Refinery29 Launches R29 Shops—Will the Rest Of Fashion Media Follow?

Refinery29 Launches R29 Shops—Will the Rest Of Fashion Media Follow?

Things, they are a'changing.

Refinery29, the uber popular fashion-gone-lifestyle site, launched R29 Shops, a new e-commerce feature, this morning. Basically, all of the amazing wears you lust after in the site's editorial slideshows are now curated in exclusive shops, ready for purchase.

Designers featured in this new marketplace include Norma Kamali, Steven Alan, and Dolce Vita. Staying true to R29's editorial origin, the products are organized in Gilt-like trend and designer boutiques.

While R29 Shops is definitely unique, it's not necessarily new. PopSugar, which owns shopping aggregator Shopstyle, recently added a retail feature to its editorial site. Traditional publishing houses, including Conde Nast and Hearst, have also rolled out shopping partnerships over the past few years for magazine sites such as Glamour, Lucky, Esquire, and GQ.

The shopping-edit divide becomes even more muddled when looking at online retailers such as Net-a-Porter and Gilt, who have been aggressively hiring magazine and web editors and launching their own editorial content.

Still, R29 Shops is the first indie fashion blog to go all the way—all the way towards e-commerce, that is.

All of this business talk leaves this journalism school graduate wondering—is business-driven journalism still journalism? Can the reader trust what editorial content is presented on a site that also makes a profit off of what they are talking about? Or, does it make their coverage even stronger, knowing that the items they are selling are selectively edited to be there?
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