The way we look through new fashion collections is pretty heavily dictated by the brands putting them out--that is to say, it's not really representative of the way people typically wear clothes. Rather than wear the same season by the same designer head to toe (unless we're Anna Dello Russo), we mix and match. As do editors and stylists.
A new app makes it a lot easier to do that mixing and matching--and all you need is an iPhone. Figr very sleekly provides users with image libraries that include not only runway images--but also street style images--all of which are current. The app allows you to create outfits by changing the top, middle, and/or bottom portions of the image with a simple swipe. For instance, the top could be Kenzo, the bottom The Row and the shoes Alexander Wang. Or, you can combine a runway look with a street style look. The app also allows you to save, share and browse outfits with ease.
Right now, Figr is fun for fashion fans, but probably more useful to people actually in the industry. "For industry insiders, the app serves more as a tool," co-founder Lauren Levinger explained. "They can interact with the fashion images they are accustomed to just consuming. Stylists can mix and match looks to aid them in creating editorials. Designers can create looks for campaigns and see which tops look best with which bottoms. Editors can plan outfits for fashion week."
Almost as interesting as the app itself is how it came to be. Before launching, Figr established partnerships with brands including Alexander Wang, Acne, The Row and Kenzo, as well as bloggers Leandra Medine, Jayne Min, Susie Lau, and photogs Phil Oh and Bridget Fleming for the launch.
It's a relatively small group, but in terms of quality, the best is definitely represented. "When we were in the process of building the app, we spent a lot of time thinking about the types of brands we wanted represented," Levinger told us. "We decided that the app should feel aspirational but accessible at the same time. The brands we launched with were those we felt people both in the fashion industry as well as fashion fans would identify with. In addition, all of the brands you see on the app now, really resonated with our team. The bloggers and the photographers on the app were people we felt truly had a strong point of view, which is why we selected them for the launch."
The Figr team met with many of their brand partners in person. "The process was rather collaborative. On top of liking the concept of Figr, they really responded to the aesthetic. They saw the partnership as an extension of their brands, a way to break into mobile in a more meaningful way." If there's one thing we hear consistently from brands and retailers, it's that mobile is where everything is going, so it makes sense that Figr's brands would want to take advantage of the opportunity to break into that space.
Especially since Figr hopes to one day make the items seen on the app shoppable. "We’ve had multiple requests from users to be able to purchase items they see directly in the app, which is something we’re pretty excited about," said Levinger.
Additionally, Figr plans to add branded editorial content, which would also be advantageous to the brands involved. "We see a huge opportunity for more editorial content on Figr. We are going to be launching a 2.0 version in the next month, which will include more branded content. We want to create mobile experiences for the brands that we feature. Brands have so much great visual content that we want to feature and think our users will love."
They're also considering adding advertising, but are now focusing on "enhancing the Figr experience." Meaning the app has a lot of potential to be profitable, fun to use, useful to fashion insiders, and beneficial to brands. Sounds like a win/win/win/win?