things would become a term meant for virtual pinboards and the good old cork type would be long gone? 
 

Modern fashion websites (and apps)

Fashion is no longer just about glossy magazines, it's about websites, apps and virtual stores. These fashion sites are incredibly image rich and media packed. No longer will the common visitor be satisfied with one image per article. They now expect an image from every angle, the option to change colors, to see it on a model and on the rack, to turn it around 360 degrees and don't get me started on designing your own one-of-a-kind article. Every fashion website now also needs all these images adapted not only to your regular desktop computer, but also to smartphones and handheld devices and to look wonderful in each! Not stretched, not tiny, just right. 
 
These new demands from the fashion consumers require a better image infrastructure. The website developers now need more than just a CMS, and being able to support their images becomes a real issue now. Every image needs to be uploaded, normalized, retouched, watermarked, cropped to many different sizes and aspect ratios, fit all viewing devices at all angles, it's exhausting! These images also need to be optimized and available to users all over the world, quickly. After all, you don’t want your viewers to waste valuable time waiting for all these images to load.
 
That ends up being quite a headache for the developer, and this is where Cloudinary comes in. 
 
   

Image management done right

Whenever images are involved, Cloudinary can dramatically cut the development and IT time and save all the headaches. 
 
With Cloudinary you can easily upload images to the cloud. Automatically perform smart image resizing, cropping (including face detection based cropping), merging, overlay, watermark, apply effects, rotations, format conversions, without installing any complex software. Using Cloudinary you can now upload a single high resolution image and ask Cloudinary to automatically scale it down according to the medium used.
 
Consider for example the following sample dress images. These thumbnails were automatically generated by Cloudinary:
 
w_100
w_50,h_50,c_fill
e_hue:40
e_hue:100,e_brightness:30
a_20,e_hue:20
Watermark overlay
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
All your images are then seamlessly delivered through a fast CDN, optimized and using industry best practices. Cloudinary offers comprehensive APIs and administration capabilities and is easy to integrate with new and existing web and mobile applications. 
 

How might a fashion website benefit from Cloudinary? 

Take a classic photo laden fashion site. All the product photos need to be high end. By uploading these photos directly to Cloudinary, they are not only safely stored and backed up in the cloud, they are also ready to be transformed on the fly and placed seamlessly on the website exactly as the graphics designer intended.
 
Did the graphics designer envision a thumbnail of different aspect ratio than the original image? Just tell Cloudinary to crop it to the required aspect ratio. It's as simple as changing your image's URL. Want your brand's watermarked on all your photos? Cloudinary will easily add it for you.
 
What about the mobile version of your website? Cloudinary can resize all your images and reduce their quality just a notch so that your mobile users will get the best viewing experience possible and won’t waste precious bandwidth and time when browsing your online site. Same goes for your native apps, and this all happens on-the-fly.
 
Modern fashion sites offer a more social experience. Do you allow your users to upload and share their own images? These photos are uploaded in all sorts of types, different formats and sizes. Cloudinary will normalize all these images for you - same type, same dimensions, same effects. Cloudinary can even fetch your user's profile images from Facebook and Twitter. 
 
Now you can spend your time on your core proposition and avoid image-related headaches.
 

Who uses Cloudinary in the fashion world?

Below are a two examples of companies in the fashion vertical that use Cloudinary's expertise to create the best user experience possible: 
 
 
 
Stylight allows users to create their own mood boards with their own outfit photos, favourite songs, videos and items from a selection of over 500.000 products available on the site. Users can share their mood boards with others in the community and gain inspiration from other users.
Stylight is one of the first fashion communities to have a revenue model that works internationally. Stylight uses Cloudinary to manage all of their images.
 
 
oBaz (short for online bazaar) is an ecommerce and content platform where brands and bloggers can connect to help people discover new products, trends and sales. 
Fashion bloggers use oBaz as a simple platform to write about favorite trends and build a following from an engaged and relevant audience. Brands use oBaz for direct sales while gaining access to shoppers and influential bloggers.
oBaz's media rich website leverages Cloudinary for their image management.  
 

What now?

So what do you think? Worth a try? Head over to Cloudinary and sign up to our free plan. Within minutes you can get going!
 
Got other great uses for Cloudnary? We would love to hear your ideas in the comment thread below! 
 

Recent Blog Posts

Find images & videos with a robust new search engine

Great content is hard to come by. You can invest a lot of time and effort in building a great media library, but if content managers and editors can't quickly find what they need at the right time, it's almost useless (and frustrating). Good search capabilities allow you to provide them with a better experience: present relevant content or a well-organized catalog by a variety of criteria such as tags, folders, size, resolution, aspect ratio, faces, colors and many more.

Read more
Video at Large Scale - Contributions from the Developer Community

Video is an increasingly important component for websites - whether it’s to inform visitors, enhance user experience or support sales and marketing efforts. But delivering high-quality video at large scale can be quite a challenge. You need to consider encoding, format, bandwidth usage, delivery and the devices on which visitors may be watching the video, to name just a few concerns.

Read more

Image Optimization in WordPress

By Prosper Otemuyiwa
Image Optimization in WordPress

WordPress is the number one content management system (CMS) in use today, running approximately 27 percent of the entire internet. Several high-traffic websites run on WordPress, and many utilize media, such as images and videos, to attract users and meet their needs.

 

Read more

Build a Vue Watermarking App for your Image Gallery

By Christian Nwamba
Build a Vue Watermarking App for your Image Gallery

If you intend to build a photo gallery online, you have to seriously consider how to protect the images from users who are not buying them. While visitors need to see the picture before purchasing, there needs to be a way to ensure that even serious buyers are not tempted to use the images without agreeing to your license terms.

Read more

Should You Transform Images On Upload or On Demand?

By Christian Nwamba
Should You Transform Images On Upload or On Demand?

As a developer, you hope and anticipate that your website or mobile application will be accessed by different users on various devices. To improve the user-experience, irrespective of the viewing device, you need to make sure that each image adapts to different graphic layouts, device resolutions and other viewing requirements. For example, for an E-Commerce site, one image will be displayed on different pages — home page, product page, shopping cart and more — and will be viewed on a desktop, cellphone or a tablet. This means that you need to create numerous versions of every image and for a website with hundreds of images, manual manipulation is not scalable.

Read more
Introducing Website Speed Test: An Image Analysis Tool Integrated with WebPagetest

Because images dominate page weight, methodical image optimization can have a significant effect on conversions and user experience. And the performance tools you choose to use can have a powerful impact on how websites are built and maintained. One such popular open source tool is WebPagetest. It is designed to measure and analyze webpage performance, which is why Cloudinary chose to partner with our friends over there to launch Website Speed Test.

Read more