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People everywhere, quite rightly, consider Paris the epicenter of the fashion universe. That the capital, and France, is positioned to become one of the planet’s most fertile environments for startups is also rapidly entering their consciousness. When these two worlds intersect, the results are spectacular. Below are ten superstar companies of the moment, all of which are using technology to change how we think about, shop for, or wear fashion.
Carnet de Mode is an online fashion platform showcasing clothing, shoes, handbags, and jewelry from the world’s most exciting new designers and boutiques. It is an antidote to the unoriginal, poor-quality shopping experience that globalization has created. Instead, the company’s fashionistas, led by its founder, Arbia Smiti, search more than 30 countries on their customer’s behalf for young talent that best represents local creativity and craftsmanship. Quality, originality, and price are crucial to selecting designers, who often produce exclusively for Carnet de Mode and always in a limited quantity. As Smiti puts it, ‘beauty can never be mass-produced’.
Founded in 2009, Vestiaire Collective allows its 5,000,000 members to buy and sell pre-owned luxury fashion in a secure online marketplace. It is the most successful website of its kind in Europe, with over 400,000 shoppable items at any given moment, including designer bags, shoes, jewelry, dresses, jackets, and more, and 4,000 new pieces added every day. You’ll find blue-chip brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Burberry as well as the best mid-range labels like Isabel Marant, Sandro, Maje, and Acne Studios. Whatever you buy, every item is quality checked and has its authenticity 100% guaranteed.
If you don’t already, you’ll soon know MySprezz as the Tinder of fashion. This e-commerce app launched in September 2016 and is the first to offer instant and personalized fashion inspiration. Users swipe through looks generated by their profile, which details gender, style, budget, calendar, and the weather, and purchase the clothes, shoes, and accessories they like. The system integrates easily with established online stores like Asos and Topshop and over 400 incorporated brands make possible looks limitless. The name comes from the Italian word sprezzatura, meaning ‘effortlessly stylish’ and, with MySprezz, looking good will be a whole lot easier.
Endeer, without a shadow of a doubt, represents the future of lingerie. The old-school, two-pronged approach to bra fitting of back length and cup size, which has dominated since 1932, is finished. And, given that 70% of women experience daily discomfort because of it, good riddance. Using state-of-the-art technology, this startup creates made-to-measure, 3D-printed removable pads that can be used with bras made by partner brands. Quite simply, the software and hardware approach that Endeer proposes enables brands and, most importantly, their customers to fit the bra to the breast and not the breast to the bra.
Spartan boxer briefs, which protect male private parts from cell phone and Wi-Fi radiation, are the latest innovation in men’s underwear. The high-tech design was inspired by a recent study which found that the sperm count of men who regularly kept their phones in their pockets was halved and the quality of the remaining 50% was strongly negatively impacted. Spartan’s exclusive fabric, a combination of silver fibers and cotton, blocks over 99% of wireless radiation and is also comfortable and naturally odor-reducing. As you’d expect from their Parisian origin, style remains as important as all their technological benefits.
Noüne is an innovative brand of handbags that uses unusual materials like wood, leather, acrylic, and metal and pioneering machines. The inspiration behind its collections is global but the finished product is 100% made in France. The business is run by three siblings and came about after Arthur, an engineer, gifted his sister, Nina, a prototype wooden handbag for her birthday. Soon after, their brother Thomas joined in the fun (and hard work). This Paris startup is already giving back, planting a tree for every bag produced and collaborating with ESAT, an organization helping people with disabilities get great jobs.
De Rigueur is one of the hottest FashionTech brands around, combining traditional French savoir faire in luxury handcrafted goods with modern advancements in connected technology. Adrien Deslous-Paoli’s label launched its Connected Sleeve, a wireless and elegant charging solution for smartphones, in March 2016. With its integrated 7,000 milliamp hour battery, this unique product works by electromagnetic induction, eliminating the need for cables and optimizing energy consumption with patented hardware and embedded software. Your phone can charge either inside or lying on top of the Connected Sleeve, which has the capacity to fully charge the device twice.
Arnaud Lancelot and Erwan Colin, the two creators behind Shammane, a brand of smartwatch that values fashion as much as technology, were brought together by their shared passion for beauty in form, intelligent design, and the emotional fulfillment of travel. Since 2015, they have developed a range of high-end watches that combine the timelessness of an elegant face with the adaptability of trendy, exchangeable straps. Much more than a relater of information (messages, calls, calendar alerts, push notifications, alarms, and steps) from smartphone to wearer, Shammane watches are stunning pieces of jewelry in their own right.
Wouldn’t we all love to have Anna Wintour on hand while we’re getting dressed in the morning? While AskAnna doesn’t give you the only opinion in fashion that matters, it does connect you instantly with a group of people of the same age and with similar styles who can offer useful advice. The app enables you to join a community of fashion enthusiasts whose solid recommendations are rewarded with votes and increased influence. The aim of the game is to improve your look and, if you have the know-how, to help others do the same.
Monshowroom is presently the top site for the sale of current collections. On its pages are ready-to-wear pieces and accessories from more than 350 trendy brands, including Sessùn, American Vintage, Antik Batik, Ba&sh, Ikks Women, Paul & Joe Sister, See by Chloé, and Tara Jarmon. For the Autumn/Winter 2016 collections, there are more than 25,000 items for sale, each of which can be securely purchased and dispatched around the world in under 24 hours. The company has been around for ten years but is still as fresh and relevant as ever.