NEW YORK — Wednesday is Demo Day for 15 firms participating in the latest Dreamit Ventures program, with each hoping to capture attention and funding from venture capitalists and angel investors.
Dreamit is a start-up accelerator founded by three former start-up entrepreneurs: David Bookspan, Michael Levinson and Steven Welch. Dreamit provides up to $25,000 in seed funding to the program’s participants, with participation by invitation only. The program includes shared office space, mentoring, administrative assistance and opportunities to meet potential investors. At the program’s conclusion, the firms participate in Demo Day, when they get the chance to pitch to investors at Dreamit’s office at 330 West 38th Street here.
The participants this year range from online art exhibition gallery site Indiewalls.com to a mobile app via Facebook called Weesh that offers suggestions for date nights. Among the fashion and beauty firms pitching to investors are Bazaart, TopShelf and Urban Cargo.
Bazaart is a tablet app that bridges Facebook and Pinterest through Pinvolve. The latter allows users to add collages of style inspirations to one’s Facebook page, or even create a fashion look for a friend using a Pinterest board.
Stas Goferman, Bazaart’s chief executive officer and cofounder, said the Israeli-based firm is hoping to complete a $500,000 seed round. It already has committed $100,000 in funding and was a participant in Dreamit’s program in Israel. The funding will be used for expanding the U.S. team and for developing iPhone and Android versions of the app.
TopShelf, founded by Katie Nadler, allows the busy professional woman to create a virtual closet and receive personalized shopping recommendations based on past purchases.
Still in beta testing, the site works with one’s e-mail to collect photos of recent purchases for the virtual closet. A personal shopper then uses data-extraction technology to pull fashion options for personalized “look books” each week, featuring looks curated by a stylist that works with at least one item in the virtual closet. Users can purchase a look or featured item in the look book via a direct link to the appropriate retail site.
Nadler is hoping to raise $500,000 in seed funding.
Urban Cargo does for men in the grooming and skin-care market what Birchbox did for women in the online beauty sector. Membership costs $14.95 a month, and the men get a monthly curated box of sample products. Featured items are from brands such as Kyoku, a popular British men’s skin-care line that is hard to find in the States.
According to Jennifer Chung Lucy, a cofounder, “If you give men an environment where they can comfortably shop, they will come back and shop,” noting that men spend two to three times more than women and are looking for new brands and products that are solutions to issues such as which shaving creams give a guy a closer shave.
The parent company, Cargo Networks, is seeking $500,000 in funding for use in customer acquisition and for the planned launch of a second site focused on African-American women using the same Urban Cargo model.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)