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.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)