The Silicon Review
The fashion industry is all set to change massively in the next few years as it has over the last decade. Globalization, consolidation, and computerization have proven to be the major disruptors for the fashion segment, and it is expected to continue to play an integral part in the future. With all the non-essential stores closed and limited distribution options, key personnel in the fashion segment are reassessing their strategies to reach consumers. Fashion designers are artists. In the digital world we live in, the designer is ready to take up a new role and stand out in this highly demanding and competitive marketplace.
Globally, there are various companies providing excellent fashion intelligence platforms for designers to directly connect with customers, but Fashwire stands out from the rest. FashWire is a global marketplace providing over 350 fashion designers from more than 40 countries vital insight into consumer buying patterns. A source of global fashion intelligence, the FashWire platform delivers a truly unique shopping experience by improving fashion discovery and awareness by using Artificial Intelligence to personalize the customer experience based on known preferences. Fashwire was founded in 2017 and is based in Seattle, Washington.
In conversation with Kimberly Carney, Founder and CEO of Fashwire
Q. What was the idea that inspired you to establish Fashwire?
With a background in corporate tech and several years of owning a store, I saw digital adoption become a key factor in driving buying decisions forward and knew retail would not survive without adapting to tech. Target marketing and behavioral data (made popular by tech giants like Facebook) were being utilized by companies to help project sales, which became a key factor in buying inventory; prior to this, all buying was done based on the previous season’s store numbers. With my combined passion for tech and fashion, connecting the two worlds was the catalyst for the FashWire platform. I came up with the initial concept for FashWire in 2014, and in 2018, we launched a partnership with Google that allowed us to reach a wider audience.
Q. How is Fashwire different from others in the space?
The greatest difference is that we are designer and brand advocates, not product-driven. It is about the partnerships we establish with the brands, focusing on their purpose and the ability to give them a voice. We are not about pushing products specifically. Additionally, FashWire’s proprietary swipe technology gives consumers the opportunity to give their feedback and be influencers while giving brands important insights on what is resonating with consumers. Users are able to see a designer’s entire collection and swipe if they love an item or would prefer to pass on an item. This instant consumer feedback allows designers to make better production decisions as they are getting vital insights in real-time. It encourages users to be influencers as their feedback becomes part of essential brand decision-making.
Q. How does the Fashwire B2B platform help designers in getting insights into consumer shopping behavior?
FashWire’s global platform, a 2-sided marketplace, provides over 400+ designers and brands from more than 40 countries vital insights into consumer shopping patterns by using swipe technology and social tools, such as liking, swiping, and sharing to collect real-time trending data. Designers can then leverage that data to make smarter product decisions — navigating consumer demand and improving margins.
Q. How has the GlossWire mobile app performed since its release in February?
GlossWire’s initial launch landed us at #2 in the App Store for Paid Apps in the shopping category, and we have continuously remained on the top charts. Additionally, we have celebrity and a hyper-curated edit of niche brands onboarding as they see our continued growth in the beauty space.
Q. What are the current challenges of being in your segment? How are you tackling them?
With a digital platform and a true brand solution, we have been fortunate not to have too many roadblocks to our success path. However, with personalization becoming more and more relevant to understanding the consumer, it is becoming increasingly important to adapt and stay ahead of the curve. Our technology empowers consumers to give brands direct feedback on what they like and also gives brands data based on consumer behavior. This information, in turn, allows the brands to tailor their products to the consumer’s needs and to personalize their offerings. And that’s just the beginning — we see a future where personalization is going to become increasingly important for brands to differentiate, and with FashWire and Glosswire, they have a technology platform that they can rely on.
Q. What is your vision for the future? Do you have anything new and ready for launch?
I predict that we will see further changes to the fashion landscape with those brands and retailers doing best who maintain strong brand identity and a good understanding of who their customers are. We believe our platforms and our data analytics solution will change the face of fashion and beauty retail by putting the customer at the heart of all decisions. Our biggest priority is to continue to make sure our app and web-based platforms work really well for our userbase by enhancing our algorithms to get the best personalized recommendations for each individual. We are seeing incredible growth with FashWire and GlossWire in offering a technology platform that deeply connects consumers and brands. We have numerous additional innovations on our roadmap to take this experience even further and revolutionize shopping. We will continue to add brands on both FashWire and GlossWire and localization to support different languages. We strive to be the go-to platform for an engaging shopping experience between designers and consumers in the fashion and beauty industries. Additionally, we are currently building FashLuxe to bring high-end fashion brands to shoppers with the same compelling experience. Our focus on business intelligence for fashion and beauty will drive our success.