Barcelona tech startups are constantly coming up with new solutions to make our lives better and easier (see how they are revolutionizing our food habits), and they are disrupting the fashion industry too. How long before we all ask for fashion advice through apps and have robots pick out our outfits? We’re already ordering doing a large portion of our shopping online. Will physical stores eventually become obsolete? Until we find out, we’ve selected six Barcelona-based startups that are leading the way to online and tech-based fashion.
Hailing from New York and Barcelona, the creators of YUME_HUB are determined to help everyone pick the best outfit every time, even if there’s no one around to ask for advice. If you’re debating whether you should wear a tight skirt with a loose blouse, or a pencil skirt with a crop top, all you need to do is upload a mirror selfie to the YUME_HUB app, and other users will give you their opinion in real time. You can choose to share multiple outfits or just one, and you’ll get immediate and honest feedback from the community, so you don’t have to leave for a date, a job interview or work without making sure that you’d made the right fashion choices. We all like to share pictures of our #outfitoftheday on Instagram, so why not do the same on a platform where we can get actual, honest opinions instead of meaningless likes?
MTS or Moves to Slow Fashion was created by founders Rosa Bernier and Mónica Melero, who had had enough of the fast fashion world and its negligence towards environmental protection and sustainability. They created a platform where you can buy stylish fashion items by designers who respect the environment and believe that fashion can be ethical and ecological. Whether it’s clothes, shoes or accessories that you’re looking for, you’ll find the newest collections for the season on their website, along with curiosities such as bags made from upcycled materials, as well as makeup and beauty products. If you have a stash of clothes that you no longer use, they’ll pick it up for free and give you a 15% discount in return for you efforts at sustainability!
If you think original sneakers are only for rock stars, think again. On the Brand Your Shoes website, you can design your own sneakers with the help of a configurator, by first choosing a style model, and then customizing your shoes however you want. You can pick out the colors, the materials, upload your logo or write your brand’s name on them. This isn’t just a great opportunity for individuals, it’s also an awesome option for sports teams, companies, schools, or any sorts of associations that would like to complete their uniforms with custom made shoes. And it’s all done by professional shoe artisans in Spain. Barcelona startups do think of everything, right?
Ever seen a photo of a celebrity in a magazine and searched far and wide for a similar, but cheaper outfit? The Barcelona-based artificial intelligence startup Wide Eyes Technologies has developed cutting-edge software that uses image recognition to find items similar to what you’re looking for in their partner stores’ databases. It can also recommend items to go with the ones you’ve chosen and complete your look. Say, if you spot a pair of sandals on Pinterest that you really like, but you have no idea what clothes you could wear them with, then you can just ask a shop assistant to scan them, search for a similar pair and look for matching products to create a complete look. It’s like having a robot with a keen sense of fashion and a superhuman knowledge of retailers’ databases for a personal shopper.
Read our interview with Wide Eyes Technologies about AI and the future of shopping!
Alright, calling Privalia, the Barcelona-born online fashion outlet a startup in 2017 does sound like a joke. It may have been a startup once, but now it’s a tremendously successful giant and an absolute market leader in Spain (Privalia’s acquisition in 2016 by the French e-commerce giant Vente-Privee marked the biggest exit Barcelona had ever seen, and today it has more than 28 million users worldwide). Now that that’s all cleared up, let’s see what Privalia actually does. The idea is that every day, you get new offers featuring select items by your favorite fashion brands at a discount price. You can shop through their app or their website, and receive your order in 2-7 days. Sounds simple, right? The only danger is that it’s very easy to spend a substantial amount of money in a very insubstantial amount of time.
If you’ve never heard of Wallapop, you must be living in a cave. Although not specifically fashion-focused and also technically not a startup anymore, Wallapop is the most widely used online marketplace in Spain, and if you’re into buying and selling second-hand clothes, it’s a treasure chest for you. It’s not just about finding unique fashion items, or spending less money than you would in an actual store: you’re also making an effort to live life in a more sustainable way by reusing things that other people might eventually throw away. If the planet is happy, you’ll be happy too.
Got any startups to add to this list? Don’t hesitate to comment below or get in touch!