"[The collaboration] gets us into the mix where these girls live: online and mobile," Amy Avitabile, senior vice president of marketing for Lord & Taylor, told WWD. "Who wants to show up to prom and see another girl in the same dress?"
In the event that your best friend has already snagged your dream dress (the horror!), the program, found at http://fashism.com/gotdibs, also provides customers with recommendations from L&T based on their ideal style, length and fabric.
It can also search the store's inventory for dresses that have yet to be claimed by someone from the user's school. Since launching in March, about 200 girls have posted dresses to the site, according to a spokesperson for Fashism.
Stores such as Cache have long kept lists of which dresses have been purchased by shoppers from certain schools, but the advent of social media has made the process nearly foolproof. Fashism's program, for instance, allows users to log in through Facebook, giving them instant, easy access to information from their classmates.
"It's a modern approach to a changing market place," Avitabile said.