It’s FashionWeek! Here’s a Guide to 20 Hot Fashion Startups

September 6, 2012

1:00 pm

FashionWeek kicks off today, with top designers showing off their collections on New York City runways.

I’ve gotten pitches about how technological FashionWeek is becoming – with embeddable video streams, barcoded guest lists, and GPS mapping – but the real story is the guests who weren’t invited: all the entrepreneurs who are trying to overturn, disrupt, and shake up that huge industry. Below, we list some of the innovators who are helping you find the best fashion, in your size, with your own personal touch.

Curation: Find Cool Outfits

  • Uncovet: A marketplace for fashion and decor based on your personal “style graph.” Cofounder Heather Lipner, formerly of MySpace, works with her team to monitor the pulse of fashion all over the Internet and serve up the latest styles from new designers, vintage retailers, and high-end brands.
  • Of a Kind: A selection of unique pieces from up-and-coming designers. They add a personal touch by focusing on the designers’ stories.
  • Fabricly: Also focusing on up-and-coming and off-the-radar designers, Fabricly helps them with the process of making samples, sourcing materials, and producing.
  • BeachMint: A gaggle of celebrity-inspired shopping sites: JewelMint for jewelry, in the style of Kate Bosworth and Cher Coulter; StyleMint for t-shirts, in the style of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen; ShoeMint for shoes, in the style of Rachel Bilson and Nicole Chavez; and more.
  • TheCools: Like Netflix for fashion. You answer a few questions about your taste, give a thumbs up to some to-die-for pieces, and get customized recommendations for new clothes to lust after.
  • JustFab: Continually updated fashion picked by celebrities and stylists, shipped to your door monthly. You can also buy à la carte. The focus is new, new, new.
  • Baazart: An iPad app where you are the curator: you create your own collections like boho or “night on the town” by pulling the latest looks from Pinterest.
  • Style for Hire: Cofounded by Stacy London of What Not to Wear, this hands-on startup has stylists who can help you shop for a new wardrobe, or mix and match the one you have.
  • Trunk Club: For the stylish man, Trunk Club sends you a trunkful of clothes and accessories to choose from, picked by a personal stylist.

Fit: Get the Right Size

  • Styku: A body scanner that creates a 3D model of your body so you can try on clothes virtually, in stores or online. Uses Microsoft Kinect technology.
  • Bodymetrics: The same idea as Styku, but it hooks up to your TV instead of your PC or Xbox.
  • UPcload: A body scanner that uses your webcam. Used in online stores like Otto and several other German sites, it predicts whether the clothes you’re browsing will be tight, loose, or baggy.
  • ClothesHorse: Recommends sizes and predicts fit for you based on a questionnaire. Used in online stores like Bonobos and Frank and Oak.
  • ZipFit.me: A men’s jeans seller that finds the right fit based on the size of your torso, thighs, calves, and “arse” (small to large) and whether you want snug or loose pants.
  • Fits.me: A virtual fitting room for online stores where you input your measurements and see how the clothes will look. Used on sites like the UK’s Barbour by Mail.

Customization: Design Your Own

  • Made to Fit Me: A British startup based in China (the home of silk) that lets you customize their featured dresses with different fabrics, collars, and necklines.
  • Blank Label: A men’s dress shirt seller that lets you pick your fabric, collar, and monogram.
  • Getwear: Specializing in jeans, they offer choices for fit, zipper, fading, embroidery, buttons, you name it.
  • Zoora: A site with handpicked styles from independent designers. You can choose custom colors, fabrics, hemlines, or detailing.
  • UnitedStyles: An online tool for designing literally any type of clothing you want, with whatever colors or prints you want. Then you can get it printed and shipped to you.

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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