Local Shopping Apps Merge Fashion with Technology
By Marianne Hale
February 23, 2016
High tech says ‘Hi, Fashion’ with the help of these Seattle startups
Fed up with the disparities in denim sizes, current model and University of Washington grad Rian Buckley launched Fitcode (fitcode.com). In her modeling career, Buckley has worn clothing that was altered to fit her in photos, which are then extensively Photoshopped. “I remember thinking, ‘I am that girl in that photo, and that’s not even what the clothes look like,’” she says. “These companies are giving consumers clothes that look completely different online than when they show up at their door.”
On Fitcode’s site, shoppers complete a five-question quiz to determine their Fitcode, a magic number that corresponds to the jeans that will best fit their body type. Fitcode then shows shoppers recommended pairs from the company’s partner retailers, including Nordstrom, Citizens of Humanity, J Brand and Hudson. Additionally, shoppers can view videos of an actual person wearing the jeans the company recommends for them. “We film each jean on a woman with a body shape similar to yours,” Buckley says. “It’s completely unaltered, totally transparent.”
Tech guys often have a rep for being disconnected from fashion. The issue, as Ya Joe CEO Joe Boldan sees it, is a lack of apparel that appeals to the tech worker’s analytical sensibilities. Enter Ya Joe (yajoe.com): a clothing line that caters to men in tech (think T-shirts, button-ups and turtlenecks in machine-washable cottons and poly blends). The combined insights from Boldan’s 30-year background in the apparel industry, and his past experiences educating students on workplace psychology at the University of Washington, informed the decision for Ya Joe to draw on its target demographic’s analytical approach to apparel. “We focused on three key facets. Is it easy to care for? Is it functional? Does it fit my [wallet, keys, etc.]? We wanted to present all of our products with this design foundation instead of—is it a great look? or is it great fashion?”
The Vanguard Moto jacket and Yuri scarf from Ya Joe, a menswear line targeting tech guys. Image courtesy of Ya Joe
Each minute, thousands of fashion photos are uploaded to the Internet under the hashtag #OOTD (outfit of the day), says Glamhive cofounder Stephanie Sprangers. “The problem is, you can’t easily shop the things that are shared,” she says.
The Seattle native dreamed of an app that could combine photo sharing, e-commerce and loyalty rewards, and she and cofounder Gisella Walter launched Glamhive (glamhive.com) in 2013. The photo-sharing app rewards users for sharing and shopping street style. These rewards can be redeemed for gift cards from any of its 80 partner retailers, including ASOS, Nordstrom and Zara. Members share their looks with links to the app’s partner retailers, then net points for anything other users purchase during the shopping session inspired by their post. The shopper earns points, too, so it’s almost like getting paid to shop. Finally.
When asked “Why Seattle?” as the selected city to launch Glamhive, Sprangers says it was a no brainer. “Seattle ranks fourth in the nation in the number of fashion careers,” she says. “Creativity and pushing boundaries is part of daily life here.”
Seattle-based photo sharing app Glamhive rewards users for sharing looks posted with the hashtag #OOTD (outfit of the day) and allows users to shop each image for additional points. Image courtesy of Glamhive