“I’m no editor, no artisan, no expert. And certainly no arbiter of what you should buy, wear, or eat,” writes Blake Lively as the editor of her new artisan Web site Preserve, in which she tries to guide people on what they should buy, eat and wear.
But such is life as the actress behind a lifestyle Web site — Preserve, cultivated by Lively, is the newest one, joining established outlets such as Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop and Lauren Conrad’s The Little Market. It launched Tuesday and already has garnered a hefty amount of skepticism.
Lively, 26, best known for her roles on CW’s “Gossip Girl” and the “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” movies, offers lots of gems in her “letter from the editor.” This includes:“We haven’t looked at Preserve as a new website, but rather as a new street. A sort of greatest hits of “Main Street, USA.’” She signs off using the phrase ” With excitement and sincerity, Blake.”
The site, which promotes “one-of-a-kind” handmade products, echoes the same breezy, earnest, yet oblivious conversational style as Paltrow’s much-mocked Goop, the mother of all of these sites. So we decided to compare and contrast based on a number of very important “lifestyle site” factors.
Preserve: The Cut may have described it best: “It looks like a promotional website for a horror movie in 2005,” the site said, noting the “eerily backlit photo of an ethereal, blonde lady-ghost.” (See above.) Plus, the black background with white text may make a strong style statement, but it’s not so easy to read.
Goop: Much cleaner, very simple.
Preserve: “Everyone has a story to tell.”
Goop: “To share all of life’s positives.”
Grasp of reality
Preserve: Profiles artists who go on five-week creative sabbaticals, features independent videos that talk about dreams.
Goop: Sells thousand-dollar shot glasses, $79 socks, $110 “exclusive monogrammable single beach racquets.”
The “Shopping” Tab
Perserve: Offers everything from ketchup to hot fudge to organic rose gold hoop earrings. If you go the food route, definitely affordable.
Goop: Fancy clothes to designer skin care products, most at sums that many people cannot afford.
Preserve: Aside from the vaguely horror-film images, a lot of the pictures are pretty stunning.
Goop: Mainly just well-photographed designer items.
Preserve: Offers “delights and dalliances of the American summer barbecue” with a recipe of BBQ chicken legs. Mostly there are just photos of picnics.
Goop: Also solid food photography, and recipes galore, from English muffins to Pappardelle Duck Ragu.
Preserve: Has an entire section about “The Greater Good” and details about partnering with Covenant House, which helps homeless youths.
Goop: Lengthy section called “Goop Giving” with links to the various charities that the site supports, mostly about helping kids in schools.
Opportunity for starring roles
Preserve: Lively will reportedly take part in videos on the site and has a chance to blog.
Goop: Paltrow has many journal entries already, including the famous “conscious uncoupling” post when she announced her split from Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.