Bringing contemporary fashion to the adaptive market
If there’s one thing the adaptive community wants of the fashion world, it’s to be heard. And Fashwire is listening.
Launched in 2018, Fashwire’s “two-sided” marketplace app and web platform lets users digitally voice their contemporary fashion preferences by swiping left or right on items from designers’ collections. Designers then listen to that data and hone their collections accordingly, better serving all types of consumers, letting all consumers influence the design process, making contemporary fashion more inclusive.
With the goal to bring contemporary fashion to the adaptive market, JUNIPERunltd and Fashwire have partnered to highlight designers who have universally designed products, as well as identify ones who might be interested in creating universal/adaptive capsule collections. This partnership gives the adaptive market a powerful voice and offers Fashwire designers and brands access to the adaptive community.
Founder and CEO Kimberly Carney explains how Fashwire became the app store’s No. 1 shopping app in April – during the pandemic – and how she’s curating her mix to target the important adaptive consumer.
What is your background?
I came up through corporate tech and marketing, so I have a strong background in technology with a passion for data. I eventually opened my own fashion boutique in Seattle. I saw the need for a digital platform where emerging designers could sit alongside established brands on one platform, making discovery more accessible. Today, Fashwire has over 350 contemporary brands from more than 35 countries. Unlike most fashion sites, we don’t actually sell anything, but rather push discovery and gather real-time data insights. Consumers then link to respective designer and global brand sites to shop. Being a paid app ($2.99 USD to download) also drives shopping commitment and better qualifies the data.
How does Fashwire's brand mix target the adaptive community?
Many of our contemporary designers offer universally designed collections or styles. A perfect example is jewelry designer Millianna's easy-on, easy-off magnetic jewelry which is featured through Fashwire on the JUNIPERunltd marketplace. We are also exploring and developing future adaptive capsule collections with designers in our community. In some instances, our designers are from the adaptive community themselves.
What about brands on the site that might not be attuned to this market?
Since we are strong proponents of accessibility, we’ll work with designers to see if they can add adaptive features to their product or create universal/adaptive capsules. We want the adaptive consumer to have the same access to beautiful fashion as everyone else.
“We want the adaptive consumer to have the same access to beautiful fashion as everyone else.”
Fashwire's Gold Meets Golden Paralympian Fashion Show credit: Fashwire
How do you empower and give back?
We started 2020 with our FashGive initiative and partnered with Gold Meets Golden. We hosted the fashion show and dressed the Paralympians with our designers’ collections. It was a profound event to be part of and our introduction into the adaptive community. Since then, we have partnered with COVID-19 impacted businesses through nonprofit organizations and recently partnered with the Why Not You Foundation, Russell Wilson, and Ciara’s organization. Relationships like this will only grow in importance for Fashwire.
How does Fashwire let consumers be their authentic selves?
Our built-in social feed gives our userbase an important platform by leveraging social tools, such as likes and sharing, to engage the consumer and build community. They can post photos of themselves in their favorite style choices, connect with other users, and interact with the designers. Our users are our influencers, and this can be especially empowering for the adaptive community. Our FashTalks interviews and social platforms also help customers learn about the designers and share in their journeys.
What’s the merchandise breakdown and future direction?
Our portfolio of over 350 designers and brands features clothing, accessories, and shoes for men and women ranging from $50 to $1,500 (clothing and shoes top out around $500). Jewelry comprises the high-end and we will be adding more luxury in the future. This February we are launching Barzzé Beauty—a discovery channel connecting beauty brands directly to consumers offering a one-stop solution for curation and community. We have 50+ brands signed up with more in the queue. Fashwire is excited about expanding into new areas and providing the most stylish contemporary fashion and beauty items for all consumers.