e-commerce Startups

Start-up spotlight: Stylyt


Greater consumer participation in today’s brands is a trend that shows no sign of abating. In fashion of course, that’s a huge opportunity, meaning it comes as no surprise to hear there are a number of start-ups exploring the co-creation space. Stylyt, is one such example, a brand new launch that stands out for the fact it’s already working with known designers like Timo Weiland in its offering to consumers.

Founded by Nina Cherny and Jenny Wu, this “collaborative design” site enables its members to explore certain design templates offered from the upcoming collections of designers like Weiland, and customise their colour, print or fabric.

Better yet, however, they can also then potentially own them. Everyone’s submitted designs are pitched against each other in a series of galleries online (as pictured below) from which they can be voted for by the community. The ‘winning’ style from each collection is then made into limited edition pieces and sold exclusively on the Stylyt site.

As the tagline reads: “Play fashion designer for your favourite brands.”

Weiland for instance is offering up a basic backpack shape (as pictured), to which users can adjust the colour of the canvas, the colour of the leather straps and flaps, and even the colour of the ponyskin on the front pocket.

Alongside Weiland’s bags so far, are also summer dresses by Lovers+Friends, wallets and clutch bags by Hayden-Harnett and a series of dresses and tops by Torn by Ronny Kobo. New collaborations are set to open every week.

“By giving consumers a voice in the creative process, brands get to promote their collection to fans who feel involved and appreciated, leading to higher loyalty and meaningful sales,” said Wu.

I chatted to her to find out a bit more information:

How did you establish the relationships you have with each of the designers?

“Our fantastic brand partners either come through our industry connections or traditional routes, such as trade shows and showroom visits. These digitally-savvy, forward-thinking brands understand that by embracing customer input, they can gain loyal customers for life. Timo Weiland, one of our anchor brands, is quoted in our press release as saying ‘We’re obsessed with the technology behind [Stylyt], so this will be a great exercise for us’.”

Customisation often gets complicated once it comes to the manufacturing side. How are you handling this?

“Once winners go on sale, we place a custom wholesale order with each brand. We act as any other e-tailer here, except we sell exclusive, limited-edition pieces from the brand’s upcoming collection. The brands love this because we are not discounting past season’s merchandise, so we’re not diluting their brand.”

Such a system must also provide you with a lot of data. Might this be used to help inform design in the long-run?

“After each collaborations ends, we provide brands with campaign metrics that include trend data from our designs and voting results. For example, we’ll be able to show which colors or combinations were the most popular with which demographic, etc. Our voting model is set up in a way to detect trend patterns over time.”

What are your long-terms plans for scaling?

“We see Stylyt as THE platform for branded collaborations. We plan to expand to new verticals that are design-driven (i.e. home decor, beauty), as well as increase the scale of our collaborations. Soon, you’ll see entire capsule collections designed on Stylyt, or perhaps see Stylyt powering the next fashion reality show. Either way, we’re enabling brands and consumers to connect more directly, a trend that shows no signs of slowing down!”




e-commerce Uncategorized

Topshop #LFW show to offer customisable, instantly shoppable looks online

Topshop is focusing on personalisation with the online streaming of its Unique show at London Fashion Week on Sunday, launching a variety of innovative initiatives for consumers to engage one-on-one with, including customisable catwalk looks.

Its first under the direction of new CMO Justin Cooke, formerly at Burberry, the experience will allow fans to see product shots of a set number of apparel and accessories items as they watch the live-stream on and simultaneously change the colour of them to their preference.

Those pieces can then be pre-ordered for spring/summer 2013 delivery in six to eight weeks – cleverly giving Topshop incredible insight into what it is their target market would most like to see on the shopfloor, and importantly, in what colours.

The beauty products worn on the runway will likewise be available to buy, with delivery in 48 hours, as will the music playlist immediately via iTunes.

Cooke, who admits to being particularly excited by customisable handbag colours, said: “This show is all about the customer and creating what we call ‘social entertainment’ around our product. We want to take the energy and the excitement of our iconic Oxford street store to millions of people all over the world through It’s social, it’s commerce and it’s entertainment all rolled into one.’’

A “shoot the show” feature will also enable viewers to share catwalk looks with their Facebook friends in real-time. The result of a partnership between Topshop and the social networking site, it will see a camera button sitting in the corner of the live-stream video (and on demand version) that when clicked captures the screen and opens an image for sharing.

“Fashion enthusiasts are sharing the things they love on Facebook now more than ever. This is where the conversation happens, it’s among friends and it’s where great brands need to engage. Topshop clearly understand this, they are a cool young brand with a deep understanding of their customers, and by developing the innovative ‘shoot the show’ functionality with Facebook, they are enabling millions of people globally to share their favorite moments instantly with their friends,” said Joanna Shields, VP and MD of Facebook.

Adding to the entertainment is a challenge on Twitter. Branded the “tweet off”, it encourages fans to review the show in just 140 characters. The best will win VIP tickets to attend next season.

Watch the video below to see some of the plans in action…