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The Opportunity Of Being A Fashion Startup Today

Bora Kim

Fashion companies know what an insurmountable task it is to keep up with changing and capricious fashion trends. In fact, many brick-and-mortar retailers have had to close as they’ve lost sales to online fashion brandsConsumers are becoming increasingly accustomed to shopping online instead of physically going to stores to buy clothing. While the fashion world is trying to catch up and lead the digital world, a new ecosystem of fashion startups have carved a niche for themselves. So why is it that fashion startups have more opportunities now, than ever?

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  • Consumer centricity

Not only is it the right time for startups to blossom, but we are now in an era where brand loyalty is low and product demand is high. Modern consumers know exactly what they want and will not settle for less. They are providing more input into the design process. Through customizable designs and crowdsourcing, many startups are using technology to involve consumers in fashion product design. The consumer-driven demand creates a new opportunity for innovative designers and retailers who are adept with technology; this is how fashion startup companies can quickly leverage online innovations and maximize opportunities.

  • Knowledge is everywhere and shareable

New media and social networks are challenging the editorial voice of traditional print outlets and reshaping fashion media. Fashion trends are now covered on easily accessible new media outlets and shared on social networks. In fact, consumers increasingly trust reviews, blogs, and social networking more than traditional media. Startups no longer have to worry so much about using up a huge chunk of their budget on advertising.

  • Focus on sustainability

Some startups are rejecting the practice of over-producing garments and providing sustainable solutions instead. Across many product categories, both consumers and designers are increasingly interested in sustainably-sourced, sustainably- produced merchandise. The idea of conscious and ethical shopping is becoming more and more prevalent.

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  • Demand for on-trend and in-season merchandise

Today, the Internet has allowed anyone with a mobile device to have access to the most recent runway show images. As a result, consumers have adopted a “see now, buy now” mentality, preferring on-trend, in–season purchasing. Large corporates have longer processes due to their sizes. This is where fashion startups have the advantage to their large, corporate rivals. Fashion startups have the speed, price, and quality that they are able to deliver on demand.

  • Curated retailers

Have you ever heard of the paradox of choice? Ironically, while consumers cherish having options, they often get overwhelmed by choice. One has many factors to consider while making a decision to purchase. Research suggests that consumers are often offset by the increased effort to choose between too many options. Instead, when retailers are able to present a curated selection that is in tune with a consumer’s preferences, the customer will be happier with their experience and less likely to stray. One key takeaway that fashion startups might want to focus on is meeting the needs of their target market. By having a specific goal and agenda, fashion startups can enhance the customer’s experience by directing them to the right purchase.

Bora Kim

Graduate Student. Brand Enthusiast & Strategist.

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