Choosy challenges fast fashion to move even faster
Fast fashion start-up Choosy has raised $5.4 million to help fund the ongoing development of its on-demand social shopping platform, which aims to have collections inspired by social media trends produced for sale within 48 hours of the initial buzz, according to a Choosy press release.
The company leverages its own team of trend-spotting "Style Scouts" and the activity of social media users tagging posts about trending fashion items with the tag #GetChoosy to identify the top 10 trending fashions in a given week. Choosy manufactures items in-house on-demand as customers buy them, pledging to deliver them in "as little as two weeks."
The seed round is led by New Enterprise Associates with participation from Forerunner Ventures, Innovation Global Capital, Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, XFactor Ventures, Supernode Ventures and angel investor Bryan Rosenblatt.
It might be a bit of an insult to describe Choosy as "fast fashion." That term sounds almost lethargic in a market that has moved beyond the original fast-fashion concept as embodied by brands like Zara, H&M and others, to become something closer to "ultrafast fashion," as described in a recent report from Gung Global retail and Technology.
Some ultrafast fashion companies such as Missguided (perhaps the one existing company Choosy bears a bit of a resemblance to) aim to make and deliver products within a week, not the several weeks that defined the original fast-fashion companies as disruptors of a sluggish, season bound apparel segment.
Choosy, for its part is, only just starting out. The company is planning to formally launch its platform this summer, and is intent on using the money just raised "to perfect the customer experience, including everything from ordering processes to receiving deliveries on time," according to the press release. Choosy has at least piloted its concept already with positive results and reports that during a test run earlier this year, it created a collection inspired by the socially influential Hadid siblings — and sold out of it within hours.
In a recent interview with Alley Watch, Choosy CEO and co-founder Jessie Zang said she and others at the startup were inspired to create the company after realizing how often people sought to buy looks they saw trending on sites like Instagram, only to find the items already sold out at stores. Certainly, Choosy’s founders aren’t the only ones to notice this, but while other retailers have been experimenting with different ways to sell through social media, Choosy has jumped on the opportunity and built a business around social media as a flashpoint. Ultimately, that business will only be as strong as its manufacturing and supply chain is efficient, and several investors have just placed their bets that this start-up is up to the challenge.