Fashion Tech Startups to Watch
8 fashion-Tech StartUps to Watch
By Miki Reynolds, Co-Founder & CFO of Grid110
GRID110 is an economic and community development organization working to activate the startup ecosystem in DTLA. It began as a community task force in June of 2014, received its 501c3 this past summer, and launched officially as an incorporated organization in July 2015 in partnership with the office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Their first initiative was an accelerator-like program focused on supporting fashion tech entrepreneurs during their most critical stages of growth by connecting them to office space, mentors, and funding. As they move into the third year of programming mid-2017, they will be expanding to entrepreneurs outside of just fashion tech. They currently take 0% equity from startup participants.
“LA on the whole is primed to support the new wave of companies tackling old school business. We are all personally invested in seeing downtown thrive – because it’s where we all live, work, and/or play. We ultimately decided to call the organization GRID110 because the 110 freeway runs the length of LA country from the ports to Pasadena, straight through downtown, and is essentially a lifeline for the ecosystem. We take pride in giving back to the community and supporting local businesses and startups because it means a better future for everyone here in LA. “ Stephen Kane, Board Chair, GRID110.
Their efforts are supported by corporate sponsors including legal firm Nixon Peabody, commercial property owner Brookfield and most recently workspace/community hub Cross Campus LA, alongside a growing network of community partners.
See some of their more notable and thriving brands below...
Vrai & Oro makes owning fine jewelry attainable by selling direct to consumer, online only, cutting out the middlemen and retail markups.
Vrai & Oro was recently acquired by Diamond Foundry, a company invested in by Leonardo DiCaprio.
Casetify is a design platform that allows users to create personalized tech accessories, phones cases and Apple Watch bands, using their own social images, or curated work from their favorite influencer or artist. Casetify ships to 120+ countries and is loved by celebrities like Hilary Duff and Snoop Dogg.
Casetify’s LA marketing team has tripled in size. They recently moved into their own office space in downtown, in the same building as notable LA creative companies like Studio DIY. They have not only grown their LA based team but are currently working on dramatically increasing their wholesale efforts.
SimpleTux offers an online and direct tuxedo sales hybrid model that merges the comfort and security of brick and mortar shopping with the convenience of e-commerce.
Simple Tux reorganized their founding team while participating in GRID110 with Eric Chang, their founder, running Simple Tux from Silicon Valley and currently focused on restructuring their go-to market plan. Co-founder and former-CEO Chris Sheng left the company to take a position as Head of Growth at Lumi, and is now independently consulting on growth strategies for other startups in downtown LA. Sheng credited GRID110 with helping him launch into this new career direction.
Reel started in New York City but is calling LA home. Founder Daniela Corrente was looking for ways to afford fashion that was out of budget. She joined forces with Co-Founders Alejandro Quilici & Matt Filion on a quest to answer a simple question: How can we make the unaffordable affordable for a young hard working generation?
“With Reel we are offering a smart and easy solution, it’s a way to save money for shopping. It automatically saves towards your purchase, while we hunt for the best deal on the item you want. We’re helping people treat themselves to what they want with their own money. No sweat. No guilt.”
FLATLAY is a social influencer platform and publishing tools that help people discover and receive rewards for sharing product collections and content.
Founded in 2014, NailSnaps is the world’s best way to transform social images into salon-quality custom nail wraps that can be applied at-home in minutes. No mess. No toxicity. No dry time. Next level personal expression, literally at your fingertips. NailSnaps manufactures top quality nail wraps you can't find elsewhere. Available on AppStore and online, NailSnaps ships to 24+ countries and is loved by cutting edge influencers and artists like Michelle Phan, James Wild, and Olga Kay.
Lumenus is a company pioneering the space of smart-clothing and wearable tech by embedding LEDs into clothing and accessories and connecting those with advanced software. Lumenus automatically engages the right lighting for every situation through #ZeroUI design (zero user interface—meaning it’s all autonomous). Simply enter your destination or training goals and let Lumenus do the rest—turn by turn navigation, visual pace monitoring, training programs, call/text alerts and more are displayed to the wearer. Moreover, those lights are visible to the drivers around you through turn signals, brake lights, intersection detection, and more that make sure drivers not only know where you are; but where you’re going combining smart-lighting that maximizes performance and might just save your life.
Jeremy Wall—dubbed “Steve Jobs of the Outdoor Industry” by Outside Magazine, began development over 3.5 years ago and moved to LA to found Lumenus with Caro Krissman—an LA native and expert in the consumer electronics field.
Successfully funded on Kickstarter, PERSU COLLECTION redefines the traditional gym bag with its thoughtful, detailed design and highly-functional features.
This is the fitness and daily travel accessory that finally meets the needs of the modern and active lifestyle. 694 backers pledged $90,938 to help bring this project to life on Kickstarter.
Read Miki's feature article Car-less in Los Angeles