Fashion models who appear on online shopping sites get a lot less attention than their counterparts on the runway and in print. Industry and magazine models are chosen to represent well-known brands; there’s a sense of distinction to be had in saying you were on the cover of Vogue and walked the runway for Gucci, and you can pose confidently knowing that eyes go to you first and the product second.

Models on online shops, however, are seen by designers as nothing more than fleshy mannequins, employed to make their clothes look good.

But no longer! Now there is a Japanese website that shines the spotlight on internet retail fashion models, proving to the world that they’re more than just another pretty .jpeg!

The site is called Raku-mo, a portmanteau of Rakuten, the internet retail website where the models can be found, and the first two letters of “model.”

Rakuten is Japan’s largest e-commerce site and can be compared to Amazon, but doing so would be like picking a fight with some people.

Amazon is like a huge catalog of products, with some products being sold by multiple vendors including Amazon itself. This means that vendors must not only compete with each other, but Amazon as well.

Rakuten is more like a marketplace—in fact, that’s what it’s called in Japanese: Rakuten Ichiba, or Rakuten Marketplace. Instead of keeping a warehouse and selling to buyers directly, Rakuten offers merchants a platform to build and manage their own online shop and connect with customers as they see fit.

Rakuten is now home to around 38,500 sellers, including a number of small fashion retailers and independent designers. Because stores are competing in not just price but the quality and attractiveness of their clothes, Rakuten merchants must also market their own product, which usually means hiring a model.

And so we return to Raku-mo, a site that scans the scans Rakuten for fashion shops, uses facial recognition technology to pick out the pictures of pretty girls, and lumps together on one website for users to rate, tag, and, since this is the internet, leave nasty, sexist comments about.

Here’s how it works!

▼On the left side of the screen you’ll see a bar with the following categories:

▼Choose your category and you’ll be presented with a list of models advertising products from across Rakuten. Let’s take a look at the most popular models…

▼And click on a model that catches your eye:

▼Here you can get a closer shot of the model, view her details, rate her on a five-star scale and leave insightful and though-provoking comments:

You can also add tags, the most popular of which are displayed in a box below the categories on the left side of the page.

In case you were wondering, some of most popular categories right now are: erotic (エロい), cute (カワイイ), foreigner (外人), and cleavage (谷間).

Happy clicking!

Source: Gigazine, Raku-mo