In an effort to highlight its e-commerce efforts, Pinterest brought its online trend boards to life, transferring style tips from the screen to the shelf at a popup event in New York yesterday. 

The display was part of an effort to promote the platform’s featured styles from its recently launched Pinterest Shop, a separate section of the site that features brands that offer shoppable products via “buyable pins.” Pinterest also used the vent to tout its new visual search capability, an offering that allows users to identify a product or find similar styles from a photo. Though fashion is the top category on Pinterest, it has continued to struggle to lure shoppers to actually make purchases on the app in spite of recent additions like the buy buttons and collaborations with brands like Kate Spade New York.

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The welcome screen of the Pinterest Shop.

Vikram Bhaskaran, Pinterest’s director of strategic partnerships and founder of the company’s New York office, said consumers are primarily using the app to identify “creative possibilities,” ranging from sartorial choices to bedroom decor and vacation destinations. The next step is to get them to actually buy stuff.

“People are using Pinterest as a shopping companion app,” Bhaskaran said. “We’re trying to make it frictionless and easy to do something that they’re doing organically.”

On the Pinterest Shop, featured top shops include luxury brands like Tory Burch, as well as retailers like Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s and Neiman Marcus. Though major brands are participating in the efforts, Forrester analyst Nate Elliot wrote in a January report that only half of top brands across all categories have branded Pinterest boards.

Bhaskaran conceded there is still a disconnect between luxury brands and Pinterest, noting that fashion has been traditionally slow to adopt to digital. Still, an increasing number of brands have taken to Instagram as their social media of choice to engage with shoppers.

Due to Pinterest’s aspirational nature, luxury brands were among the first to thrive on the platform when it first launched six years ago. However, shoppers tend to avoid making impulse purchases on high-end items, he said. As such, shoppers have tended to use Pinterest largely as a tool for spotting new styles and pinning prospective purchases.

“All of the data over the years has suggested that people like to use Pinterest to discover new products and decide on things to buy,” Sucharita Mulpuru, principle analyst at Forrester, told Glossy earlier this month. “The issue is that that Pinterest doesn’t always capture the sale. It doesn’t get credit for its role in the shopping ecosystem.”

Pinterest’s goal now is to couple discovery and shopping. Aimee Bidlack, Pinterest’s curation manager, works to pull styles and trends, drawing from popular pin boards and existing styles to make shoppable boards. “I wanted to pull together 10 trends that I could see on runways across fashion, home and beauty,” Bidlack, who oversaw content selection at the Shop-Up event, said. “They’re actually all pins trending on Pinterest that people are already engaging with.”

Here’s a look inside:

pin nails

A manicure stand allowed visitors to test out the latest metallic nail trend for fall.

pin boots

“Rockstar” booties were among the biggest style watch items

fall dress pin

Dresses represent 60 percent of purchases made in the Pinterest Shop.

pocket squares

Pinterest employees demonstrate how to fold a pocket square.


A stand highlighting the latest metallic trends.

dark lipstick

Dark lipstick was another prominent trend at the event.