Europe has a long history of fashion and design, and with the adoption of new technologies, more and more exciting fashion tech startups are entering that space. In a way, fashion related tech startups have already changed the traditional relationships between consumers and brands and pushed the boundaries of traditional ways of thinking about fashion. As technological innovation continues to change the fashion world in different ways, many European startups have shown potential to disrupt our shopping habits and alter the way we do shopping. Here are 10 companies with the potential to shake the fashion industry:
Chic by Choice – Winner of the Best fashion startup award at the The Europas Startup Conference and Awards in 2016, Chic by Choice is one-of-a-kind hire destination which allows women to access designer dresses, straight from the catwalks. Described as Uber for clothes, Chic by Choice’s idea is to make garments from some of the world’s best brands available on a short-term basis, at a fraction of the cost of buying, coupled with an efficient delivery service and excellent discount prices. Founded in 2014, Chic by Choice now operates offices in London and Lisbon and ships to more than 15 European markets, including the major fashion centers of the UK, Germany, France and Italy offering a selection of more than 40 designers.
Showroom – Founded in 2012, Showrom is a Warsaw-based e-commerce platform, allowing customers to have access to clothing from numerous independent fashion designers, based in and around Central and Eastern Europe. The marketplace allows designers to upload photos and post descriptions of the items themselves and consumers can then buy straight from the designers, after each item has been approved by an experienced team. The brand has established itself as an important sales channel for independent fashion designers and today over 500 carefully selected designers with 25.000 products are selling via the platform.
Mysprezz – Often described as “Tinder for fashion”, MySprezz is the first app to instantly suggest the best looks for fashion inspiration based on your style and the weather. Launched in September 2016, this e-commerce is all about personalized fashion inspiration. It aims to help users dress better and shop smarter by allowing to swipe through personalised looks based on their profile (gender, style, budget, wardrobe, calendar and weather) with the possibility of shopping all the clothes, shoes and accessories of the looks they like. Famous brands such as Asos, Topshop, Farfetch, Mytheresa are already included in the system, along with 400 other brands.
Fitle – Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Paris, Fitle is a french startup which offers virtual fitting technology for shopping clothes online. Started out as a kickstarter campaign, Fitle offers thousands of pieces of clothing, sorted by relevance and based on your style and need. In addition, Fitle offers the possibility to virtually try them on using your own customized avatar. Fitle relies on a large R&D team of more than twenty people and on the largest body database on the market. Used by 3+ millions users and encompassing over 200+ brands and e-commerce sites, fitle is close to revolutionising a online fashion industry.
Thread – The Y Combinator alumni helps users make sense of the world of fashion by matching them up with their own personal stylist through its platform. Eight human personal stylists are currently helping men find a new image, dress well, or simply sort out their clothes shopping. Very easy to use: You join the site, take a style questionnaire and upload photos of yourself. A stylist then reviews your information and, supported by Thread’s algorithms, the site generates style recommendations personalised for you, claiming to take into account over 50 elements of style, from eye colour and body shape to brand, fit, and fabric. The unique personal shopping experience of the London-based startup has already attracted over 500,000 male shoppers.
Stylect – A Tinder-esque mobile app that helps women purchase their perfect shoes. By swiping left or right, users pick their choices from multiple websites and based on users’ preferences, the app recommends your next possible purchase. Exclusively targeted at the female market Stylect allows a 99% female user base to browse through tens of thousands of pairs of shoes, keep tabs on the pairs they like, make purchases, and receive information about special offers, price reductions or nearby stores where the shoes are available. It’s incredibly addictive, and not only for Carrie Bradshaw’s fans. Stylect is based in London and took part in the Oxygen accelerator.
Endeer – Given the fact that 80-85% of women are currently wearing the wrong size bra, Endeer is exploiting the customization aspects offered through 3D printing technologies to provide better bra buying experience. Using state-of-the-art technology, this startup creates made-to-measure, 3D-printed removable pads that can be used with bras made by partner brands. In other words, their software and hardware approach is focused only on the pragmatic problems women face in standardized models, enabling brands to better respond to customer needs and provide customized solutions. Claiming their mission as empowering every woman in a bra that fits, Endeer might be the future of lingerie. The French startup was founded in 2016.
De Rigueur – De Rigueur is a Lyon-based startup that combines know-how in leather and technological innovation with the aim of introducing a new category of hybrid goods. Winner of the CES Innovation Award 2016 for its product Connected Sleeve, a wireless and elegant charging solution for smartphones. With its integrated 7,000 milliamp hour battery, this unique practical wallet works by electromagnetic induction, eliminating the need for cables and optimising energy consumption with patented hardware and embedded software. The product is currently available only in womens category.
Lesara – The Berlin-based e-commerce company offers their customers the latest fashion and lifestyle products daily at the best prices. Relying strictly on automated and real-time analytics to discover the specific style trends demanded by individual consumer, Lesara has become the leading online retailer for fashion and lifestyle merchandise at best prices. Awarded for Europe’s fastest growing tech startup in 2016, it now operates in 23 countries, over 200 employees, with production of their own clothing in factories in China and photography studio in Hong Kong, has a customer base of over one million and is an innovative pioneer in the field of Agile Retail.
Asap54 – Decribed as Shazam for clothes, Asap54 is a startup with a fashion search and discovery app that lets users upload pictures of anything that inspires them and receive shoppable suggestions from the app. They combine a social fashion community with the latest visual recognition technology, for example users can also follow friends and style muses to discover their fashion searches and the app also provides a personal styling function whereby a team of experts will help users hunt down the items they desire. The London-based startup has already attracted more than 8m in investment and is slowly turning into google for fashion products.