In “Avatar,” she was the fearless, blueberry-hued heroine whose intensity captured our attention. Now Zoe Saldana is bringing that same passion to style.
The accomplished actress has teamed up with her fiancé, former model Keith Britton, to help bring order to the glamorous, envy-inducing mess that is often the fashion world.
The couple’s new website, My Fashion Database (MyFDB.com), aims to be to fashion what IMDb is to entertainment, organizing the sometimes chaotic universe of models, photographers, designers and brands into a user-friendly resource. Before MyFDB, there was no central online database tracking the industry’s movers and shakers — a lack that insiders, fashion fans and even Saldana found confusing.
"There were times when [my fiancé and I] were frustrated to know which photographer was shooting [us] that day,” the actress told TODAY.com. “In Hollywood, I can’t live without IMDb; thirty minutes before I go out to meet a director, I look up what studios he’s worked with, what movie he wrote … I wanted to do the same for fashion. “
MyFDB users can search through ad campaigns, magazine photo spreads, professional profiles and other information about more than 5,000 brands, 60,000 industry workers and 60 different job titles. “People forget that there’s a lot of effort that takes place in the fashion industry,” said Saldana. “There are a lot of people that come together to build a brand, campaign editorial or fashion spread.”
More than just a useful contact or crediting tool, MyFDB even enables users to shop the looks (just hover over an image and you’ll discover the products’ name, price and website). And in coming months, Saldana intends to add a vintage section that will play homage to iconic images and famous campaigns of yore.
For Saldana, whose mother and grandmother were seamstresses, enthusiasm for style is only natural — it’s in her blood, her city. As a native New Yorker, Saldana recalls growing up surrounded by copies of Vogue or Vanity Fair, inspiring her to design a clothing line with her sisters as a child. “If I’m going to do something, it’s full-on,” she said.
The actress and her fiancé hope their growing database will provide one-stop shopping for fashion fans – and that it might just curb the plethora of stolen images all over fashion blogs. Though incredibly supportive of designers and labels, the online fashion community has rarely offered proper credits.
“When you do a Google search for Calvin Klein or Gucci, you get all those Tumblrs just copying all those images,” Britton explained. “We need less images — and more credits.”
So far, the fashion community’s response has been “very positive,” Saldana told TODAY.com; plenty of luxury fashion houses have voluntarily added credits and uploaded their materials.
“Hair and makeup professionals are over the moon,” Britton added. “It’s become a staple overnight.”
“MyFDB has quickly become my go-to site," said Valerie Boster, an editor at Vogue magazine. "It is an index and news resource in one click.”
Just don’t call them a Facebook for fashion: Britton was adamant that MyFDB.com stay far away from being a social network. And while he has traded the glitz of the runway for the ever-growing startup industry, he certainly doesn’t mind the change. “Someone recently called us fashion nerds,” Britton said. “We embrace it, like ‘Yeah, we’re really geeky about it!’”
Saldana, who admits to spending countless late-night hours on Wikipedia and Wikileaks, enthusiastically agrees. “We’re such nerds!”
And how will the average man on the street use MyFDB? “When someone sees something, but wishes they could know more,” Britton said. “I remember its Calvin Klein, but who’s that girl in the billboard?”