For some, getting dressed is more folly than fun. It’s even harder for those who can’t quite remember every item they own.
Actress Brooklyn Decker and journalist Whitney Casey know this irritation well. To fight back, the friends founded New York City-based Finery, an online tool that’s graduating from wardrobe management to styling service based on items users already own.
“Brooke and I started talking, and every time we got ready for a trip or traveling and working so much, we really had trouble with inventory management,” said Casey, an author and one-time reporter for CNN. “The issue with your closet is that you continue to buy more things than you need. You only wear 20 percent of your wardrobe.”
The premise is similar to that of the Echo Look, which can also catalogue users’ wardrobes. But there’s one fundamental difference: Amazon’s fashion camera requires users to photograph every top, skirt and pant. Finery emphasizes convenience by filing a user’s current wardrobe automatically. With the user’s permission, the company can check shopping receipts in their email inbox, thanks to a web site plugin.
According to Decker, the system only checks shopping receipts, and the data is anonymized.
Finery also allows user to add other garments as well, like that hand-stitched dress from Grandma.
The premise, which started three years ago, has attracted an all-star lineup of investors, including venture capital firm NEA, retail platform Farfetch, RetailMeNot’s Cotter Cunningham, TheSkimm founders Carly Zakin and Danielle and more. And early adopters of the service including well-known personalities, including Chrissy Teigen, Rachel Zoe, Vogue’s Lauren Santo Domingo and Bobbie Thomas, NBC’s TODAY Show Style Editor Kelly Wearstler, We Wore What founder Emily Schuman, model and author Molly Sims, among others.
Now the company is set to update its iPhone app Tuesday with new artificial intelligence-driven styling recommendations, with an Android version to come later. The suggestions cover new combinations or additional items based on users’ existing wardrobe, along with personalized wish lists, price reduction alerts and return deadlines. The system also uses computer vision, to scan customers’ favorite Instagram influencers for style inspiration.
The other element is social, which the partners consider a powerful force in maintaining their community, which numbers in the hundreds of thousands. Decker has gone all in on social, holding Facebook Live events and communicating with customers.
“Whitney’s focus is product, so she’s all about perfecting the product and making sure to meet the users’ needs,” said Decker. “I’m all about building community, so I’m definitely focused on user growth. We just want to make sure that the experience for our women is a positive one.”
For Casey, the operation is particularly meaningful because it’s “women that created it, women that run it and women that use it,” she said.
It’s still early days, but the founders are proud to have attracted hundreds of thousands of users already, with a low sub-2 percent churn rate, as well as filing a patent recently. They aren’t focused on monetization or partnerships yet, but they do leave the door open to them someday.
“Just think about Amazon Echo Look … [or] fitting tech with our technology,” Casey mused. Maybe someday.