For the first time ever, e-commerce sales are growing faster than offline retail. Since the major success of companies like Net-A-Porter and Gilt, the world of online fashion is changing dramatically. Below are five of the coolest fashion startups right now.
Snapette is the first location-based mobile shopping app. It has partnered with stores like Isabel Marant, Marc Jacobs, and Elizabeth and James all to help users discover and share nearby fashion.
Unlike some fashion startups, Snapette doesn’t lead consumers away from brick and mortar stores, but instead drives traffic to them by giving stores a real-time marketing platform to reach potential customers.
Snapette has found a niche we didn’t know we needed, but can’t live without. Hollywood up-and-comer Emma Roberts just signed on to be Snapette’s new fashion advisor.
Problem: You’re scrolling through Tumblr and stumble across the coolest tank top. You desperately want to know where it’s from. You Google it, maybe you even poke around Polyvore, but purchasing the elusive tank is virtually impossible.
Solution: Wanelo (Want, Need, Love). Founded in 2010, Wanelo is a social commerce purely focused on products. The New York Times broke it down perfectly: “clicking on an image takes you directly to the place where it’s available for sale—not another blog, image site, or Pinterest post.” Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Our days of tank top chasing are over.
3. Nasty Gal
Nasty Gal was founded in 2006, so some may argue that it isn’t exactly a startup anymore. However, given its inspiring story and rise to popularity, I couldn’t help but include it. Based in LA, Nasty Gal is an online store that features new and vintage clothing and accessories.
It all started when Sophia Amoruso opened an eBay store and started scouting, selling, and shipping vintage pieces all on her own. Nasty Gal’s first headquarters was Amoruso’s apartment and her first employees were helpful friends. Since its humble beginnings, Nasty Gal has grown over 500 percent each year and has over 300,000 customers worldwide.
4. The Fancy
Launched in 2009 by Joseph Einhorn, The Fancy is like a shoppable version of Pinterest, but sexier. In addition to apparel and accessories, the site features big ticket items like designer surfboards, luxury hotels, and in-home virtual golf simulators. Scroll through it like a Tumblr, but relax knowing that you’re only a click away from putting the fantasy item in your shopping cart.
Its sleek user experience, partnerships with high-fashion brands, and monthly The Fancy Box (think Birchbox) set The Fancy apart from the crowd. Impulsive online shoppers: consider this a warning, because if you’re not careful a Mongolian lamb pillow cover could be on its way to your doorstep sooner than you think.
5. Moda Operandi
When it launched in 2011, Moda Operandi made a splash in the fashion e-commerce world with its unique business model. The luxury retailer lets customers pre-order high end items directly after runway shows. In the past, the path from runway to your closet took much longer, but Moda Operandi works directly with the industry’s best designers.
Most recently, Moda Operandi brought its business model to the Met Ball. Besides being the premier sponsor, the site partnered with a select collection of designers to make their dresses available on the site the following day.
What are some other fashion startups you’re following? Share with us in the comments!
Ask Levo Mentor Maggy Schultz, Founder of ecommerce retailer Maggy Frances, how she got into the fashion startup world!