Moda Operandi Founder, HBS Alum Talks Fashion Curation, Data, and Fit

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really paved the path and made it easier for fashion tech entrepreneurs to launch their business.

When I first moved to New York, for part of my job I was raising money for fashion businesses, and that was an extraordinarily difficult task at the time. When you combine fashion and tech with these huge businesses having been built, VCs are much more understanding now of the potential. But some of them have not understood the significant potential at the very high end of the industry—at the luxury portion.

If you look at the numbers, full price, luxury retail actually grew faster than discounted fashion last year. That full-price luxury customer is coming online more and more, the experiences they’re being offered are more and more suited to what they’re looking for, and more and more of the brands are coming online.

Much of the growth is going to be in full-priced online luxury. Some of the VCs understand that, some are very focused on the discounts, and it’s all about the deal.

X: What problems in the retail industry do you think remain to be solved, and how are startups tackling them?
AM: One of the problems that I would like to be solved is the sizing problem. The single biggest barrier of people shopping online is still the question of what size is right for me. There are some companies that are really trying to address that problem right now in different ways. I’m very excited to follow that even over the next few months and year to see which of those models will stand out and will help businesses like ours to make the shopping experience easier and to minimize returns.

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