Maison Me, an AI-designed made-to-order apparel brand, has raised $1 million in a seed round led by Founders Fund, the Google Assistant investment program, Gagarin Capital and other investors. The funding will be used to optimize the production chain of Maison Me’s clothing and make the service accessible on platforms such as Google Home.
Epytom Inc., which claims to be the first AI personal stylist chatbot, and the largest fashion recommendation platform with 300,000 monthly users, created Maison Me’s technology. Epytom founder Anastasia Sartan called Maison Me “a personal stylist on steroids.”
“We received an offer from Google, which is Interested in launching Maison Me on its voice assistants and smart-screen devices,” Sartan said. “It will be a gradual launch.”
Maison Me will bow on the company’s web site on Tuesday and launch on Google Home in early November. Smart Displays with the Google Assistant will “make it possible to build services and recommendations in such a visual industry as fashion,” said Ilya Gelfenbeyn, head of the Google Assistant investment program. “We believe that personalized what-to-wear recommendations can really simplify the morning routines for people. A lot of people start their day by asking their Google Home speakers for a weather forecast, and are looking for some help before they pick out their outfits.”
“Google is definitely going to be a big part of Maison Me’s growth,” Sartan said. “Google products will be integrated into consumers’ everyday lives.”
Epytom started work on its chatbot three years ago and was bootstrapping it until the necessary technology to make it widely accessible became available. “We proved in March that the technology is valid and started raising money,” Sartan said.
Maison Me asks consumers a comprehensive set of questions about their style preferences. Data gleaned from the questionnaire as well as an algorithm are used to determine the type of dress — the first item Maison Me is selling — the client will like.
“We’re working with a manufacturer, Arizona Apparel Foundation, which specializes in small-batch sustainable apparel. We’re reinventing the fashion supply chain and getting rid of dead stock. We developed a system where the manufacturing process is triggered by the order.”
Maison Me has a kinetic operating system that allows the company to make a sewing pattern on the back end in five seconds. The underlying technology enables Maison Me to create a custom garment in 15 days after payment. “It’s like a couture process, democratized,” Sartan said.
With prices ranging from $100 to $200 for the dress, Maison Me believes its proposition will be accessible to many women.
Custom clothing appeals to consumers who have difficulty finding apparel that’s “100 percent right. We realized that every single woman, when she shops for clothes, has to compromise on something. It may be the fit, or that the price is too high or the piece has a weird ruffle. Sizing is so inconsistent, it doesn’t mean anything anymore.”
Maison Me by the end of the year plans to get 1,000 orders a month. “Once we get the volume of the orders, we’ll target the mass market segment to be competitive with Zara,” Sartan said, going on to boast that “we’ll be as big as Stitch Fix.”