“In recent years, the fashion industry has sought to eschew its traditional, closed, risk-adverse image as it relates to tech. Whether it be LVMH’s investment in Lyst, the fashion marketplace Farfetch newly minted unicorn status, the global success of the private sale model (see Showroomprive.com, Venteprivee, Mei.com, VIP Plaza, etc), the growing importance of 3D printing, or the rise of fashion-friendly social media like Pinterest, the fashion industry appears to have wholeheartedly embraced the promise digital offers their industry.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Uppler

“Joor, the NY-based tech company founded by Mona Bijoor, continues its mission to fast-forward the wholesale industry. The company, launched in 2010, was first to replace old-fashioned pen-to-paper transactions, which typically happened offline in showrooms and tradeshows, with streamlined digital tools. Competitors like NuOrder, Brandboom, and ThreadSuite soon entered the space. Today, Joor has become the largest B2B fashion commerce business. Future plans include expansion into other product markets.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Joor

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Alibaba
Image source: cnbc.com

Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, recently said: “In other countries, e-commerce is a way to shop, in China it is a lifestyle.” By 2015, ecommerce transactions in China are forecasted to hit $540bn and by 2020, China’s ecommerce market will grow larger than US, Britain, Japan, Germany, and France’s market combined.

There’s no doubt that Alibaba’s $25bn IPO in October changed the game for the e-commerce industry as a whole. What turned out to be the largest global IPO in history, has raised questions about the possible ramifications for already established online retailers, luxury brands and whether Alibaba is now a threat to their businesses.

The answer is not necessarily. Indeed, Alibaba has a robust international expansion plan that may change the way consumers shop in the West and Far East, but this could also benefit luxury retailers due to the growing unmet demand of Western products from Chinese consumers.

Alibaba’s IPO could give Western brands solid new opportunities to access Chinese consumers in abundance. Alibaba and its subsidiaries (Taobao, Tmall) have approximately 500 million registered users with 70 million daily visitors on Taobao alone.

Making purchases online from China for luxury goods based in America or Europe is still difficult for Chinese consumers. But as part of Alibaba’s international expansion plans, they will now enable Western retailers to sell to Chinese consumers on their marketplace platform Tmall international (similar to Amazon).

With its recent IPO, the company is now realising the revenue potential of allowing Western brands to sell to and access their customer portfolio, something that was previously shielded. This will allow Alibaba to create new revenue streams due the growing demand for Western goods by the Chinese who account for nearly 50 per cent of total global luxury sales.

One of the benefits of Alibaba allowing Western retailers access their Chinese customers includes a potential reduction in the number of counterfeiters that use Alibaba’s Aliexpress and Taobao platforms to sell fake branded products. This, in turn will force Alibaba to attempt to tackle the huge intellectual property and counterfeiting issues that the company faces on its platforms. Ultimately, however, by allowing Western retailers to reach the Chinese markets, Alibaba will open a two-way-street in international online trade, something that was previously absent in luxury fashion.

Some western retailers that have tried and failed to compete with Alibaba to bring Western goods to China include eBay and Amazon. Both do not yet possess the capacity to compete with Alibaba’s scale and customer following in China. Amazon China accounted for less than 3 per cent of total online transactions in 2013. And Alibaba recently reported that their total sales in 2013 were greater than that of eBay and Amazon’s combined.

Alibaba will ultimately have to adapt to the market Western customers are used to by listening to and implementing their feedback as well as streamlining their supply chain process to deliver goods from the West to the Far East and vice versa. But by allowing Western retailers to reach the Chinese markets, Alibaba will benefit considerably, namely by expanding on its core business model and thus maximising revenue potential from its international retail partners. With Alibaba’s new dominant presence in the US post-IPO and its budding international retail partnerships with Tmall, it seems the West have yet to see the true spending power of the Chinese.

Reported by Jessica Anuna

Decoded Fashion New York will take place on November 18-19, 2014 at Metropolitan West. The full agenda can be found here.


“Gleam, a fashion consumer app startup on iOS and Android that acts a discovery tool for new fashion and links to shops, has now launched a back-end B2B platform. Gleam raised a seed investment round of €940,000 from Faber Investments and Portugal Ventures in July last year.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Gleam


The past two weeks have seen the launch of two new cities in our Meetup series, first we headed to Dublin and then to Berlin. Both events were sold out and we had a great lineup of speakers giving us insight into these vibrant communities.

In Dublin, we were hosted by the Wayra Academy and Sonya Lennon, founder of Frockadvisor. The event kicked off with a panel discussion on ‘Globalisation versus Localisation,’ featuring speakers Rory Caren, IBM, IDR Marketing and Academic Manager, and Fidelma Healy, COO of Gilt Ireland. Caren highlighted that IBM place much importance on analytics and big data, and that retail challenges can only be solved by working with small startups. Healy in turn revealed that the biggest challenge for online apparel sales is getting over issues of fit and sizing. The panel was then followed by startup showcases by 365 Looks, Storpal and Frockadvisor.

Check out video coverage here.

Next up: uber cool Berlin at a new campus for startups and the soon-to-be home of SoundCloud, Factory. We had a mix of speakers from all over Germany; Stylight, Amazine, Parasol Island, Bragi and DGAG. Bragi introduced their multifunctional headphones – they have received a massive $3,390,551 on kickstarter for this project. Stylight explained their concept of using style influencers such as bloggers to inspire consumers and push sales, revealing big expansion plans as they head to the US. The founder of Amazine unveiled their B2B offering using shoppable content. Miki Devic closed with his 3D technology, something he passionately discussed becoming integrated into everyday life, with huge potential to enhancing fashion and retails. Not to mention his DGAG 3D-Selfie software, which has already been used to create full-size 3D-avatars of Cristiano Ronaldo

Further coverage of the event can be found here.

We would like to take this opportunity to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who attended and to all the speakers, hosts, and partners. Stay tuned for the next city!

Reported By Anna Abrell