metail

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Metail X Glamour
Image source: Glamour

Fashion tech start-up Metail has partnered with British Glamour Magazine to create a truly immersive online editorial fashion experience, which enables users to create 3D models of themselves in order to virtually try on clothing.

Accessible on smartphones, tablets and desktops, Glamour’s Metail collab site asks visitors to enter just three simple measurements – height, weight and bra size – before they are given estimates (which are fully adjustable) of their hip and waist measurements. After these details have been clarified, Metail’s technology generates a virtual version of the user’s body, dubbed a MeModel, which aims to depict how clothes viewed online would really look off-screen on the user’s body.

Users also have the option to personalise their MeModel even further by changing the skin tone or choosing whether its hair should be worn up or down. According to Metail, MeModels are 92-96% accurate to a user’s specific size.

For the collaboration, Metail and Glamour curated a clothing collection based on Gossip Girl character Serena Van Der Woodsen, who quickly became a style icon when the show first aired in 2007. Tom Adeyoola, CEO and founder of Metail, says of the partnership: “It’s exciting to be at the forefront of the online print industry by giving readers the opportunity to try on the stylist’s choice picks from high fashion to high-street stores on their own figures.”

Metail launched in February 2012 with the aim of increasing consumer confidence in buying clothing online. While the collaboration with Glamour is its first publishing partnership in Europe, the British tech start-up is no stranger to the fashion industry, having secured contracts with the likes of Evans, House of Holland, Clothing at Tesco and Little Mistress.

With its entertaining, interactive and simple interface, Metail shows potential to change the way women shop online by eliminating fashion e-tail’s Achilles heel: the inability to try before you buy.

Reported by Grace Howard

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“Today, UK-based virtual fitting room Metail announced it has raised US$12 million in funding to push forward efforts in eliminating mismatched sizing. The round was led by TAL Apparel, which is part of HK-based garment manufacturer TAL Group, and participated in by existing investor John Gleasure, commercial director of Perform. This will bring Metail’s total amount of funding raised so far to US$20 million – their last round was raised in December.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Metail

House of Holland and Metail

Henry Holland has come a long way since the days of selling his slogan t-shirts on MySpace (yes, we remember MySpace). This Fashion Week his eponymous fashion brand, House of Holland, have announced a tech first. Over the past few months he has been working with local fashion technology company, Metail, to come up with something quite different for the Spring/Summer 2015 show. For the first time consumers will be able to create their own ‘MeModel’, try on clothing from the catwalk in real time, and then pre-order in the right size.

So, how does it work? Head over to www.tryonHouseofHolland.com at 6.30pm on September 13th to watch in real time. Beneath the show video, you will find the collection as it would be on an e-commerce site. Click the ‘Try It On’ icon and the Metail widget will be revealed; in just 10 seconds you can input your height, weight and bra size and, voila, your personal ‘MeModel’ is revealed. As you check out different looks coming down the catwalk, you can update your MeModel by clicking the outfits you like. After the show, everyone who has registered their interest will have the option to purchase as soon as it’s produced.

This comes at an exciting time for London Fashion Week with the focus of the BFC being digital innovation. BFC Chief Executive Caroline Rush added, “This season London Fashion Week will be celebrating digital innovation in fashion, encouraging designers to embrace technology to amplify their stories and their work. House of Holland’s collaboration with Metail sets the tone for what will be a fashion week characterised by its cutting edge approach to integrating digital and social media.”

We are especially excited about this partnership: Holland came up with the inspiration after sharing the stage with Metail’s founder Tom Adeyoola at our very own London Summit earlier this year.

Reported by Fay Cowan

 2circle

“Cher Horowitz’s digital closet from the 1995 film “Clueless” has been brought to life by Metail, the London-based online technology company. Users can enter their height, weight and bra size to create their own 3-D model in order to try on various looks that can be shared on Facebook or sent to friends via an e-mail link, where feedback can be sent. The bespoke digital fitting room launches today.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Metail Share Your Cher

Decoded Fashion - News - How Pure Etailers Are Going Offline

Traditionally, fashion brands and retailers would open brick-and-mortar stores first to build their brands. Now an online presence can give a brand a much wider reach, and serve as a more cost effective option in creating a global flagship. Mary Katrantzou choose to launch her first store online in November 2012, speaking recently at the Decoded Fashion London Summit she told us why:

“We thought if it’s going to get us two years to even get remotely close to something that we think is a stage that represents both what the brand is about and also the e-shop, we should probably try [the e-shop] first. And it’s kind of a step towards a brick-and-mortar shop”. – Mary Katrantzou at Decoded Fashion London

Using a clicks-before-bricks approach may make sense, especially for brands who do not have a large amount of financial backing or a prestigious history to lean on, but all pure e-tailers face the same significant challenges: the inability for their customers to try on product before it gets delivered to their doorstep and the cost of returns on the business.

The most tried solution for the purely online sphere is the use of sizing software, of which the choice is plentiful; Befittd, Bodi.me, Fits.me, Virtusize, Metail and True Fit to name a few (for more on fit technologies check out Decoded Fashion’s Founder, Liz Bacelar talking fit in this month’s WIRED magazine here).

So what’s beyond software and virtual sizing, pure players have found alternative tactics which do not involve opening a fully-functioning brick-and-mortar store, yet create similar added value:

1. Showrooming: Allowing customers to try on the merchandise in a showroom, but not actually selling on-site. Bonobos, for instance, have set up so-called Guideshops which customers can visit to try on garments. A crucial advantage of these Guideshops is that they are not as costly as retail stores, yet still allow customers to try on and can be used as a method of brand building and brand communication.

2. Parcel Pods: Asos have recently announced the trial launch of their Local Letterbox project, which will ultimately see the installation of 500 staffed changing rooms named ‘Parcel Pods’ across the UK. Customers will be able to order merchandise to these pods and to try on the clothes right then and there, allowing them to immediately return any items that don’t fit correctly. Though this may not sound particularly glamorous, it will certainly save time for Asos’ core 20-somethings.

3. Immediate Return: The Russian e-tailer La Moda has also thought up a comfortable solution. When merchandise is delivered to customers, the delivery man (or woman) will also act as a salesperson, letting customers try on the received parcel, giving fashion advice, and taking payment only after they have chosen what to keep (more about this here). The downside? Customers only get 15 minutes to try on, giving a new meaning to the term fast fashion.

Speaking at last month’s Decoded Fashion Summit, Asos’ Daniel Bobroff reinforces the need to adapt quickly to survive the challenges that face both online and offline retail.

“We have to learn to adapt. Nick, our founder and the visionary behind Asos, is very keen to sort of reinforce the fact that we have a startup mentality so that every day is a new challenge. We try to remain restlessly innovative – that’s one of our buzzwords.” – Daniel Bobroff

With there still being a lot of space for innovation in this area, there has been a growing trend for e-tailers to create an offline presence. King of the spectacle, Warby Parker have thrived under the establishment of a physical store, and MyWardrobe.com announced just last month that they are to open a brick-and-mortar stores (full details on this here). Whether MyWardrobe.com can use this to turn their business around is another question.

 

Reported by Anna Abrell

Apple Store Meetup

Screaming girls and Sherlock Holmes, what a way to open our Apple Store Meetup. If you arrived on time, you would’ve been met with an outpour of Benedict Cumberbatch fans, as we did a swift turn around to get ready for our event.

With a full house, it was time for us to reveal our 2014 Calendar and a special opportunity for founder Liz Bacelar to tell the story behind Decoded Fashion. We unveiled our plans for SXSW and the launch of the Fashion Hackathon and Summit for London this May. Not only that, but this year we have expanded our Meetup to create a global community to uncover the best tech in fashion. January saw us head to Toronto, whilst in March we will be in Dublin, Berlin and Singapore.

Up next fit solutions go to war Fits.me and Metail- let battle commence!! With the CEO’s of both discussing different approaches to the problem of fit and how they are bringing return rates down. There is no doubt the tech is great but do customers use it? With the key issues across fit solutions being 3D representation, digitising clothes cheaply and size/shape of people against size/shape of clothing. It’s also about understanding consumer mindset and behaviour, do they need to learn to use a fit tool? And the bigger question to be asked to the retailers, do they prefer conversion sells vs reduced return? With both solutions collecting a huge database of “body shapes”, it’s clear that there is further potential in this data, yet to be put into practise. With Metail CEO Tom Adeyoola closing with “the past 5 years have been about putting infinite things on the internet, the next 5 will be about making choices”.

Diffusing the debate, CEO, Runar Reistrup introduces Depop, a mobile shopping app, that could be described as a little like Instagram with a buy button.  Yes, it is another social shopping app but what stands out is it’s network of influential sellers and it’s clever use of high profile social figures to help onboard users. It’s a great way for emerging designers to sell directly to the consumer, with Designer Katie Eary using Depop to sell her designs straight from the runway.

And finally, what a breath of fresh air when ShuffleHub’s two young founders took to the stage. With a dramatic intro and a book on the floor here is Shufflehub “taking away the work and bringing the feel good” to shopping. Taking us through the UX golden rules and introducing us to a humorous testing regime on hungover friends. “We get out friends drunk, and make them sleep over” just to prove it’s easy to use. Aiming for the purest and simplest browsing on the internet, one big button, easy shopping for when you don’t know what you want and also for when you do. We have a good feeling about these boys!

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