If you’re a guy and anything like me, you hate shopping for clothes, and would do almost anything to avoid it. And yet, we all need clothes, and most of us would prefer to look good and not like a dork, at least some of the time. Wouldn’t it be great if we could access a free online fashion consultant who could help us make clothing buying decisions from the comfort of our own screen?
Meet Wearit, the Auckland-based startup that lets guys buy without shopping, and girls shop without buying. It’s an online social platform that helps guys shop for clothes, by getting girls to recommend them. Girls pick their favourite guys to dress on the platform. With each outfit recommendation, girls earn points, become stylists and are rewarded with clothing vouchers. Guys receive personal outfit recommendations in their inbox and can purchase the outfit and clothes through the Wearit app.
I know, I know, it sounds a bit politically incorrect in that it reinforces gender role stereotypes, and exploits free female labour for the benefit of males. But plenty of people of both sexes seem to eager to voluntarily opt-in, and I actually found it really useful for my particular cis-hetero use case, which is a big market segment.
Founder Liam Houlahan and cofounder Kirsten Stevens went through Lightning Lab Auckland earlier this year, and managed to build up the business from an idea into a community of over 6,000 users, mainly in New Zealand, but they do have a smattering of overseas customers. They monetise by clipping the ticket on clothing sales performed through the site. And when I used the service, the clothing article I bought was significantly cheaper on the Wearit site than it was in the manufacturer’s ecommerce shop. Win-win.
I bought a woolen shacket, evidently a cross between a shirt and a jacket. It’s not the sort of thing I would ever have considered buying myself in a shop, and I rather like it.
Liam claims that menswear is the fastest growing ecommerce vertical, expanding at 17% per year, and is projected to do so for the next five years, making this an attractive global market, which they’re ready to attack.
I was a bit skeptical about the business opportunity at first, but Liam won me over with his Demo Day pitch (the actual pitch itself starts at 2m 50s into the clip).
Wearit is closing their seed round this week (by 25 September 2015) – if you’re interested in participating, you should contact Liam directly, and soon.
They’re also hiring a Rails dev, and you can look at the Job Description online if you’re interested in working for them.