Fashion Turn to the Left

Fashism Struts Off to Startup Graveyard

"It became clear that we would not be able to create the type of business that we had initially intended."
No, no, and no again.

No, no, and no again.

So it goes: Another once-buzzy startup has packed it in. Fashism, the New York-based social shopping app that let you post photos of outfits and solicit yes or no verdicts, just sent out an email titled “It’s so haaaaaard to say goodbyyyyyyyyyeeeee.” You might remember it as the company whose investors included Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, back before their marriage hit the rocks.

To their credit, the email is pretty straight-up: “We have not been able to generate enough revenue to keep Fashism up and running.”

In a comment to Betabeat, cofounder Brooke Moreland was similarly frank: “I think that even though our users love the app and the brand, we were never able to scale to the level we needed to generate significant revenue. It’s tough to make money on a social app.”

She added, “We were able to get creative and keep ourselves going for the past 4 years, but it became clear that we would not be able to create the type of business that we had initially intended. “

There were plenty of signs of trouble, though. Fashism was founded in the fall of 2009 and enjoyed a flurry of press, but their official Twitter handle hadn’t made a peep since May and their Facebook page hasn’t updated since 2012. That’s often a pretty good sign it’s all over but the weeping. Plus, according to Crunchbase, they only ever raised the $1 million round of funding, back in 2010.

Here’s the email they sent out a few minutes ago:

Dear Fashists,

[Ed note: “Fashists”? Really?]

We have some disappointing news to share. After 4 amazing years, we have decided to shut down the Fashism website and apps at the end of this month. Although you guys are an amazing and engaged community, we have not been able to generate enough revenue to keep Fashism up and running.

We started Fashism four years ago because the internet needed a safe space to get unbiased, excellent advice on fashion and beauty choices. Like many people, we love getting that little extra bit of reassurance on our style choices from peers, whether they be friends, family, or a loving worldwide community of fashionable strangers on the Internet! And that’s exactly what we created.

Getting to work full-time on this company over the last few years has been a dream come true, and obviously it would not have been possible on our own. The entire Fashism team and our group of investors have been absolutely amazing and we are eternally grateful for their support.  But most of all, we want to thank all of YOU for helping to create this awesome community. Thank you for posting your photos, revealing your latest finds, showing off your style, giving great advice, and being part of this adventure.

xo,

Brooke and Ashley

Better luck next time, ladies.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com