Olapic Raises $15 Million to Help Fashion Brands Harness Customers' Instagrams

Meet the startup that made all those #MyCalvins posts shoppable.
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Eliza Brooke
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Meet the startup that made all those #MyCalvins posts shoppable.
Calvin Klein's #MyCalvins gallery. Photo: www.calvinklein.com

Calvin Klein's #MyCalvins gallery. Photo: www.calvinklein.com

Surely, if you follow fashion people in any capacity on Instagram, you've seen at least a few photos of people in their Calvin Klein undies and sports bras, tagged #MyCalvins. Everyone got in on it — bloggers, Jenners and normals alike. It was a pretty incredible brand marketing move, inspiring everyday people to create free advertising, all readily searchable via that one hashtag. 

To further bank on all that imagery, Calvin Klein put a gallery up on its site of the best Instagrams with that tag, each of which links to products you can shop. That gallery is powered by a startup called Olapic, which on Tuesday announced that it has raised $15 million in funding to build out its platform. It works directly with brands to harnesses the power of user generated content, gathering social media posts and tailoring them to fit the brand's needs, whether they involve e-commerce, advertising, e-mail marketing or even in-store imagery. 

The thinking here is that: a) brands save money on creative agencies and photo shoots, while b) customers see real people wearing and loving the products they're considering. And the fashion industry, which essentially lives a second life on Instagram, has gotten on board with the concept. In addition to Calvin Klein, Olapic's apparel clients include Anthropologie, Cole Haan, Wildfox, Topshop, Steve Madden and Christian Louboutin. 

Olapic co-founder Jose de Cabo tells Fashionista that the $15 million investment round, which was led by Felix Capital, will go toward building out the company's content engine, as well as strengthening its international team. It just opened an office in London in order to be as close to European brands as possible. Forming ties with new clients is a lot easier when you can do it in person, he says.

Does that mean we'll be seeing more big-name European fashion houses using Olapic's technology? Maybe — assuming they get their own websites up and running first.