Alisa Gould-Simon is the co-founder and co-CEO of Pose.
I’ve been working in fashion for a decade. After a stint as a shop girl, I went from a “broke freelance journalist” to the co-founder of the mobile fashion app, Pose. It’s been a wild ride and, like my career, the fashion industry has gone through some major reincarnations since 2004.
Right around the time that I scored my first gig in fashion, fast fashion exploded. Primark, Topshop, H&M and Forever 21 sparked near riots and redefined affordable fashion forever (not to mention proved how rapidly vertically integrated brands could turn out new trends). By 2007, Gilt Groupe was born and 70 percent-off designer fashion became the steal du jour.
Three years later, when I co-founded Pose, we created a mobile experience that embodied the fact that, thanks to the digital revolution, inspiration could be found anywhere – from a New School grad with a penchant for "man repelling" fashion to a middle school teacher in the Midwest. With the latest trends and designer goods now available at increasingly affordable price points, and a connective tissue that crossed all boundaries in the form of the Internet, personal style erupted not only as a popular blog format, but a bona fide business model.
We’ve come a long way at Pose. As we cross the 3 million user-mark, the industry is changing drastically once again. Exceedingly rapid fashion cycles and an oversaturation of 70 percent-off steals is causing another seismic shift toward mindfulness, where less is the new more.
A host of brands and retailers have sprouted up as a reaction to this (The Reformation, Everlane, Zady, Of A Kind, and Naja to name a few); each of which shares an ethos of shopping sustainably – whether that means buying local or less often than the turnover at your local Topshop encourages. But the conversation about sustainable fashion shouldn’t just be about shopping less, it should be about shopping differently.
Value doesn’t just mean getting something at a discount, it means making wise investments. Affordability can’t be uncoupled from integrity - meaning how well the item was made and how it serves its wearer. For Pose, we saw an opportunity for our stylish community to participate in mindful consumption and get the looks they love. This is how the marketplace was born: women can now use Pose to buy, sell and trade items from their closet with a trusted community.
On average, women only wear 30 percent of their closets. A single pair of jeans can require up to 1,300 gallons of water to produce. Put simply, that’s a lot of waste. So, why not rethink your closet the way Lyft has let millions of people re-envision their cars, or Airbnb their apartments?
What we’ve learned in the past three-plus years at Pose is that women everywhere struggle with closet paralysis: “I have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear.” Inspiration is one part of the equation to putting together the right look, and the other part is thinking differently about how to build a wardrobe. Why can’t last season’s tote score you a new skirt? Why can’t the dress you wore once help pay off a trip to Paris? Curious how the 70 percent-plus of your closet sitting dormant can bring you new value? Join us on Pose and we’ll show you.