Being a stylist isn’t only playing dress-up with models and celebrities all day. There is some drudgery involved in actually finding and pulling garments for a photo shoot or client, but a new platform is aiming to reduce the work on this end.
Stylepull has been operating under a very soft launch in recent weeks, signing up more than 200 mostly contemporary, midrange brands to the membership-only platform that showcases apparel for easy discovery and perusal by stylists. Founder and chief executive officer Kyle Heller, a former TV and film producer who founded now-closed branded video company Cinematique, with a business partner in Jonny Saven, who early this year left as ceo of A.L.C., want to take all of the “friction” out of the sometimes fraught process. They’re also looking to put more power back in the hands of stylists who are endlessly pushed product by brands’ p.r.’s. Stylists who have started to use the platform include Marni Senofonte, Andrew Gelwicks and Amelian Kashiro.
“The name is actually kind of a play on words because it’s typically been p.r. pushing brands onto stylists or celebrities,” Heller said. “We think we’re flipping that on its head.”
“I know from being attached to brands over the years, one of the biggest frustrations is coordinating with people on the other side of the pull,” Saven said. “Then it’s the whole push process and trying to get out to a larger audience.”
There are many styling services for consumers, mainly for midlevel fashion like Stitch Fix and Trunk Club, and there are of course many news outlets and e-commerce sites that offer images of collections. Stylepull appears to be the first focused on not shopping but industry production. Heller, a self-described “product guy” who codes, said he’s been building the technology for the past six months or so.
But the company, self-funded with no outside investment, is taking one step at a time. With the now official launch, the platform is only operating as that — all of the logistics are still left to be coordinated by the brand and the stylist doing the pulling. But a stylist has several options to narrow their search, availability and location along with expected features like style, color, brand. They can create a mood board with looks and any requests for items to go directly to a brand, which has one business day to respond.
The brands on Stylepull, all of which pay $500 a month for a starting membership package that can go up to $1,500 a month for additional services (it’s free for members on the pull side, after being vetted to ensure they are legitimate professionals), are not the typical luxury names one often sees in magazines. But Heller and Saven are fine with that. For now.
“We’ve heard from stylists that they don’t want just the traditional brands — they can get those — they want a small independent brand that might be emerging in Europe or South America,” Saven said. “We’re targeting contemporary brands right now to get some scale.”
“We’ve had stylists say, ‘I never would have thought of pulling from Lacoste,’ but they see the latest collection and it works,” Heller added.
Right now, about 150 stylist are signed up to use Stylepull and feedback from the soft launch has been positive. Stylists are liking the discovery aspect and having a single place to house looks they like, according to Heller, instead of what most often is a hodgepodge of photos and screenshots and notes on their phones. On the brand side, Saven said it’s mostly comments like, “we needed this a long time ago,” and questions of when they’ll be able to do more on the platform.
Saven admitted, “We can’t solve everything at once,” and said the company is focused on building relationships with brands and stylists, but e-commerce, or “how transactions come to life,” has been a topic of some light discussion. But the first next step will be data collection and turning that into something useful for Stylepull and its brands.
“We’re a tech company first,” Heller said.
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