Whitney Casey and Brooklyn Decker, who co-founded the fashion and tech startup, Finery, offer users the experience of a virtual closet. Finery is an interface on which users can build their closet digitally, as if they are saving every item they own to the cloud. Casey’s vision is for the platform to act in the same way an app would for music or photos. She would like for users to have “anywhere, anytime access” to their wardrobe.
Casey says that this model of a “connected closet” is an essential tool for the future, considering that women spend an average of 2.5 hours per week thinking about what to wear, which adds up to about 2 years of their lives! Women will also spend 10 working days each year getting ready for work and they will spend more than 8 years of their lives shopping! An even larger issue is that even after all of this time curating a wardrobe and choosing what to wear each day, a women utilizes only 20% of her wardrobe! So, Casey and Decker designed a web platform and an app to address the issues of never knowing what to wear, over spending on garments, having a disorganized closet, and taking too much time to get ready.
Here’s how Finery works:
1) Once users provide their email information, Finery will use email and store account integration to help them automatically upload an image of the clothing they already own.
2) After sweeping the user’s shopping history, Finery will populate an image and ask if it is an accurate representation of an item the user owns.
3) Users may then choose whether they bought that item as a gift or whether they own the item.
4) Garments that are not added to the virtual wardrobe in this manner can be uploaded using the Pinterest-style browser widget. This will include any pieces that customers purchased at a brick-and-mortar store.
What are the downfalls?
The co-founders admit that the initial set-up will be frustrating and will require some work. Even further, the formula Finery currently uses really favours those of us who buy most of our clothing online. For those who continue to shop in-store, there is a bit of a disadvantage.
So will all of this front-end work deter prospective customers from using the app? If Finery is targeting the millennial population, then unfortunately, in a time sensitive economy, putting in the extra work to make this virtual closet may not be a priority.
One competitive edge that Finery will have with its app is that it is free! The more established competitors, such as Cladwell, often charge a subscription fee.
Regardless of the roadblocks this younger company may hit, we are enthusiastic about the innovation to come with virtual closets. Ultimately, this tool will allow us to buy less and more intentionally by having a digital reminder of all that we own. With tools to make virtual outfits using the garments that we already own, we can mix-and-match with less pieces and create lookbooks with our own unique garments!