It’s not enough in the fashion industry to just look good anymore – being fashion-forward increasingly requires integrating technology to sell, purchase and create fashion items. Designing cutting edge wearable technology, using big data technology to match the right outfit with the right customer and using interactive displays to draw in consumers are all part of the ‘FashTech’ (fashion technology) revolution.
These are some of the top Israeli fashion tech companies looking to make the business of fashion a lot more cutting-edge.
According to some, wearable technology will only take off if it is designed with an eye for fashion, which is why Intel has joined forces with fashion house Opening Ceremony to create a luxury smart accessory designed for the fashion forward, connected woman. MICA, standing for “My Intelligent Communication Accessory,” is a high-end designer bracelet, complete with semiprecious stones, 18K gold plating and designed with a curved sapphire touch screen display allowing users to access text messages, calendar reminders, meeting alerts and other notifications through Google, Facebook, and Yelp. MICA works without being connected to a smartphone and will be powered by its own two-year AT&T data contract. For $450, you can stay ahead of the fashion trends and buy this bracelet for your connected loved ones at Barney’s or Opening Ceremony online and in stores.
The cosmetics industry has gotten a makeover with EZface technology, a technology that allows consumers to digitally try on color cosmetics without making a mess! Founded in 2000, by Ruth Gal and Rami Orpaz, this futuristic cosmetic solution, now available at kiosks in over 30 stores worldwide, claims to provide a hassle-free way for women to find the cosmetics that will best suit their features and needs. Just snap a digital photo using the kiosk’s camera, scan the barcode of any beauty product, and in seconds, the technology analyzes the photo to determine precisely where and how to apply the makeup. The system provides a very realistic preview of the customer’s new look and even suggests complementary products and shades that best suit the user’s profile. For now you can scan a variety of products from L’Oreal Paris, Maybelline New York, CoverGirl and Revlon, but the company hopes to continue expanding its reach. And – it gets even better – the EZface app is now available for iPhone, so now you can virtually try on makeup on the go!
‘Wow I love your bag! Where did you get it?’ This is one question that AWear founder Liron Slonimsky regretted asking after an uncomfortable encounter with a stylish stranger who wouldn’t reveal her outfit’s origin. Fortunately, those awkward encounters may be a thing of the past since Slonimsky founded her company in 2013. AWear’s application allows users to identify the exact piece of clothing or accessory someone is wearing from up to 30 feet away. Eyeing those killer boots on a fashionista across the street? Just covertly use your phone to scan the item and the app promises to reveal the brand, price, and where you can buy it within seconds. For some items, you can even make an online purchase directly through the app. The technology works by embedding AWear’s specially designed chips into a brand’s product, which means that millions of retailers and brands will have to get onboard with AWear for this technology to really work. But according to the company, the technology turns customers into brand ambassadors and provides designers with free marketing. Consumers also get rewarded; every time an item they’re wearing is scanned, they earn points that turn into rewards and discounts from that brand.
Stylit claims that finding the perfect outfit with their technology has never been easier. Fill out a short questionnaire online regarding your budget, style, and size and in just seconds an “algo-fashion” styling machine will determine your style DNA. Employing over 50 international stylists, the Stylit team hopes to be able to offer up keen style advice that suits your personal style, size and budgetary limits. Each week, the team delivers free styling advice right to your e-mail, including suggested outfits, accessories, and even makeup. The best part about the site is that once you find an outfit you like, all you have to do is click and you’ll be taken directly to the website of the store where you can purchase it. By rating outfit choices, Stylit is able to adjust its recommendations to ensure that their users discover clothes that they love. Currently the site is geared towards women, but founders Maya Kramer, Yaniv Nissim, Michael Gutkin, and Shilo Ayalon hope to eventually offer up a similar service for men.
Research shows that nearly half of all clothing purchases made online are returned because finding the right size and fit online can be very tricky. That’s why ecommerce accounts for only 15 percent of total garment sales as shoppers are reluctant to buy clothes they can’t try on. A new smart garment, LikeAGlove, is about to change that. Just put the LikeAGlove garment on in the comfort of your home, stand up, and in seconds the smart fabric will measure your exact shape and send the data over Bluetooth to the LikeAGlove app on your phone or tablet. The app will save your data to your personal account, which you can use within the LikeAGlove search engine to help you find the clothing items you are looking for, and in the right size! The innovative search engine not only suggests items that are the right size, but also ones that suit your body type.
Fashion designers aren’t mind readers and they can’t always predict what their customers will want. But by allowing the customer to dictate what’s in style, Famuza is creating a real buzz. According to founders Tomer Dvir and Asaf Hachmon, tons of clothing items are discarded each year due to over production and a lack of demand. At Famuza, a new type of fashion house pledged to “real fashion, by real designers, for real people,” demand is calculated by reaching out to the crowd, allowing ideas to flow between designers and customers without interference. Up-and-coming designers provide sketches and designs, and the users get to decide which of the ideas comes to life. Famuza will then coordinate production and distribution for the most popular items, predict the demand, and manufacture the clothing that we really want to wear to minimize waste.
It can be difficult to buy clothes online without trying them on, but Zeekit, similar to LikeAGlove (above), is making virtual fitting possible. Created by Alon Kristal, Yael Vizel and Nir Appleboim, Zeekit allows you to envision how you look wearing the clothing you find online. All you have to do is upload a photo to the site, fill out a questionnaire about the kind of clothes you are looking for and click on any of the available clothing items to virtually try them on. You can even mix and match, trying on different colors and patterns to see what works best. When you find what you like, you can purchase it through the Zeekit app, which also recommends sizes, showing users where items fit and where they don’t. Still in beta stage, Zeekit hopes to transform the online shopping industry by using its image processing technology to boost online sales and bestow confidence in consumers of the digital age.
Every once in awhile a girl has to indulge herself, and according to Jimmy Choo, “The right shoe can make everything different.” That’s why Beni Gazala, Alex Azarh, and Danny Shir have teamed up to create SnapGet, a simple new way to find those must-have shoes. It’s really very simple; just as the name suggests, ‘snap’ a picture of any shoe from any store, on any person, or in any magazine, and SnapGet promises to find it for you. Once you find what you’re looking for, you can purchase it right through the app. Priced above budget? SnapGet’s app can help you find a similar pair that’s in your price range, a feature that has reportedly increased purchases by up to 40 percent, according to news website GeekTime. The current version of the application focuses only on shoes, but the company plans to expand to other clothing items in the near future.
Israeli startup Fashioholic designs and develops what it calls “serious fashion games” to display and advertise designer trends to consumers. Participating designers choose what merchandise to display and are able to present their products in front of fashion-forward, style-savvy, trendsetters. Fashioholic’s latest app, Fashion Eye, is a social game that incorporates fashion, prompting players to pick which of two items they think is more expensive, guess the designer, or even the exact price. You can play against friends, unlock badges, and receive great offers. The best part is that you can save the clothing that you’re interested in and purchase it when you finish. By using games to promote their products, retailers and designers collect information on users’ preferences and deliver targeted, effective marketing strategies that can reach consumers in ways that display ads can’t.
“Increase your revenue one tune at a time”- that’s righTune’s motto. righTune helps brands connect emotionally to their online audience by creating an in-store ambiance through customized music. According to a survey by Gallup, 33 percent of consumers report that music influences their decision to make a purchase. That’s why righTune founder and CEO Erez Perlmuter, with the help of CTO Genady Trifton and Chief Music Editor Yossi Barak, have created a patented technology and ongoing learning mechanism to provide personalized music for websites. righTune obtains information about the target audience and core brand values to generate customized music for each website user. The company tracks user engagement for each website’s playlist, and learns which playlists perform best at which times of the day so that music can be adjusted and tailored as needed. All you have to do is sit back, relax, and listen in as your revenue rises – at least that’s what rightTune hopes!
Photos: Bigstock/ Collier Schorr- Intel/ EZFace/ WENN.com/ screenshot/ LikeAGlove/ Famuza/ Globes/ Fashioholic/ righTune