The Harvard Fashion Tech Crew, Round Two
Call it an embarrassment of riches. On Valentine’s Day (no coincidence) I published a roundup of 16 fashion tech startups with founders from Harvard Business School, and asked any entrepreneurs I may have missed to please come forward. What resulted was enough new submissions to merit another story. So here we are.
This new set of companies includes online stylist platforms, innovative online men’s boutiques, and service for loyal consumers with targeted offers from fashion brands.Three of the companies are led by HBS alums, but we branched out a bit this time to include one company founded by a Harvard Law School alum, and one company based in San Francisco (a bit off the beaten track for fashion startups, most of which are clustered in New York). And it’s worth noting a few other Boston-area fashion tech companies as honorable mentions: StyleforHire was founded by MIT Sloan MBA Cindy McLaughlin (thanks to James Geshwiler for the pointer). And Blank Label, the men’s dress shirt customization startup, was founded in Boston by Fan Bi, who left the country for a bit and came back to the area last year.
It’s clear the space is booming. “But I think everybody has a really unique angle with what they’re doing,” says Radha Kapoor of LookLab. “It’s not like there are clones.”
Many of these startups share similar themes, like online personal stylists and curated e-commerce experiences, or go after similar slices of the apparel industry, but take a look through the group (below and in the previous story) and let us know if you think it’s getting too crowded.
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|Keaton Row — Keaton Row hopes to put the personal shopper experience for professional women online. Co-founders Elenor Mak (HBS ’07) and Cheryl Han (HBS ’11) connected through their shared alma mater and background in consumer products. Han is a veteran of beauty companies L’Oreal and Clarins, and Mak worked as a national sales director for Avon, whose women-entrepreneur model Keaton Row draws on. Shoppers input their their shopping budgets, style, and brand preferences, and the online platform matches them with a stylist, who walks them through a selection of products handpicked to match the shopper needs—all through the Keaton Row website, which launched its private beta version in February. “Our vision is to become a new distribution channel solution for our brand partners,” says Mak.|