We had our first-ever TWF Demo Day last week–and it was a total smash!
We met eight amazing companies, and left the office buzzing from all of the inspiration and innovation. We thought that you, too, should have the opportunity to get to know these companies. So without further adieu, meet the first round of Demo Day:
Topstyletv is a fashion entertainment site that caters to women of color. The site features hair, fashion, and makeup tutorials, as well as quick interviews with up-and-coming fashion designers. Founder Stacy Short has a background in TV production, so it’s no surprise that Topstyletv has a heavy focus on video. They create all of their own original content, and have plans to make it possible to shop the videos, such as the products in the hair tutorials. Keep an eye out, they’ll be launching soon!
The name Boupp is a hybrid of the words “boutique” and “group,” a super fitting name, as that’s what Boupp has been created to do–give group-buying power to boutiques! Founder Parisa Arash has a background in business and finance, and was inspired by the uneven playing field she saw in regard to the high prices small boutiques are forced to pay when placing retail orders, versus the discounts that giant retailers enjoy. The goal is to create a large network of boutiques, aggregate the orders, and transmit one consolidated order–making it possible for boutiques to get the orders they want while being able to access the discount. Genius!
Trendseeder’s tag line is awesome: “Don’t follow trends, launch them.” The site focuses on giving up-and-coming designers the opportunity to sell to consumers who are searching for exclusive, couture pieces. The emerging-designer focus is close to the heart of co-founder Avani Patel, as she launched her own line several years ago. Together, she and her brother, Vik Patel, are giving these designers the chance to create what they call “proof of concept;” the opportunity to put numbers behind their designs in order to make them more appealing to big retailers. A distinguishing feature of the site is the Style Board, which is a group of industry insiders who help curate the site by reviewing and selecting the best designs to make available–a new item is featured every week. To top it all off, we love their sleek branding!
Ausmode’s founder, Lisa Smith, has a background in fashion, beauty, and luxury PR–even previously owning her own firm–so it’s only natural that her site would be so beautifully positioned. Ausmode feautures solely Australian luxury brands, and its goal is to spread the word of the wealth of fashion innovation happening in the Australian fashion scene (although Lisa is looking to expand to include some US brands). It’s a wonderfully edited array of unique and intriguing pieces accompanied by a deeply editorial blog.
Liz & Ett
We were immediately touched by Liz Emery of Liz & Ett‘s story–after her grandmother Nanny (who was nicknamed “Ett”) suffered a stroke, Liz left medical school to become Nanny’s caregiver. It broke her heart to see her stylish and elegant grandmother forced to wear the dull and nondescript adult bibs, with no other evident options. In honor of her Nanny, Liz created the Smockfrock, a “chic and dignified alternative to the adult bib.” She brought samples with her to our office, and we can vouch that not only are the smocks functional, they are beautiful, and truly resemble stylish dresses! Liz also sells matching totes–and hope, really. Knowing that your loved one feels the best they possibly can, when you feel helpless in mostly every other way, is truly priceless. An incredible business!
BFF stands for “Best Fashion Friend”–and this app truly is. The idea was hatched while founder Ricardo Cuervo “helped” his wife shop. She would try things on, ask him questions, he would be clueless, and she would become frustrated at his lack of help. Ricardo saw the need for having a direct link to your “best fashion friends” while shopping, or even just getting ready for a night out. Enter: BFF. The app lets the user share outfit ideas (either “inspiration buys” or real pieces from her closet) with her friends, and even allows the friend to visually re-style the outfit and send the new option back. The app is super easy to use and visually awesome.
Based on the idea that “fashion shouldn’t be a luxury, and quality shouldn’t be a privilege,” founder Jaclyn Siu created Wearhou.se. It’s a social discovery mobile app that gives users their own “pocket stylist.” The app provides outfit inspiration according to your personal style, budget, or even the event you’re attending. It even learns your specific style preferences over time, which we totally love. Watch the app store–Wearhou.se is launching soon!
Meet your new Sock Conoisseur. Their mission? To update the current state of the sock drawer. Zoraab is an ecommerce site for socks–but not just any old pair of socks. Their selection is curated by founders Sunny Israni and Tina Israni (a brother and sister team) and ranges from fashion to dress to athletic, for both men and women. Their branding is witty and fun, and brings a fresh appeal to an area of apparel that can be sort of stale. (Pun sort of intended.) They also incorporate a social responsibility component with their Socks for the Sole programming, donating 50 pairs, of every 500 pairs sold, to charity. Way to go guys!
What an awesome first round of startups! We’re so grateful we got to meet these incredible entrepreneurs.
Our next Demo Day is Thursday, August 16–make sure to sign up!
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.
Featured image via by Paige Hogan, TWF’s Graphic Design & Visual Media Intern.