Choosy marries AI and social tagging to disrupt fast fashion
Choosy, a start-up that just raised $5.4 million in seed funding, claims to have developed an AI-driven platform that brings the most talked-about styles worn by celebrities and social media influencers to doorsteps within weeks.
Officially launching in July, Choosy’s team of human Style Scouts coupled with advanced artificial intelligence technology will identify the hottest trends across platforms such as Instagram, seeking out such comments as “Where can I buy.” Consumers can also use the hashtag #GetChoosy on style photos to help Choosy’s algorithms spot trends.
The top 10 trending women’s apparel fashions are identified each week. Users then buy their favorites, which are manufactured in-house and delivered to doorsteps in as little as two weeks. A test run earlier this year that identified street looks inspired by supermodel sisters Bella and Gigi Hadid sold out within two hours.
“Being an active Instagram user myself, it was impossible to ignore the most frequently asked question posed time and time again on fashion posts: ‘Where can I buy this?,’” said Jessie Zeng, CEO and co-founder, in a statement. “I came to the realization that most influencer and celebrity outfits were curated by a team of stylists sourcing from global luxury brands and were completely unaffordable for most people.”
Manufacturing items to order reduces inventory risk for Choosy. Cost savings come from eliminating the middlemen in the supply chain and the founders’ deep relationships with manufacturers in China. The family of Ms. Zeng, a Hong Kong native and former Citigroup trader, own one of the largest textile manufacturing companies in China. Choosy’s agile supply chain allows it to produce garments within 48 hours of them trending online.
Fast fashion is becoming faster. A May 2017 report from Fung Global Retail & Technology found upstarts, including Boohoo.com, ASOS and Missguided, producing merchandise in two to four weeks, compared to five weeks for Zara and H&M and the six- to nine-month cycle for traditional retailers.
But Choosy is expected to stand out for its ability to quickly react to trends. Ms. Zeng told Racked.com, “The future of social commerce is about producing trends in real time, and it has to include users requesting the item too.”
- Choosy Raises $5.4M to Build the First On-Demand Social Shopping Platform, Letting Trend-Driven Shoppers Buy the Looks That Inspire Them on Social Media – Choosy/Business Wire
- Choosy Turns To Social Media For Fast Fashion Inspiration – PYMNTS
- This New Company Is About to Make Fast Fashion Even Faster – Racked
- This NYC Startup Just Raised $5.4M To Redefine Fast Fashion by Leveraging Social Media – Alleywatch
- Fast Fashion Speeding Toward Ultrafast Fashion – Fung Global Retail & Technology – Fung Global Retail & Technology
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of an on-demand manufacturing model such as Choosy linked to style trends created overnight by celebrities or other social icons? Which aspects of Choosy’s model seem doable and which seem more challenging to deliver on?