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Fashion Plate

Fashion Plate

A Fashion Week Hackathon With All the Right Ratios?

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Silicon Alley is awfully fond of putting “proximity to other industries” in its plus column. As the line goes: We’re down the street from the top media, financial, and fashion companies in the world! Despite being neighbors, however, fashion and tech have had some trouble understanding each other–hence the growing number of fashion startups that have hung up their stilettos for good.

Into all that drama jumped Decoded Fashion with an exceedingly practical idea: a fashion hackathon where industry insiders tell techies what’s actually lacking in the market. In other words, rather than the umpteenth street style photo-sharing apps, how about the next Fashion GPS, a digital tracker for samples and look books used by designers like Lanvin, Dior and many, many more. Read More

Fashion Plate

Fashion Startup Material Wrld Lets You Shop the Closets of the Man Repeller, Steven Alan, and DANNIJO

materialwrld

Betabeat is a sucker for a good Madonna reference, but Material Wrld, a New York-based fashion startup that launched yesterday, caught our eye for another reason. When we first met cofounder Jie Zheng–we sat next to each other at 500 Startups Demo Day last September–she was still in the corporate world, working as international director of ecommerce at J.Crew. “Sure enough, startup fever got ahold of me,” Ms. Zheng told Betabeat. Ah, it’s so rare that you’re actually present for the moment the infection sets in!

Material Wrld is a peer-to-peer ecommerce site that Ms. Zheng calls “a prettier and friendlier eBay with social features.” Like eBay, the company offers a chance to turn the back of your closet into ca$$h money, only in this case its more front-of-closet and fancy. Read More

Fashion Plate

Can Clothes Horse’s Secret Algorithm Help You Buy Clothes That Actually Fit?

clotheshorse_team

Last April, Stephanie Clifford’s New York Times story, “One Size Fits Nobody,” went viral. (Or at least as viral as a non-Linsane animal-based memes can possibly go.) That’s probably because Ms. Clifford’s confession–that she varies anywhere from a size 4 to size 8 without gaining a pound–is a near-universal dilemma. Clothes Horse, a New York-based startup that launched publicly today, thinks it can solve that.

Brands like Bonobos, one of Clothes Horse’s beta test cases, use the startup’s software to embed a widget on their e-commerce site. After 30-seconds of questions like “What brand’s shirt fits you best?” or “Is it tight around the chest?” the widget spits out information on how that retailer’s items are likely to fit.

To do that, Clothes Horse uses an algorithm that combines a database of human measurements, sizing specifics from about 50 brands, and some kind of “secret sauce,” which cofounder Vik Venkatraman declined to describe. Read More

Fashion Plate

Y Combinator Alum Launches Kaleidoscope, a Street Style App That Takes You from Photo to Purchase

Aspirational!

Earlier this week, Inporia co-founder Ryan Junee launched Kaleidoscope, a more monetizable take on those suddenly ubiquitous fashion apps, in the Android market. (Relax, fangirls, the Apple version if coming soon.)

Kaleidoscope, which also works as a website widget embeddable with a few lines of JavaScript, lets users browse a stream of both Anna-approved editorial images and street style photos. If you like what you see, click on any image and it breaks it down by item and offers direct links to sites like Nordstrom’s, Bergdorff, Net-a-Porter or Shop Bop, where users can buy the exact items featured in the photo or similar ones across a range of price points, both higher (what recession?) and lower.

It’s being described as “Pinterest meets ShopStyle,” and indeed, Kaleidoscope uses the ShopStyle API to source potential purchasing options. But there’s also an element of “human expertise,” Mr. Junee told Betabeat, with a team of fashion interns making sure the “shop that look” function links to the best selection of similar items. Mr. Junee said he’s also working on automating that function. Read More

Fashion Plate

Silicon Valley Opens Up About Sock Collection, Makes Tech Uncool Again

Hmm, needs more flair.

Business casual startup attire can be so constricting. Beyond logo t-shirts or branded baseball caps, there’s little room investors and entrepreneurs to really express themselves with individual flair.

According to the New York Times Style section, however, some Silicon Valley big wigs have found a way around that . . . by wearing colorful, flashy, patterned socks. Apparently everyone from Twitter’s Dick Costolo to Accel Partners’ Jim Breyer (he of the manifold Facebook shares) is doing it. In some West Coast equivalent of Warby Parker or Bonobos, there’s even a brand of choice: a four-year-old Swedish brand called Happy Socks. Read More

Fashion Plate

New York Start-up Dress Code: ‘Business Shabby’

Wiley Cerilli in native garb.

The corporate world can keep “business casual.” But SinglePlatform’s Wiley Cerilli has another way to describe the start-up uniform. “I’m trying hard to coin the style ‘business shabby’” Mr. Cerilli told The Next Web.” How‘s the coinage catching on? “It’s not working, but I’m trying.”

Mr. Cerilli spent 10 years running sales at SeamlessWeb, the local online delivery hub/vacuum suction on Betabeat’s wallet, before launching SinglePlatform last January. His new service, which is hiring, lets restaurants upload info like menus, photos, and specials and then updates that on SinglePlatform’s hundreds of publishing partners like hotel and city guides and app developers.

So what constitutes “business shabby”? Read More