Interview with Rob Kassner, founder of Hertaste com
Hertaste PR department: What is Hertaste?
Rob: Hertaste clues guys into the styles and fashions their specific 'type' of woman likes best. Unless a guy checks out a book written by a master pickup artist, he might not know that women actually position themselves at social gatherings to be more approachable to men they want to meet and less available to unappealing prospects. An attractive woman doesn't have time to get to know every guy in the room, so she needs ways to narrow down the selection from a distance, clothes are one of the few indicators she has. Guys often go home frustrated because they saw no good opportunities to strike up a conversation with a woman without ever realizing that the door was deliberately closed. Hertaste gives guys the keys to keeping these doors open.
Hertaste PR department: How exactly does a woman help a guy she's never met improve his sense of style? Doesn't she need to go shopping with him?
Rob: First, we are a referral-only network so in a lot of cases, a female panelist has met the guy in person. As for whether it's necessary to go shopping with a guy, of course this is ideal, but it's not really a practical solution to have ten women hanging around a guy while he tries on clothes. So the next best thing is having the guy choose products off the internet or from magazines that he finds interesting and double checking what kind of impression it would make on his panel.
Hertaste PR department: Why not have a guy go to the store and use a personal shopper or go online and use an online personal shopper?
Rob: Personal shoppers offer something very different than we do. When I've used personal shoppers, the only women who really liked the outfits were a lot like the personal shoppers themselves (European women in their 30s who liked fashion). The women I found attractive thought they were only 'ok.' Even when I described my type to these shoppers, their response was "it's not what anyone else thinks, it's what you like." If I'm going to drop hundreds or thousands of dollars on an outfit, it better look good to me and get me a few ego boosting glances from my target audience. I didn't use a shopper to just look 'ok.'
Hertaste PR department: Why would a woman want to join the Hertaste panel? What's in it for her?
Rob: With Hertaste, women have fun in a safe environment where they are valued for their opinions on topics that can be entertaining, provided certain lines are respected. He is only allowed to select a very small number of women for his panel so being selected means something. While our panelists receive no monetary compensation, guys can show their appreciation for her advice by donating to a charity she selects when she signs up.
Hertaste panelists enjoy exclusivity. Our panel is invitation only.
Hertaste PR department: Isn't a guy who would use this site a pathetic fraud of a man? Shouldn't a guy know this stuff without the help of women? I mean at least a guy whose mother dresses him isn't just asking random strangers for help.
Rob: I see it like this. After asking dozens of happily married women if their husbands had any sense of style when they first met, I have yet to find one who said yes. The same guy who proofreads his resume five times because he knows a typo makes a bad impression will leave the house wearing socks that are too short, utterly clueless that many women view this as a similar type of carelessness. If we coach men to accentuate who they are with clothing, there is no deception, we're just teaching them a language they were never taught. The way you look has a lot to do with the way people look at you.
Hertaste PR department: How do you know the women were happily married?
Rob: They looked happy, but I suppose you have a point, they might not be that happy.
Hertaste PR department: Why are you asking for photos? Are you some kind of pervert? Will you stick the women's heads on bodies of naked people with bad plastic surgery?
Rob: To get a guy to ask for help means giving him a reason to do it. Guys don't want to meet just any woman; they want to meet 'their type' of woman and looks play a big part. We're not looking for any specific type, but a woman has to be in a position where she is forced to be very selective about the men she invites to approach her.