“That shit cray.”
Yes, this Kanye West lyric was mentioned Monday night at Future of Fashion: Emerging Startup Series, the first event in an ongoing series launched by Projective Space and Fashion Digital Daily. It’s a suitable quote for the night, where we learned about some great fashion tech startups in the space. That shit is cray. In a good way, of course.
Five companies participated in the event, where they were each given five minutes to present their products and business models. The best part is, a panel of awesome expert judges gave some inspired feedback to each startup. The panel included Faran Krentcil (Digital Director at Nylon Magazine), Christina Rinaldi (Creative Director at Prima Creative), and Steve Schlafman (Principal at Lerer Ventures).
Here’s a rundown of the presentations:
Listly- presented by founder, Ryan Hefner
On Listly, the user can create multiple themed lists of items they find online that they want (either to buy for themselves or as a gift wish list). She can share the wish list with family and friends through Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr–or, via the old school route and simply email the list. If the user receives something from a list as a gift, she can send a thank you note through Listly. Hefner described the site as more practical than aspirational. This differentiates it from Pinterest, another social curation site you may have heard of (ha).
Kaleidoscope- presented by Director of Business Development, Sarah Kunst
Kunst started out by describing the app as “Pinterest meets Shopstyle.” The app takes street-style photos and makes the looks shoppable. For example, if you see a look on Miranda Kerr and want to shop for a bag similar to hers, Kaleidoscope gives you affordable options. The app is free for iPhone and Android, and now there’s also a desktop version!
The Cools- presented by VP of Product, Colyn Montgomery
The Cools is a social marketplace that is tailored to style and empowers smaller companies to create a story. The user uploads five images that represent her style, and the site connects her with people and small businesses that match her style. Montgomery mentioned that the site curates a mixture of content and products that each individual finds cool, so the site can never become oversaturated.
Bespoke Post- presented by co-founder, Rishi Prabhu
Men’s e-commerce is booming and, according to Prabhu, men spent over $80 billion on e-commerce last year. Subscription commerce sites have been popping up all over, but there haven’t been any for men. Enter Bespoke Post. Users can choose from limited-edition boxes each month. A $45 “box of awesome” contains curated items from a variety of cool brands, with a total worth of at least $60+. When talking about the site’s growth, Prabhu quoted Kanye West with a hilarious “That shit cray.” The presentation concluded with a surprise–Prabhu announced that he was giving away a limited edition “box of awesome” to whoever could do the best moonwalk. Someone immediately jumped out of his seat and showed off his moonwalk down the aisle. If they had only had a box for women, you can bet we would have been dancing, too!
Carrie Hammer-presented by founder, Carrie Hammer
Hammer’s site solves the age-old problem of finding the right fit. The answer is custom made-to-measure clothing! Women can order custom-made, professional dresses from one of 10 designs. The user can either measure herself at home with guided videos, or if she is in NYC she can meet with Carrie herself. Each dress is $295; a relative steal for custom clothing.
The panel of experts gave some awesome insights that could apply to any fashion tech business. Here are some key points made last night:
“Stop listening to the numbers and articles around you. You have to love what you are creating.” –Faran Krentcil
“Make an investment in creative because it’s your first impression to your customer.” – Christina Rinaldi
“Content and commerce are coming together. If you don’t see it, you’ll be left in the dust.” –Steve Schlafman
Allison Mariotti is an Editorial & Research Intern at TWF.
Featured image by Paige Hogan.