Fashion tech is an extremely crowded space and entrepreneurs are, as they should be, looking for ways to set their apps apart from competitors. One of those ways is getting a celebrity on board.
Kate Bosworth, perhaps known better for her personal style than any recent movie roles, has partnered up with Samantha Russ, who founded Style Thief, an iPhone app through which you can "snap and steal" someone's clothing item by taking a photo and having the app do an image search to find the item and where to buy it.
It's not an entirely original idea, as few tech startups are these days. ASAP54, which launched in February, is probably the most similar. It, too, has image recognition technology to help users find what they're looking for, and if that fails, a team of employees tries to find the product. Other apps trying to make names for themselves in fashion discovery are Wheretoget and The Hunt, both of which use crowdsourcing to help users find items: A user posts a photo and fellow users provide guidance on where to buy it.
In differentiating itself from those competitors, it sounds like Style Thief is banking on a simple, user-friendly design, and Kate Bosworth, who has some experience lending her face, and personal style, to a tech startup. She launched and helped design JewelMint with her stylist Cher Coulter in 2010 and, thus, presumably knows how much power she has when it comes to moving merchandise. Bosworth holds the title of Chief Marketing Officer at Style Thief, and according to WWD, she will curate special collections for the app, which provide opportunities for brand and retailer partnerships. The app will also make money through affiliate revenue, and Bosworth hinted that Style Thief merchandise could be a possibility down the line.
While people probably won't use an app that sucks just because there's a celebrity behind it, Bosworth will certainly help bring awareness to Style Thief. And with Kim Kardashian's ridiculous game app on track to make in the hundreds of millions, it's probably a pretty smart move.
Front page photo: Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic