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Former Googler launches ‘Pandora for fashion’ site

Affinity uses recommendation technology as well as human input to suggest looks for shoppers, all the while learning from their feedback to make results increasingly personalised.

Affinity is a new start-up aiming to become the ‘Pandora for fashion’
Affinity is a new start-up aiming to become the ‘Pandora for fashion’

We’ve all been there – scouring the internet for items of clothing to buy to suit any given occasion, only to feel more than overwhelmed by the volume of choice now available and increasingly frustrated by how hard it is to actually find something we like.

Abigail Holtz is out there to try and solve that problem. Hailing from Google where she worked on a multitude of different shopping products, including Boutiques.com and Google Catalogs, she is looking to help get the right fashion items in front of the right people with her new start-up, Affinity.

The vision is to create a ‘Pandora for fashion’ – a site that uses recommendation technology (based on what Holtz calls a “fashion genome” and her “secret sauce”) as well as human input, to suggest looks for shoppers informed by things like style, fit, body shape, even occasion appropriateness. It’s got an intuitive UI/UX built around a simple like or dislike (heart or cross) functionality, and a straightforward breakdown of clothing categories based on trends as well as occasions. All the while it learns from users’ feedback to make the experience increasingly personalised as they go.

The business model is an affiliate program, meaning users then click through to purchase items directly on a retailer’s site otherwise, providing Holtz with a cut when they checkout.

I caught up with her to find out more about exactly what that ‘fashion genome’ is about, and why Affinity stands out in this ever-competitive marketplace for both discovery and personalisation in shopping. Head over to Forbes to read the full interview.

By Rachel Arthur

Rachel Arthur is Editor-in-Chief of Current Daily, the leading news source for fashion, retail and innovation, and the co-host of its weekly Innovators podcast. She otherwise serves as Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Current Global, a transformation consultancy driving growth within fashion luxury and retail. By background she is an award-winning business journalist and consultant, contributing to titles including Wired, Forbes and Business of Fashion.

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