London Bets Big on Personalization

From curated recommendations to selecting the patterns and finishings on a made-to-order dress shirt, personalizing products or experiences isn’t just a nice option for shoppers, it’s an emerging trend. As the Business of Fashion reports, personalization is expected to be one of the major themes in the fashion industry in 2018/2019. In fact, respondents to the BoF-McKinsey Global Fashion survey identified personalization as the number one trend in 2018. According to a Linkdex survey, more than 70 percent of US consumers expect some sort of personalization from online businesses.

The rise of personalization is just another example of how consumers aren’t willing to accept out-of-the-box solutions and are increasingly demanding that brands work harder to serve their needs. With smartphones in hand, consumers have access to a plethora of options, which boosts demand for more unconventional business models with unique offerings. This explains why for the next round of their Pioneer Programme, the Centre for Fashion Enterprise (CFE) has announced they’ll be joined by six fashion tech innovators who all integrate personalization—whether that be the personalization of products or experiences. 

In case you haven’t heard of it, the Centre for Fashion Enterprise (CFE) is London’s pioneering fashion and fashion tech business incubator, backed by London College of Fashion, UAL. With a mission to nurture emerging Fashion Tech small-and-medium enterprises, the FashTech Pioneer Programme supports businesses for six months by providing regular one-on-one mentoring sessions and expert workshops covering business strategy, production, finance, and legal.

Incoming businesses include Bundlee, the UK’s first baby clothing rental subscription. Parents rent bundles of quality baby clothes then return them once they’re outgrown to get the next size up. Collarbone is a bespoke shirt brand/ service that enables men to create, customize and order their very own luxury bespoke shirts that are handcrafted according to their dimensions and delivered within 10 working days. 

 

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Other CFE Pioneer Programme freshmen include entrepreneurs betting big on services,  such as Harper Concierge. Harper Concierge is a luxury shopping service that helps fashion brands better connect with their customers by delivering the in-store experience at home. At once a fashion fulfilment and technology company, Harper aims to solve the nightmare of returns and bring people and service to the forefront of the online shopping experience. Then there’s Own Kind, a wardrobe digitization service that enables clients to browse their wardrobe from their phone, use the Own-Kind outfit planning tools, pack a digital suitcase for their trips, and link their outfits to locations and events on their trip. Proximistyle provides an effortless personalized search tool, with one-click reserve functions and a cross-brand shopping list that works both online and offline. 

Last but not least is Virt-u-code, a company working to provide a virtual 3D garment fitting experience. Virt-U-Code aims to offer a fully integrated solution that provides retailers with a platform where they can offer an interactive virtual fitting space to their customers with a personalized virtual avatar with accurate measurements. 

We can’t wait to watch these CFE Pioneer Programme businesses take shape. Electric Runway will bring you updates along the way. For more information about the CFE and how to get involved, please follow the link.

 

Amanda Cosco
Amanda is a freelance journalist and consultant focused on the intersection of fashion and technology and the founder of Electric Runway.

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