The fashion industry encompasses many different smaller and more niche industries. Often people think of it as just retail/online stores, design houses and brands, and fashion magazines. However, there are other craftspeople and industries in the manufacturing of clothes. Like a lot of industries, particularly those that are consumer-focused, change happens fast and constantly. The industry and the consumer is constantly evolving.
The rise of the Internet and Technology has impacted all parts of the fashion industry, not just the selling end of the industry. The data that customers agree to share with the online platforms help them to sort and predict the behavior and demand for the future. Taking advantage of this, one can build a sustainable model of business with minimal wastage.
FashWire is one such organization that is leveraging the technology to its advantage and building a brand for the future. Kimberly Carney, CEO of FashWire, was with the CEOViews team to share her entrepreneurial journey.
The story of the inception
Kimberly Carney has several years of experience in owning a multi-brand retail store with a corporate tech background. She realized that retail would not survive without adapting to tech because digital adoption became a key factor in driving buying decisions forward. Target marketing and behavioural data were being utilized by companies to help project sales, which became a key factor in buying inventory; prior to this, all buying was done based on the previous season’s store numbers. Her parallel experience in tech and fashion, connecting the two worlds, was the catalyst for the FashWire platform. She came up with the initial concept for FashWire in 2015 and after a few setbacks, the company launched in 2018 with a Google partnership that allowed her to reach a wide audience.
FASHWIRE IS ONE SUCH ORGANIZATION THAT IS LEVERAGING THE TECHNOLOGY TOITS ADVANTAGE AND BUILDING A BRAND FOR THE FUTURE.
FashWire was developed within a short period, but it faced a challenge to onboard fashion designers and brands. She was able to convince the brands in her retail store to join the platform, which led the path to acquiring more brands by direct access to the fashion trade shows. When she went out to raise money, people were not interested in getting involved with a woman-led, tech-driven business. It was not an easy task for her to walk into male-dominated meetings to pitch the platform. She could instantly see snap judgments being made. In the beginning, she had to figure out how to do things with little or no money, and most of the time, that meant doing things herself. Kimberly Carney started reaching out to industry executives for advice, and then they would connect her to people within their network. That strategy led to helpful feedback and, often, an investment. She also learned to capitalize on her own expertise while building up a talented team.
To increase their userbase at the very initial stage, they started promoting the mobile app during the early stages of their app development journey. They created a buzz at both fashion and tech shows while they were building their social platforms. Their first adopters were the fashion community at the trade shows.
As said by Kimberly Carney, key factors for their success have been the brand partners and the relationships. Their collections and products drive consumer adoption, and consumers love having a direct influence on the brands. Consumers want to go wherever the brands are, and they offer this opportunity on a global scale.
FashWire offers a very comprehensive range for their consumer base with over 30,000 products from a diverse and inclusive selection of brands. In addition to their consumer intelligence technology, they give the brands a way to communicate their message globally. FashWire supports also its brand partners through their pitch competitions and exclusive interviews with exposure to their 400K+ global communities.
Keeping the innovation live
They believe their platforms and their data analytics solution are changing the face of fashion retail by putting the customer at the heart of all decisions. FashWire’s biggest priority is making sure their app and web-based platform works seamlessly for their userbase by enhancing their algorithms to get the best-personalized recommendations for each individual.
With their innovative technology, they are redefining the way fashion brands interact with consumers. They have made a significant impact on their brands in a challenging supply chain environment, allowing smaller brands to not just survive, but succeed. Real-time feedback to the brands gives consumers a powerful voice in the products they buy, as well as real-time feedback.
Roadmap for the future
Diversity, engagement, and inclusion are core to FashWire’s values. Their path forward is clear. Its aim is to be the go-to platform in the fashion industry for an engaged, sustainable, and inclusive shopping experience between designers and consumers. They are continuously attracting new brands. Also, they are localizing their apps to support different languages, further increasing their global reach. Additionally, they recently launched into the beauty space with their innovative app GlossWire and they are currently building CasaWire to bring home + décor brands to shoppers with the same compelling platform catering to the global home and décor $700B global markets.