There are exciting things happening in the fashion startup space. Technology is opening up new doors; doors to places that, just a few years ago, retailers could only dream of.
Advances in technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), 3D image rendering, visual search and QR codes have allowed for innovative startups to spring up and fill the gaps between what’s imaginable and what’s possible. And in doing so, they’re creating vast opportunities for fashion and beauty brands to boost sales, improve digital merchandising, enhance the retail experience, and connect more deeply with their customers.
Let’s take a look at five of the most exciting fashion startups to watch right now.
Some might argue that styling is an art. But others — like fashion startup, London based Intelistyle — would beg to differ. They’ve taken a mathematical approach to fashion styling, developing an AI engine that can tell you what will look good with what and offering shopping suggestions based on your existing wardrobe.
Though Intelistyle only hit the scene in 2017 it’s already generated plenty of interest, and this year was awarded a grant from Innovate UK, the British government’s innovation agency. “What makes us unique,” says the company, “is that we’re the only service that will style your own clothes instantly and for free whether you’re ready to buy or not, creating more opportunities for engagement and building valuable knowledge about what you like.” And with their AI-based service able to make accurate styling suggestions for consumers, Intelistyle hopes to disrupt the industry enough to become the “Spotify of fashion”.
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As every online retailer knows, images are everything when it comes to making sales. But producing detailed images of every product can be both time consuming and expensive. EverThread is a top fashion startup to watch because they’ve made the leap towards a solution: They’ve created technology that can dramatically improve online merchandising for retailers.
EverThread uses proprietary image-rendering software to create unlimited views of a product. That means for a single garment, a retailer can offer customers instant product customization, incorporating thousands of different colors, textures and finishes. In 2018, EverThread was chosen as a participant in the highly competitive New York Fashion Tech Lab, and Forbes reports that the company’s latest bridge round will bring their total funding to over $1 million.
Imagine if you could search for products without using words. If, instead, you could see a pair of shoes you love in a picture and click to find similar products online. Sound too good to be true? It’s not — welcome to the world of visual search.
Zurich-based fashion startup Fashwell is taking visual search to new heights, with 100% automatic results and no manual cropping required from the end user. For e-commerce retailers that means a better user experience, lower abandonment rates, and a reported 35% month-on-month growth in usage. Importantly, Fashwell’s technology creates an easy link between social media inspiration and a real-life shopping experience.
Headliner Labs must be doing something right. Not only has the company been recognized as one of the best fashion startups by the New York Fashion Tech Lab, but the company’s founder & CEO Caroline Klatt was recently listed by Forbes “30 under 30” in the category of Retail & E-Commerce. So what is the company all about?
Headliner Labs was born from the recognition that customer interaction is important for retailers. And that beyond the traditional channels there’s an opportunity to use chatbots, with AI and natural language processing, to connect instantly with customers. The fashion startup from NYC also offers a broadcasting service using Facebook messenger which reports 10 times higher open rates than email, and a retargeting service that captures 70% of abandoned carts without the need to collect email addresses or phone numbers from shoppers. Keep an eye on this one.
From sustainability to production quality, consumers have become more and more concerned about the origins of the products they buy. As one of the startup fashion brands to watch in 2018, BrightLabel presents a technology-driven solution for addressing this growing demand and fostering transparency between brands and consumers.
BrightLabel works by allowing customers to scan a code on a product and access in-depth product information including care instructions, allergy information, sustainability features — even a dynamic map of the product’s journey through the value chain. Digital labels can be multimedia rich, with images and videos as well as textual information.
In this way, BrightLabel allows brands to communicate detailed product stories and build stronger trust relationships with consumers.