The fashion industry includes a wide range of specialized, smaller sectors. People frequently assume it includes retail and online businesses, design studios and brands, and fashion periodicals. There are other artisans and businesses involved in clothing production, nevertheless. Change occurs quickly and continuously in a lot of sectors, particularly those that are consumer-focused. Both the market and the consumer are continually evolving.
The fashion industry has been touched by the development of the Internet and technology in all areas. Customers’ data-sharing agreements with online platforms enable them to categorize and forecast consumer demand and behavior in the future. By utilizing this, one can create sustainable business strategy with less waste.
While most fashion brands are joining the bandwagon of technology adaption, FashWire has already emerged as one of the pioneers in the fashion-tech industry. Kimberly Carney, Founder & CEO of FashWire, was with the CEOViews team to share their story on how they are redefining the fashion industry with technology.
The Inception of the Company
After several years of owning a store, Kimberly Carney saw an opportunity to apply technology to fashion retail. Tech giants were utilizing target marketing and behavioral data 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. She saw tremendous value in connecting fashion brands and consumers by leveraging technology in an innovative, low cost and scalable way to build a bridge and strong connection between brands and consumers.
Customers’ data-sharing agreements with online platforms enable them to categorize and forecast consumer demand and behavior in the future.
Vision and Mission
FashWire’s mission was and still is to close the gap between brands and consumers. They are reframing the fashion industry by leveraging technology to provide consumers an opportunity to discover and shop worldwide brands and trends while delivering their brand’s critical real-time customer feedback. This data intelligence into consumer shopping patterns allows the brands to make smarter production decisions driving conversion, repeat purchases, and profitability.
FashWire’s mission was and still is to close the gap between brands and consumers.
Journey into Building FashWire
FashWire has now become one of the well-known platforms in the fashion industry. For everyone at the organization, it’s been a journey of continuing to push the boundaries. When they launched the FashWire platform’s development, few people were interested in getting involved with a woman-led, tech-driven business. Walking into male-dominated meetings to get investments and partnering with brands was not easy. As a founder, Kimberly could instantly see snap judgments being made. She had to figure out how to do things with little or no money, which most of the time meant doing things by herself.
They started exhibiting in start-up tech shows to get exposure, which led to great influential tech connections, like Google. She then 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. Her persistence was key to bringing innovation to the market. She also learned to capitalize on her expertise while building a talented team.
What They Do
FashWire provides over 400 brands from more than 40 countries with a place to showcase unedited curated collections. The platform allows consumers to give brands real-time feedback through its swipe technology, creating a dialogue that can help both budding and established brands make the right product allocations, cut down on production costs for less popular pieces, and help inform businesses’ decisions and investments for future collections. They also leverage AI technology to enhance the consumer shopping experience and leverage consumer preferences to match them with the right brands and products.
Kimberly believes that personalization and user experience are key trends in the market.
FashWire’s proprietary swipe technology allows consumers to give their feedback and be influencers while giving brands important insights on what resonates with their purchasing decisions. Their consumers are able to see a brand’s entire product offering and swipe if they love an item or would prefer to pass on an item. This instant consumer feedback allows brands to make better production decisions as they get vital real-time insights. It encourages users to be influencers as their feedback becomes part of essential brand decision-making.
They consistently embrace technology trends to remain competitive in the marketplace and to improve the customer experience. This includes, for example, the use of AI in leveraging data to match consumers with brands. Their platform is built for dynamic trends, as real-time feedback allows their partnering brands to detect and adapt to changes in consumer trends quickly.
FashWire offers an interactive experience to discover, engage and shop independent, emerging and established brands from around the world. Their users not only appreciate but increasingly expect this kind of interaction. More recently, they successfully launched into the beauty world with their GlossWire platform and will be launching in the home & décor industry with CasaWire in December 2022.
Role of Innovation
Innovation plays a key role in the success of any tech-backed organization. Speaking about the same, Kimberly said, “To help consumers truly connect to the brands on our platform, we provide multiple opportunities to bring the individuals behind the brand name to the forefront, reminding consumers that real people are behind the products they love and wear every day. Consumers have direct access to each brand’s mission, backstory, social media channels, website, exclusive interviews, and more. We are not about pushing products. We are about highlighting and celebrating the individuals behind the products and the purpose their brand was created for. In short, we act as an incubator for the growth and development of these emerging brands, providing a platform that enhances discovery and demand.”
Upcoming Market Trends
Kimberly believes that personalization and user experience are key trends in the market. Consumers can find fashion anywhere, so creating an innovative and engaging experience will be what users are looking for most. The ability to find the latest trends as well as unique, curated collections that matches their personal values will be a driving force for the FashWire user. Other digital market trends will consist of AR & VR capabilities as the Metaverse becomes more of a trending topic. Celebrating individuality and a more immersive experience will be at the forefront of these new technologies, and FashWire alongside its other verticals will continue to be at the forefront of this change.