Yesterday, we schooled you (or told you stuff you already knew depending on how well-versed you are on the subject) on why there are so many fashion tech startups lately and how they're all getting millions of dollars thrown at them. Many of those startups that launched in 2009 and 2010 and even 2011 are already established. Polyvore, Moda Operandi, Fashism, Pose and Warby Parker are a few examples. However, more are popping up every day and while we're no technology experts, there are a few that we really think have a chance of making it big in 2012. Here are 10 that we feel, based on our own research, colleagues' suggestions, and intuition, are ones to watch.
OpenSky What it does: Curated ecommerce where you can shop items endorsed by famous people like Kelly Bensimon, Cynthia Rowley and Julianne Moore at a reduced price and you customize who you follow. What it's like: Google Shops meets Twitter Who's involved/Why it's promising: It recently raised $30 million in funding and is rapidly growing. They've also tapped some noteworthy people as curators. The CFDA just announced a partnership with the site offering members a rotating selection of pieces designed by CFDA members like Diane von Furstenberg and House of Waris.
Reqoop What it does: A mobile app where you take pictures from your favorite stores and upload them to the site. Editors sift through photos and call out trends and stores where you can buy them. Goal is to drive people to physical stores with various incentives and rewards. What it's like: Instagram meets Foursquare Who's involved/Why it's promising: Benefits everyone from shoppers to designers to retailers.
Buyosphere What it does: Helps you track your shopping history and discover new products and where to get them through a question and answer feature. What it's like: Quora for fashion Who's involved/Why it's promising: Tara Hunt, CEO, raised $325K in seed funding and comes recommended by Macala Wright.
Stylmee What it does: A social game where you can create your own boutique and shop from designers like Alex Wang and Calvin Klein What it's like: Google Shops meets Second Life Who's involved/Why it's promising: Major luxury brands participating; it's original and it will just be interesting to see if this gaming thing takes off with fashion people.
Stylitics: What it does: Allows users to keep track of their wardrobes (a la Cher in Clueless. Seriously.) like what they buy, how often they wear it, etc., and uses that to provide market research info for big brands What it's like: WGSN Who's involved/Why it's promising: Won the Wharton Business Plan Competition
The Cools What it is: A curated social shopping platform where you can follow cool tastemakers like the Clarins sisters and shop recommendations in an intuitive way that actually makes you want to buy things. What it's like: OpenSky meets Facebook Who's involved/Why it's promising: Has over $1 million in funding, strong brand identity, original.
The Runthrough What it is: A b2b platform for pr companies and editors and stylists that facilitates the sample trafficking process and makes it more like online shopping. What it's like: Fashion GPS meets The Lookbook meets Net-a-Porter Who's involved/Why it's promising: Started by former accessories editors who know the biz, plus major designers have signed on like Donna Karan and Michael Kors.
Poshmark What it is: You can sell items from your closet with your phone (and buy stuff from others like a swap meet). What it's like: eBay meets Instagram Who's involved/Why it's promising: Raised $3.5 million in Series A financing, former Kaboodle CEO
EDITD What it is: London-based social trend monitoring platform that works 18 months ahead to forecast trends in an easy to understand way What it's like: Stylesight Who's involved/Why it's promising: Raised $1.6 million from the same VC firm that invested in fashion success stories like Net-a-Porter and ASOS
Mulu.me What it is: Share pictures of things you love and people can actually buy them and a portion of the proceeds go to charity What it's like: Pinterest Who's involved/Why it's promising: Celebrities behind it, attractive to retailers