The last quarter of 2011 brought more sales via mobile than computers. In a recent Ad Week article, the founders of Gilt Groupe said that on average, 30 percent of their consumers shop through mobile. So it’s no wonder that we’re seeing more, and more, fashion mobile apps emerging–and with good reason. People trust their phones now more than ever. Entrepreneurs are taking notice; with all of these web-based disruptive business models out there, why not do the same with apps? Seeing as it’s our job to look out for new web and mobile startups, we’ve done a lot of legwork and will admittingly say, we do have our favorites. Here are our top 5 fashion mobile apps to download.
Instagram might have some healthy competition. Meet Trendabl, the newly-launched mobile app that’s making quite the splash. Although it’s open to everyone, founder Jon Alagem wanted to keep the fashion community in mind; so rather than following friends, users follow brands, designers, and influencers. Jon says, “Fashion is a point of view, an expression and an inspiration–but most importantly it should be fun. We want to encourage conversation and the sharing of information in order to generate product awareness and to inspire those within the Trendabl community.”
How it works: snap a photo on your iPhone, edit your picture, post captions, tag your fashions, and then share it with the community. Trendabl also lets users tag their images, dividing them into separate searchable categories such as tops, dresses, pants, shoes, accessories, and more. A niched Instagram–what a fantastic idea! The only question now: is Trendabl worth $1 billion?
“Pinterest meets ShopStyle” is how Director of Business Development, Sarah Kunst, described Kaleidoscope to WWD. That’s right–a shoppable image app. The newly launched iPhone app (initially launched on Android) is a visually appealing, user-friendly way to shop the items you love and covet. “Shoppable street style” might be more accurate, and that’s why Details magazine wasted no time partnering with the app for Coachella 2012. Their online mag delivered a shoppable gallery in conjunction with Kaleidoscope, proving to startups everywhere that big brands need us just as much as we need them. If you’re into street style and want to immediately shop those trends, then this is a must-have app for you.
We love an online-offline hybrid business model–this is no secret. Reqoop does just that. It can also be defined as a Foursquare for fashion, but instead of earning badges you earn real rewards. Essentially, this is a window shopper’s best friend. How it works: go shopping, snap a photo of your favorite items in the store, tag the location, and share it with Reqoop users. Trending photos are curated to the main page, and the Shops section allows you to check out nearby boutiques and their most popular items. Although looks aren’t shoppable, they do encourage a little retail therapy at your local boutique. Keeping brick and mortar retail alive and well–always a lovable business model.
Poshmark launched December 6, 2011 and it shows no signs of slowing down. Launching with $3.5 million in Series A funding, Poshmark founders Tracy Sun and Manish Chandra have proved that they have a great startup in their hands. They were one of the first to revamp the “re-commerce” business model where users can shop and/or sell pre-owned apparel or accessories. So why solely a mobile app? Co-founder Manish told TWF back in January, “ When I first conceptualized the idea of doing this entire marketplace on the web back in 2009, the challenge I saw was that fashion is a very visual experience; so much is dependent upon the photography and the quality of the images that are created. Zooming forward to Fall 2010, the iPhone 4 was released into the market and brought with it two very important things: a great camera with great processing capabilities and a great screen—the images were gorgeous. The combination of these two technologies rejuvenated my interest in the original idea and it started to become reality.” What else makes this app one of our favorites? Posh Parties! Poshmark has made it fun to shop again with shopping shindigs such as “The Wild Things Party,” “Pretty in Pink Party,” and “Leather and Lace Party.” So whether you want to do a little consignment shopping, or want to sell some of your pre-worn apparel, Poshmark offers everyone a special shopping experience.
(Editor’s note: coincidentally, we just met with Tracy and Manish in person this afternoon and are going to their first Live from NYC Posh Party tonight at The Ace Hotel. We only have the best things to say about them–such smart and genuine people with great energy. We’re work-crushing hard over here. Go Poshmark!)
Another app we’re really crushing on is Luster. Sharing a lot of similarities with Reqoop, Luster is also based on an online-offline business model; go shopping, snap a photo of the apparel you’re “lusting” over, and tag away. This allows users to lust after the items then purchase them at their local boutique or department store. Another feature we love about this app is the profile page. You can view how many people have lusted over the items you’ve posted, the brands you lust the most, and the shops that you frequent. You can also search the hottest shops at the moment, trending items, and fashionable people like yourself. By far one of the most user-friendly social sharing apps we’ve seen yet.
We also have a few favorites whose launches we are eagerly awaiting: apps such as Dapprly and TRVST are going to be the male-targeted answer to shoppable fashion apps. Other apps that fashion insiders can’t live without are Milk’s Made app, and Fashion GPS’s Radar app; both increasing the accessibility of the fabulous world of fashion shows. For all of you iPad junkies, two must-have iPad apps are The Cut on the Runway and The New York Times’ The Collection app– both giving you visual access to every major fashion show across the world.
Thanks to all of these remarkable new apps, shopping is now made easier–and more exciting. The advantages of building your startup on a mobile app versus the web are actually increasing with every new technological development that’s made; easier image uploading, more in-depth personalization features, and the wonder of immediacy. These are empirical perks in making your startup a mobile app vs. a website, and we’re looking forward to seeing new disruptive business models emerge as consumers continue to shop via mobile.
Third Wave Fashion has been your fashion tech think tank since 2011. We publish the first ever printed fashion tech magazine, Third Wave. Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest in fashion tech + wearables.