apps

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - NYFW App
Image source: Behance

TV presenter, model and general style guru Alexa Chung has turned her hand to tech as co-founder of new style app Villoid, which allows users to create fashion-based mood boards and browse, ‘love’ and purchase apparel. Chung, who worked on the app alongside entrepreneur Jeanette Dyhre Kvisvik, cites Cher Horowitz’s virtual wardrobe planner in the film Clueless as the inspiration behind Villoid.

Parallels can be drawn between Villoid and Polyvore – the fashion scrapbooking site acquired by Yahoo earlier this year, which claims to attract the “largest community of tastemakers” on the web. But unlike Polyvore, Villoid allows users to make purchases within the app, as well as ‘follow’ brands of interest. High-end labels like Saint Laurent and Christopher Kane rub shoulders with high-street stalwarts New Look, Mango and Topshop on Villoid – users not only have the ability to create fantasy high-fashion outfits, but also the option to purchase items within their preferred price bracket.

The app is currently only available on iOS, but an Android version is said to be in the works. Villoid has accrued more than 6,000 followers on Instagram and, according to Chung, around 10,000 Villoid collages were created the day after launch (September 8). Will Villoid really change the way the Instagram generation engages with fashion, or is Chung’s endorsement the main reason people are getting on board? Only time will tell.

Elsewhere, app developers are gearing up for New York Fashion Week. A free NYFW app has been released, which promises to show live streams from the catwalk as well as inform attendees of any late-running shows, venue changes or traffic delays.

Meanwhile, Marc Jacobs Beauty has struck a deal with Vênsette – the on-demand beauty service app that offers trained hair stylists and make-up artists available to visit clients at home – to be the brand’s exclusive make-up partner for NYFW. Catherine Gore, global vice-president of Marc Jacobs Beauty, told WWD she classed the partnership as “a strategic way for us to deliver best-in-class beauty to a highly engaged audience”

For more on the latest in mobile innovation, join the discussion at our NYC Summit on October 28-29. Tickets available here.

Reported by Grace Howard

zalando-shoes

Do you shop at Zalando? The retailer sells branded shoes and clothing to 15 European countries, and is the continent’s largest online fashion retailer. After a well-documented struggle last year, the online powerhouse is back on top: just last month, it reported its first full-year profit, leading to a sale of 17.9 million shares that are now trading 13 percent higher than their listing price. The share sale will increase liquidity in the stock, and boost chances for the Berlin-based retailer to join Germany’s MDAX index. But what’s next for Amazon Fashion’s European cousin?

It might be hard to believe now that Zalando sells 1500 brands to more than 13.5 million customers, but it was born as a start-up selling flip-flops. As the company grew bigger, comparisons have been consistently made with Asos. However, While both are Europe-based and sell other brands, the similarities probably end there – Zalando’s done everything bigger, including having twice as many customers, nearly twice as many brands and nearly three times as many products. But is bigger always necessarily better?

Zalando went public in October 2014 last year, joining other fashion retailers in making the move to the stock exchange in recent times (see: Boohoo, and soon, after merging with Yoox, Net-a-Porter). So what is it about Zalando that means it has come to turn a profit? Other than offering a huge range of products for a portion of online shoppers who want a one-stop shop for everything, the retailer also has an extremely highly rated shopping app in their roster (an unusual feat, even in today’s online-first retail world). Promising to make the experience of buying fashion even easier, the app includes neat features like street style photo inspiration, a barcode scanner to compare prices with items on high street, and an in-app parcel tracker.

To hear more from Zalando, be sure to attend our London Summit – on May 21, the retailer’s Head of Mobile Apps Christian Drehkopf will be in conversation with Jemima Kiss (The Guardian) and Daniel Murray (Grabble) to discuss how mobile strategy could be fashion’s big gamechanger.

Reported by Claire Healy

persicope

The battle of the live-streaming apps has begun: joining residing champ Meerkat in the ring is Twitter’s new Periscope app, which launched last Thursday. And, though the current battle has the big news organisations all a-flutter, the war is going to be one to win the hearts (and phones) of the fashion world.

At first glance, both apps are largely similar: live-streaming video apps, which link to the user’s Twitter account to broadcast and watch video around the world. They also both allow streamers to comment on the broadcast, view how many other people are watching at the same time and indicate their approval with a like (Meerkat) or a <3 (Periscope). With such features clearly emulating the fashion show format – event, audience, and an invitation to admire – its easy to see how the services could be utilised come next fashion week.

In the age of social media, fashion weeks have been no stranger to the concept of the live-stream. Viewing the runway in real time has been made easy through the live-streaming feeds operated by brands themselves. The new live-streaming apps on the block could revolutionise this model, however, bringing greater personalisation into the viewer’s experience – why would you watch a stream from the brand itself, when your favourite blogger is FROW and you can see exactly what they’re seeing (not just the clothes, for instance, but the shoes that other audience members are wearing)? It could also provide a helping hand to smaller up-and-coming labels that don’t yet have the funds to produce slick live-streams themselves.

So which of the apps will take the lead next fashion month? Periscope is now Twitter’s one and only, having been purchased by the microblogging site in January for a mere $100 million. And, though its early days for the young app, word on the street is that the extra features are pegging it ahead of its (albeit cuter) rival. In fact, for co-founder Keyvon Beykpour, Periscope isn’t about live-streaming at all – with greater customisation, a sleeker look and less lag time, it’s a “teleportation product.” Aiming to get past Silicon Valley jargon, Twitter’s own Head of Planning David Wilding will be on hand at our London Summit, where he will be answering any questions that fashion brands might have on the potential of live-streaming apps for the shows of the future.

Catch David Wilding, Head of Planning, Twitter at our London Summit on May 20, 2015.

Reported by Claire Healy

Image: Source

stylecollage

Decoded Fashion hits SXSW Interactive on March 13-17 – in the run-up, we’ll be posting content that gives you a sneak peek of what to expect: including panel sessions, special events and the return of our Mentorship Hub.

Hitting SXSW Interactive over the long weekend? The Decoded Fashion Mentorship Hub should be your first stop: there, you’ll find top execs and creatives from the fashion, retail and beauty world ready to share their expert knowledge and coach startup founders on growing their business. SXstyle, taking place at the JW Marriott Hotel, has plenty more to pique your interest. Get the lowdown on SXSW’s most stylish arm with our essential guide – from screenings to talks, here’s the best of the rest.

The Emperor’s New…Wearables?

This panel will thrash out the notion of devices that will disappear altogether in years to come. Speakers including Brandon Little (CCO, Fossil) and Sandra Lopez (Intel) will discuss how big industry players will make wearable electronics feel increasingly invisible.

(Friday March 13, 12.30pm)

Is there still room for Fashion Blogging?

This panel is inspired by last year’s New York Magazine article by influential fashion critic Robin Givhan, which asked whether the influence of the noughties’ fashion guerrillas is waning in a post-digital age. Presented by Caroline Waxler, founder of Harkness Hall, this talk will explore what’s next for bloggers – how can they stay relevant in a crowded blogosphere?

(Tuesday March 17, 11.00am)

T H E U N S E E N

Taking place at the Austin Convention Centre, this interactive talk and demo session showcase the work of Material Alchemist Lauren Bowker and her team of anatomists, engineers and chemists. Their world aims to collide couture luxury products and science in unforeseen ways – including a recent, color-changing AIR collection. Perfect for those who want to check out the vanguard of material design.

(Monday March 16, 12.30pm)

Full details of Decoded Fashion’s SXSW activities can be found here.

Reported by Claire Healy

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“There may be an app for everything, but only a few retail apps earned an “excellent” rating in a recent study of Android apps. Nine retail Android apps have been rated excellent based on a study of consumer reviews and app performance by appbackr, a mobile app measurement firm.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Zappos Android App
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“eBay had plans to release the new iPad app in Q1 this next year, but wanted to find out for themselves how it did during the prime holiday shopping season. Pittman mentioned this is part of the new eBay strategy to be more agile and move faster to keep up with the way we shop in the future.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - eBay app
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“Urban Outfitters is active on eight social media channels, and its Urban On smartphone apps consolidate social feeds and mix in product information.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Urban Outfitters
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“The app was originally designed to serve you coupons for nearby stores—and it still does. But on Wednesday, Smith and company announced that they’ve added a new wrinkle. It’s called Cash Dash, and basically, it lets retailers push you promotions the minute you walk into a competitor’s store—or merely past it.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Cash Dash
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“Consumers are more interested than ever in using their smartphones and tablets to shop for holiday gifts, and they’re especially keen on using mobile apps, studies find.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Mobile christmas shopping
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“Manufacture NY’s 160,000 square foot space in Brooklyn will house everything else you need to build the next Oracle. Or American Apparel. Or Gore-Tex.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Manufacture NY
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