New fashion startups are launched every day, all over the world. Launched by tech pioneers, most compelling ideas are supported by accelerators such as ‘Fashion for Good’, Reshape, and LVMH Innovation. Then, when these technologies and business models start to show results, corporate partners kick in, such as the Kering Group, Adidas, Target, Zalando, C&A, Galeries Lafayette, or PVH Corp.

In this article, I’ll introduce you to the top 15 most valuable startups in 2020-2021, operating at the intersection of fashion with technology and sustainability. Some of these fashion startups innovate in VR fashion, Augmented Reality clothing, AI, material design, and styling.

Others create new business models in retail, circular supply chains, innovative advertising, and even recruitment. Without further ado, here are the top 15 fashion startups of 2020-2021:

15. Holition

Location: London

Founder(s): Johnathan Chippindale

Product: Digital Retail Agency

Website: holition.com

Holition is a fashion startup company embracing technology to help retailers and brands adopt and use 3D technology and augmented reality. Holition’s latest product is what makes the company super interesting to consumers and investors alike.

Their app, called ‘Face’ enables cosmetic brands to present how products look to consumers, but without using any product.

14. Intelistyle

Location: London

Founder(s): Kostas Koukoravas and Michael Michelis

Product: Artificial Intelligence Powered Stylist Platform

Website: intelistyle.com

Intelistyle is a UK-based fashion startup that has launched an innovative app in 2017. The app enables users to browse outfits online, and then sync or pair them with their own images.

The brand’s artificial intelligence further recommends the best outfits for any given idea. It also works by matching online garments (from participating retailers), with the users’ physical wardrobe.

13. Snap Tech

Location: London

Founder(s): Jenny Griffiths

Product: Visual Search

Website: snap.vision

This fashion tech startup has started as Snap Fashion. Initially, it was a shopping platform that allowed customers to find new garments based on shape and colour. However, the UK-based fashion tech startup firm is now expanding to include a comprehensive visual search.

It works by providing dedicated tools to retailers and fashion magazine publishers, that can be included on their own websites.

12. Pocket High Street

Location: London

Founder(s): Alex Schlagman

Product: Digital Media

Website: pockethighstreet.com

Pocket High Street was created to help small fashion retailers compete with giant e-commerce platforms. The concept advances a quality online platform for every shopper, which allows them to explore small retailers.

Based in London, this fashion tech startup offers an open platform that connects via the internet, so small stores from all over the world could reach a wider audience, globally.

11. Genostyle

Location: NYC (New York)

Founder(s): Veronica Cabezas, Ricardo Cuervo

Product: fashion styling analytics

Website: genostyle.com

This startup aims to take on the product recommendation problem by applying machine learning to the shopping process. Genostyle, examined 5 million products, 6.500 brands and has designed a new taxonomy to categorise them, based on 15 different so-called “style genomes.”

The co-founder Veronica Cabezas details the “style genomes” as glam, sporty, active, bohemian, and gothic. Customers using a style platform, receive a style code that indicates the degree to which they skew away or toward each of the styles. In the process, fashion retailers can read the data and target them with personalised offers.

Genostyle can also examine the retailer’s inventory and what sells best and how the client can optimise its stock. For example, if your fashion retailing business has 50 per cent “glam” merchandise but the “glam” category accounts for only 5 per cent of your revenue, then you have a problem and Genostyle can help.

10. Smartzer

Location: London

Founder(s): Karoline Gross

Product: Content Tagging Platform

Website: smartzer.com

Getting the return on your investment is always problematic but more so when your company features promotional video content on your websites with the idea of driving sales and not because hiring models, renting locations, and shooting promotional videos is expensive.

“The secret with branded content is to obtain as much as you can out of it,” said the chief marketing officer at Halston, Suzanne Hader and this is where Smartzer, founded by Karoline Gross, can help a lot.

Smartzer is, in fact, an interactive type of digital video player that lets users click on videos to find the garments and accessories that people wear in the movies, learn more about them and eventually buy them online. Karoline’s startup has big fashion brands in its portfolio, including Barbour, Puma, and QVC, who wanted to make their videos more profitable.

The results are impressive: at least 19 times more engagement, 9 times more click-through than classic videos, and, most important, a conversion from browsing to buying rate that is five times more than the pre-roll videos, conform to Karoline Gross.

9. Same But Different (Thursday finest)

Location: Brooklyn

Founder(s): Veronika Harbick, Michael Carlson

Product: Personalised 3D knitted Apparel

Website: wearesamebutdifferent.com

Custom, personalised fashion is a key trend, and Thursday Finest, in partnership with Macy’s, allows people to customise their fashion accessories. From our list of top fashion startups in 2020-2021, this company is the only one that had a pop-up store in SoHo. There, they were making men ties and knit scarves on the spot, by using 3D printers.

“Not only that we create individual designs and patterns, but we are also able to make them ready for our customers in just minutes,” said the co-founder of Thursday Finest, Veronika Harbick. The vice president of strategy and innovation at Macy’s thinks that this on-site 3D Printing concept is in line with putting the customers at the centre of the decision-making:

”This is an excellent example of how the “on-demand manufacturing” is going to change the future of fashion,” said Leslie Revitt.

8. Thread

Location: London

Founder(s): Ben Kucsan, Ben Phillips, Kieran O’Neill

Product: personal styling platform

Website: thread.com

‘Thread’ is a fashion tech startup established in 2012 with the goal of assisting men to dress better. It works by mixing personal online stylists along with AI and big data insights. You begin by informing the platform of some of your preferences in fashion and how much you are likely to spend on clothes.

It also includes the size of the clothes you wear and some of your favored brands and outfits you want. The personal stylist knows about users and recommends clothing which they think would fit them.

7. Hurr Collective

Location: London

Founder(s): Victoria Prew and Matthew Geleta

Product: Peer-to-peer Wardrobe Rental Platform

Website: hurrcollective.com

Award-winning Hurr Collective is a London fashion startup. The company offers a secure and powerful on-demand fashion platform that’s using real-time ID verification, geo-tagging, and AI-powered fashion stylists.

The aim of AI stylists is to help customers share their wardrobes in the safest, quickest, and fashion-forward way. The platform makes renting easy while allowing customers to manage their wardrobe in a more sustainable and ethical way.

Also, it brings together like-minded entrepreneurs who can access great fashion at a fraction of the retail cost all the while making money from their own garments. In a world where trends change faster than ever, what could be better than an unlimited online wardrobe for every one of your social occasions?

6. The Fabricant

Location: Amsterdam

Founder(s): Kerry Murphy

Product: Digital Fashion House

Website: thefabricant.com

The Fabricant is a digital fashion house leading the fashion industry towards a new sector of digital-only clothing – wasting nothing but data and exploiting nothing but imagination.

The Fabricant specialises in photo-real 3D fashion design and animation which can be used in digital fashion editorial

5. LoveCrafts

Location: London

Founder(s): Nigel Whiteoak, Cherry Freeman, Edward Griffith

Product: Social Marketplaces For Crafting

Website: lovecrafts.com

LoveCrafts, a start-up that builds social marketplaces for the crafts sector. It now intends to use the capital to fuel new product development, overseas growth, and the launch of its new marketplace LoveCrochet which will go live next month with further craft communities planned for later in the year.

Craft marketplace LoveCrafts is a “world designed for makers”. Those less inclined to shop for the clothes they wear can find the knitting, sewing, and crocheting products they need to get started with making.

4. Wardrobe Of Tomorrow

Location: London

Founder(s): Laurenti Arnault, Ru Amiri

Product: Sustainable Fashion Marketplace

Website: wardrobeoftomorrow.com

Wardrobe of Tomorrow is a highly-curated marketplace dedicated exclusively to sustainable fashion designers from all over the world. Cruelty-free, vegan, sustainable, ethical, the marketplace holds only designers that care about people, animals, and the planet. Moreover, the marketplace is working on introducing a parallel circular business model by allowing customers to re-sell, rent, or swap their garments.

3. Reflaunt

Location: Singapore

Founder(s): Stephanie Crespin

Product: Resell Service

Website: reflaunt.com

Ever wanted to keep your customers engaged for longer by bringing the second-hand and resale market in-house? Reflaunt gives luxury brands a slick and intuitive platform to own the growing secondary market, increasing engagement, revenue and reducing environmental impact.

Based in Singapore and London, Reflaunt is showing heritage brands that it’s not too late to go circular and giving them the tools to do it.

2. Lyst

Location: London

Founder(s): Sebastjan Trepca, Devin Hunt, Chris Morton

Product: Fashion Search Engine

Website: lyst.com

People’s unique tastes and desire for more choice are fulfilled by Lyst – a personalised fashion marketplace. It lets you search thousands of online fashion stores at once, bringing together 5 million products from 12,000 brands and retailers.

1. Depop

Location: London

Founder(s): Simon Beckerman

Product: Peer-to-peer Social Shopping App

Website: depop.com

Born from a social network, Depop is now a trusted marketplace for over 10million users buying, selling, and exploring unique fashion, trends, and accessories. This community of creatives, influencers, sellers, and consumers (much like the team itself) is changing the face of retail and already a worldwide phenomenon.

Peer-to-peer selling platform Depop lets creatives buy and sell unique and stylish things online. Ever-popular with micro-influencers and small business sellers, Depop serves as a marketplace for seeing what people are liking, buying, and selling.

This article has not been edited by Fibre2Fashion staff and is re-published with permission from wtvox.com