A wise woman (named Rachel Zoe) once said that, “Fashion is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” That could totally be true, but in addition to serving as a vehicle for self expression – fashion (as an industry) also has a seemingly limitless profit potential.
Jeremiah Green was keenly aware of this duality within the fashion industry, but he was also tuned into some of the more costly problems retailers and designers face in trying to cater to a customer base that is notorious for its short attention span. In traditional brick-and-mortar retail, a customer can only show what they are interested in by buying it. If a customer walks out without buying anything – the store doesn’t just lose a sale, they lose valuable information.
Why did the customer leave? What were they looking for that we couldn’t deliver? If retailers are able to answer these questions, they would stand to make a huge amount of money. This is where Green’s idea comes in. Purely Fashion started as a fashion discovery platform which allowed users to discover and follow their favorite designers. It has since grown into an app that could very well help retailers and designers as much as it does fashion-junkies.
The app offers users a clean straightforward way to:
- Browse and track their favorite collections
- Discover the best up-and-coming designers and collections
- Get exclusive sneak peeks on the newest and coolest collections
It also has an in-app feature that lets users buy looks (from participating designers) directly from the runway. Users also have their own “Lookbook” that helps them track their favorite pieces and designers. The lookbook also helps provide retailers with insight into what potential customers are craving. This is the type of data that retail buyers would go crazy for.
Crazy Sexy Data
Knowing what trends customers are connecting with before placing massive orders means less waste and more profit for retailers. It also means customers have a better chance of getting what they want. Fashion has a huge voice on social media, the trouble is trying to interpret trends from such a diffuse network of platforms and users.
Purely is quickly distinguishing itself as a streamlined application that meets the nuanced needs of both retailers and customers. It is able to identify trends in realtime just by looking at their users’ likes. This realtime output of data is faster, more dynamic, and potentially more relevant than more traditional prediction models. In addition to giving designers information they need, Purely is also focused on speeding the flow of capital to the people who design and sell these looks.
Contrary to popular belief, most designers have to wait months to get paid by retailers. Green is adamant about paying the designers that sell on Purely quickly – not just out of fairness but also to fortify the relationship between designers and the site.
It’s not just about keeping designers and small businesses happy though. The team at Purely Fashion is clearly obsessed with providing users with the material they want. Sure, as a platform, Purely is helping people discover looks that they go crazy for, but they also sell pieces from cool independent designers that would be difficult to find (and buy) otherwise. The shop brings the work of designers from Brooklyn to Shanghai to one clean, simple, user-focused place.
Maintaining a constant stream of new and engaging content for users isn’t easy, but Purely has clearly marked this process as priority number one. They are also developing an “alert” function that will notify users when something from their lookbook goes on sale.
Numbers are important of course, but Purely’s other strength lies in the way they manage to keep the conversation about fashion and trends going among the people who care. The standard bases are covered – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and a company blog all help to keep the fashion savvy in the know. But they also engage with the public by taking their message into the non-digital world with endeavors like their PopUp Event.
Purely PopUp is a five week fashion event which includes trunk shows, exclusive previews, and a shop where the people can browse through the hottest looks in person.
Fashion means different things to different people, but platforms like Purely empower users to define it a way that works for them. It looks like there might be a new definition of couture when talking fashion.