While most brands are looking to influence the influencer set or inspire fans on social media, Jessie Zeng’s Choosy has flipped the script and is building its looks right off of Instagram — with a little help from artificial intelligence.
Zeng, who founded Choosy just over a year ago and leads the company as chief executive officer, is trying to skip past fast-fashion and other merchants with an ultra-targeted approach that caters to “women who specifically know the styles they want.”
Choosy’s AI analyzes millions of Instagram comments every day and Zeng said it zeroes in on “whatever is super talked about” and “tells us what’s going to sell really well.”
Using that social buzz as its base, the company’s staff — including 16 employees in New York and 15 in China — pulls together looks that are inspired by the social insights and gets them made in small batches. Goods sent to the U.S. are ready to ship to customers in two or three weeks, or even quicker.
Shipping to customers takes three to five days, making for rapid transfer of style from Bella Hadid’s Instagram feed to one’s closet.
It’s an approach that has come with something of a learning curve.
“When we first launched, we were all over the place and our customers were super confused,” Zeng said.
Now the brand, which relaunched its site this month and has a drop with 20 new pieces coming up soon, zeroes in on a key group of influencers and has lately been drawing inspiration from their “model off-duty” looks.
Zeng said the company — after some initial run-ins with other brands — is careful to not copy others’ designs, but instead picks up on the style of influencers and uses that to inform its own designs.
The average price on the site is about $70 and the typical basket is $120.
The firm, which raised $5.4 million in seed money in May, is now focusing on honing its brand message and considering a pop-up test in the future.