When we think of fashion, it is safe to assume that every individual has their own perception, ideas, and outlook. The fashion industry has always been distinctive from other manufacturing industries because it is largely ruled by the same intention of change and constant evolution. Apparel in itself is one of humanity’s basic needs but fashion creates its own conception of style, taste, and culture.
Looking back a few decades, the fashion industry has gone through exponential change and advancement. Year after year new trends have introduced themselves resulting from any kind of influence right from style icons, to music culture to films and so on.
In recent times, however, technology became a major driver for a lot of industries, fashion included. Companies now have started to figure out ways of incorporating tech to keep their customers engaged and their brand partners satisfied in order to stay ahead of the competition.
The digital platform for true brand solution
One of the fashion technology industry leaders of today is Fashwire Inc., a Delaware Corporation based in Seattle, Washington with two product offerings: FashWire and GlossWire. With its unique approach and latest technology-driven solutions, FashWire has established itself as a Global fashion apparel platform.
Kimberly Carney is the founder and CEO of FashWire and GlossWire. Both of these were launched as B2B fashion platforms to understand and navigate consumer demand and increase profitability for their partnering brands. The greatest differentiator of her service, she says is “we are designer and brand advocates, not product-driven. It is about the partnerships we establish with the brands, focusing on their purpose and the ability to give them a voice.”
With the launch of the FashWire app and web platform in May 2018, the company set a benchmark in the fashion-technology industry due to its proprietary swipe technology and a host of social integration tools.
“FashWire and GlossWire’s proprietary swipe technology gives consumers the opportunity to give their feedback and be influencers while giving brands important insights on what is resonating with consumers.”
Thanks to this, fashion designers and brands were enabled to make smarter inventory and product development decisions derived from real-time, trending, and actionable consumer data. The consumers get an advantage as well. They now have the perfect platform to view and select apparel from an international brand’s product offering and not be restricted to local brands. The swipe tool on the app is used to swipe left to like or save an item or swipe right to pass.
The swiping also provides instant real-time feedback to the brands and designers to make better product decisions while letting the users be influencers as their feedback becomes a part of the essential decision-making for the brand.
“Personalization is the hottest trend with digitization,” says Kimberly. “Personalization is all about getting the right product to the consumer. Our technology empowers consumers to give brands direct feedback on what they like, and also gives brands data based on consumer behavior.” While more consumers get empowered by technology that influences brand decisions and design outcomes, it also becomes necessary for these brands to keep up with changing customer requirements and individual trends, a gap that is bridged aptly by FashWire.
Making a positive worldwide difference
Kimberly remembers when she had first come up with the idea and pitch for FashWire, a lot of people were reluctant in getting involved in a woman-led technology business. She faced the regular start-up issues of having to work with little to no money apart from having to deal with the social stigma of being a woman in the male-dominated technology industry. However, she pushed forth and kept educating herself by constantly reaching out to her network of industry experts for advice. “I also learned to capitalize on my own expertise, while building up a talented team,” she says.
“Learning when to speak up and not being afraid to share my opinions has enabled me to move from contributor to leader and has ultimately been critical to my success. I make sure I sit at the table!”
At FashWire, Kimberly heads a strong diverse team of individuals. As a woman leader, and has been through her fair share of obstacles, she ensures that there is no bias in her organization. She likes to lead by example and believes in integrity, work ethic, sincerity, and passion towards her work, and encourages all her employees to follow the same. “I see my leadership style as setting a positive example for others to follow. I integrate this by setting a standard for my team to aspire to while giving them the resources, motivation, and inspiration to follow my lead.”
FashWire has also been deeply involved with CSR ever since its launch in 2018. They have a fully functional philanthropic arm called FashGive that proactively researches and partners with key charities. Each month, FashWire and GlossWire partner with at least one new non-profit organization each, to which they donate $1 USD for every download of the FashWire and GlossWire mobile applications.
The company has received regular appraise for its ongoing and generous contribution to philanthropy. They have partnered and raised funds for Retailers United, St.Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Gifting Brands, BCRF, Why Not You Foundation, CFDA Scholarship Fund, Fashion Group International (FGI), Invisible Disabilities, & Cancer Cartel, and more!
In addition to non-profits, they launched FashPitch, a global pitch competition with a prize of 10,000 USD. The idea behind this is to support emerging fashion designers who got affected due to the pandemic, as traditional retail came to a halt. The pitch competitions Kimberly explains, “are a key driving force at the company, as they give smaller brands the opportunity to strengthen and grow their business with funding, community, executive industry support, and brand exposure, which they need now more than ever.”
Staying ahead on the growth curve
By 2018, Kimberly had owned a fashion store for many years. With time, she started to observe how digital adoption had found its way into almost all industries including fashion. She quickly realized that without the digitalization of her services, she would get left behind and decided to come up with her own digital innovation to drive her brand. A tech-savvy Kimberly then connected her passion for fashion and technology to launch the FashWire platform.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, FashWire was well ahead of the curve thanks to their interactive and user-friendly digital platform because of which they were able to quickly double their brand partners from 200 to 400. “We were then approached by beauty retail executives and beauty brands to launch beauty with the same compelling user experience and we went for it! We successfully launched GlossWire in February 2021, landing #2 on the App Store Paid Shopping Apps,” says Kimberly.
“With the shift in consumer behavior requiring a more immersive shopping experience, our mobile apps fit that needed role for product curation by blending personalization and human facilitation and giving our brand partners an offering, they could rely on.”
Looking ahead, Kimberly is excited to welcome more growth via digital inclusion and on-boarding of more international brand partners on her platform. While there are more advancements and innovations to be announced in the coming time, the company’s biggest priority remains to make sure that the FashWire app and web platform work seamlessly for its consumers by regularly enhancing the platform algorithms.
Owing to their robust program and in-depth analytics solution, FashWire aims at getting the best personalized recommendations for each and every individual. Furthermore, the company is currently building FashLuxe to bring high-end fashion brands to shoppers with the same compelling experience.
FashWire and GlossWire are poised for growth for years to come. They continue to add more brands, innovations, and customer and brand-oriented solutions to their platform. Kimberly concludes, “Our focus on business intelligence for fashion and beauty will drive our success. We see a future where personalization is going to become increasingly important for brands to differentiate, and with FashWire and GlossWire they have a technology platform that they can rely on.”