Make it Work
New online fashion platforms empower consumers with the tools to be designers
Style / 11 Apr 2012
For years, marketers have been using customization features to bait consumers. From selecting the color palette on a pair of trainers to creating the most toothsome blend of grains for one’s morning cereal bowl, the ability to develop a unique personal product remains a compelling ploy. Lately, several fashion startups are taking that concept one step further by letting consumers assume roles that essentially position them as designers.
Often, big brands don’t know how to keep the social media conversation going. Stylyt is a collaborative fashion design and e-commerce site that offers a way to keep consumers engaged beyond the ‘like’ or ‘follow.’ Stylyt partners with brands to put their designs, or “silhouettes,” on a platform that lets style-obsessed Gen Ys create new iterations by changing colors and fabric with a simple drag-and-drop tool. Designs are voted on by community members, with the creators of top ranking items receiving free stuff and online fame. Styles that amass the most votes go into production, allowing amateur designers without a Parsons degree to nab actual fashion credits.
Cut On Your Bias:
Imagine if more fashion designers focus-grouped clothing before it was produced. The sale racks would probably be lacking, but manufacturing costs would decrease. Cut On Your Bias is a startup that’s providing fashion and home goods designers with a platform to seek consumer input during product development. Participating designers—the current roster includes Hyden Yoo and BHON—post options such as fabric, color and silhouette, after which consumers vote on their favorite combinations over the course of a week. The following week, the winning style is made available for purchase and, just eight weeks later, the finished product is delivered to shoppers, several of whom will have had a proud hand in its conception.
Most women have almost-but-not-quite-perfect clothing that they bought with the intention of taking it to the tailor. Rarely do these sartorial nips and tucks actually happen, however. Zoora, a new startup in beta, aims to resolve the dilemma of ill-fitting fashion by allowing women to co-create their ideal garments alongside a hand-selected team of indie designers. After joining the Zoora community, members can shop by style or by designer. Once they select an item, they can choose the color, fabrication, detailing, hemline, sleeve, and neckline. Though each piece is available in standard sizes, those who want a Savile Row-inspired shopping experience have the option to order made-to-measure for the most flattering fit.
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