Amazon, Stitch Fix already rank among the top online apparel sellers

Amazon Fashion Launches The Fix

Subscription services are ripe for growth in the fashion industry, but they’re also already drawing impressive sales, The NPD Group has found.

While only 15 percent of consumers surveyed by the firm said they have ordered apparel subscription boxes, 14 percent of shoppers who have not ordered them said they plan to. With services such as Trunk Club, Le Tote and Stitch Fix, shoppers receive a personalized assortment of clothing, and then they keep and buy what they like, and send the rest back.

Notably, 35 percent of those surveyed didn’t even know what these services are, NPD Group found, leaving much room for expansion and increased reach.

“We have entered a new world of retail where the traditional leaders are faced with unconventional channel competition, and subscription services are the newest player,” Marshal Cohen, an analyst with NPD Group, said in a statement.

But at least one of these players is already making headway in the apparel category. Last year, both Amazon.com and digital subscription service Stitch Fix were among the top 10 retailers selling apparel online, according to NPD Group, which used a receipt mining service to track companies’ sales.

“Consumers are more critical about the purchases they make today and no longer purchase just for the sake of purchasing. The personalized approach of subscription services complements the shift toward more prioritized spending,” Cohen said.

Stitch Fix has recently expanded its services to men’s apparel and has confidentially filed to go public, seeking a valuation of $3 billion to $4 billion in the offering, according to reports.

Meantime, Amazon is planning to roll out an apparel subscription service of its own, called Prime Wardrobe. If the new service takes off, traditional retailers could be left scrambling, Evercore ISI analyst Omar Saad wrote in an email to clients when it was announced.

“Already, stores of all stripes are struggling mightily to figure out the right combination of online and store to serve the needs of shoppers,” Saad said. “Amazon is not afraid to experiment and has been working hard to find the right fit in fashion.”

In the first 23 weeks of the year, Amazon.com apparel sales amounted to $1.45 billion, a 15 percent increase from 2016, One Click Retail found.

“Amazon still struggles in the luxury brands category since many refuse to sell on Amazon due to the platform’s lax knock-off policies,” One Click Retail’s Nathan Rigby said. “Despite this, our data shows that the company is having great success with necessities and everyday items such as jeans, socks, underwear and men’s work clothes. … Amazon has serious designs on capturing the fashion and apparel market.”

Just last week, Amazon launched a fresh private-label fashion brandfor shoes, purses and accessories, called “The Fix.”

NPD has forecast the fashion industry will increasingly be disrupted by way of digital innovators.

“There is a great deal of room to grow within the subscription model, and the competitive field will continue to expand as online retailers develop subscription services and options for auto-replenishment of fashion basics,” Cohen said.

“This kind of innovation, delivering personalization and convenience, will continue to change the face of retail for fashion.”

Blending fashion with tech: This iPhone app will scan your foot and make you a custom pair of high heels

A quick scan of the foot with an iPhone will result in a customized pair of high heels, delivered from Spain, through an app created by True Gault — the latest brand to crack the code on mass-producing personalized items.

The New York-based shoe start-up has patented a technology that uses 3-D measuring tools to capture the biomechanics of a foot, all from an iPhone’s camera. A user will also enter certain foot measurements into the app, helping create a truer representation.

The result is what True Gault calls a “bespoke pair of heels,” in a personal fit, and priced at $250 to $350 per pair. “Women can buy shoes online, but size doesn’t guarantee fit, so we broke the mold of the shoe industry to redefine the relationship between women and their heels,” the company said of its mission.

The start-up was founded by Sandra Gault, who has spent time in past careers at Kodak and IBM. The company is part of Google’s Accelerator program, which has notably helped launch other popular brands such as Warby Parker, Dollar Shave Club and Casper.

The woman-led company aims to tap into the growing trend of mass customization in fashion and retail. Nike, for example, has managed to grow its online platform after rolling out NikeiD, which allows shoppers to customize their own Nike merchandise.

“Since NikeiD debuted in 1999, this offers the opportunity in retailing for what I term ‘Customized Creativity,'” Fashion Institute of Technology professor Shawn Grain Carer told CNBC in an interview.

Customized purchases of special items and unique styles allow brands to stay “relevant as fashion leaders” today, Carter said.

True Gault is looking to create something similar to Nike’s customizable platform, but with high heels and a technology twist. NikeiD boasts an extensive website with design capabilities, but has no standalone app and less integration with 3-D imagery.

Gault calls herself the quintessential “geek in high heels,” saying that she was “baffled by the notion that women everywhere simply accept that looking great in high heels means discomfort.”

Nina Garcia, famous for her role as a judge on television show “Project Runway” and also the fashion director of Marie Claire magazine, has joined the True Gault team as an advisor.

“What makes me so excited about True Gault is that not only am I a shoe lover, but I have always been a promoter of technology,” Garcia said. “True Gault is a rare combination that strikes the perfect balance between tech and fashion, solving a widely known problem for the consumer and the industry as a whole.”

“True Gault is changing the way women select, buy and wear shoes, much like Uber has impacted transportation, or Warby Parker has impacted eyewear,” she added.

More and more retail brands are starting to deliver customized options to shoppers, as the concept gains in popularity and companies are searching for ways to differentiate themselves from the competition.

“With the success of NikeID, we are seeing brands jump into the mass personalization trends,” Maya Mikhailov, co-founder of mobile marketing firm GPShopper, told CNBC. “From The North Face to Gucci, consumers are increasingly having the option to ‘make it their own,’ at all price points.”

With technology on the upswing, mass customization in retail will only grow from here, Mikhailov said. Customization will become more “sophisticated” and special features will be added to extend beyond the selection of colors and patterns, she said.

“Take, for example, Google and Ivyrevel’s Data Dress, which uses an app to track a user’s activities, lifestyle and environment to create a custom dress. … It is the beginning of a concept where mass customization would no longer even need user inputs, but instead make product suggestions for what the consumer needs based on tracked activity.”

Coded Couture — an app built by Ivyrevel, backed by H&M and in partnership with Google — is the creator behind Data Dress. The program turns out a personalized dress after tracking a user’s lifestyle for a week. For now, the product remains in beta testing with top fashion influencers the only ones using it.

“More and more our clothing will fuse with our devices to create optimal experiences,” Mikhailov added. And shoppers are “absolutely willing to pay more” for personalized products. That being said, True Gault’s $250 to $350 price point shouldn’t be much of an issue.

True Gault guarantees that its shoes will fit properly, or adjustments will be made until the heels are “perfect.”

Shoppers can choose from more than 20 styles, more than 40 leathers, various colors and heel heights when designing their shoes within True Gault’s app. That selection will continue to grow, the company said.

Other fashion retailers using mass customization to reach a wider audience include Stitch Fix, a personal styling service that curates selections of clothing for men and women — based on taste, need and price. Amazon, meantime, is preparing to roll out a similar conceptwith Prime Wardrobe.

“Mass customization is here and will foster greater connections between the retail stores, fashion brands, and loyal customers who participate in the shopping experience online, in the physical store, and through social media…” FIT’s Carter said.

Teespring and Zazzle provide other examples of online-only platforms that have successfully tapped into the mass customization trend — offering personalized shirts, watches, sunglasses and cards.

“Today, everyone’s lifestyle is infused with tech from the way you order groceries to how we get around town,” Marie Claire’s Garcia told CNBC. “How we express ourselves through fashion should be no different. … Shoe lovers no longer need to choose comfort or style, and they don’t even need to choose from options on the market — aesthetic customization is very exciting.”a

Street style for kids

Image result for One look at photographs of Harper Beckham, Suri Cruise or Dannielynn Birkhead who modelled for Guess and you know that street fashion is not a passing fad. Children, as much as youth, breathe it. Street style for kids is big business today. Funky, quirky and jazzed up with glamour accessories team up with the carefully casual look for girls and boys. Street style has always been there. It is only since the mid-1950s that its importance has been recognised, appreciated and emulated. Street fashion is considered to have emerged not from studios, but from the grassroots. It is generally linked with youth culture, and is often seen in major urban centres even though smaller towns have their own smaller hubs. Theories about origin of street fashion The Trickle Up Theory involves innovation or a picky style that begins on the streets, worn by lower income groups. It is picked up by designers and projected to upper class spheres which purchase the designs. A typical example of this is the T-shirt. From a modest start, the Tee has turned into an emblem of global fashion. It has become not just a fashion and cultural icon, but a message board where people can express their feelings in the form of slogans, symbols and logos. Messages focus on the wider audience of popular culture, or are directed at subcultures, politics, economics, social issues and more. Major subcultures affecting kids fashion industry Most major youth subcultures have had been associated with street fashion adopted by today's kids who are not only stylish, but decide their style. Despite naysayers, children have become a cult classic with the tag of cool city kid.

One look at photographs of Harper Beckham, Suri Cruise or Dannielynn Birkhead who modelled for Guess and you know that street fashion is not a passing fad. Children, as much as youth, breathe it.

Street style for kids is big business today. Funky, quirky and jazzed up with glamour accessories team up with the carefully casual look for girls and boys.

Street style has always been there. It is only since the mid-1950s that its importance has been recognised, appreciated and emulated. Street fashion is considered to have emerged not from studios, but from the grassroots. It is generally linked with youth culture, and is often seen in major urban centres even though smaller towns have their own smaller hubs.

Theories about origin of street fashion

The Trickle Up Theory involves innovation or a picky style that begins on the streets, worn by lower income groups. It is picked up by designers and projected to upper class spheres which purchase the designs.

A typical example of this is the T-shirt. From a modest start, the Tee has turned into an emblem of global fashion. It has become not just a fashion and cultural icon, but a message board where people can express their feelings in the form of slogans, symbols and logos. Messages focus on the wider audience of popular culture, or are directed at subcultures, politics, economics, social issues and more.  Major subcultures affecting kids fashion industry

Most major youth subcultures have had been associated with street fashion adopted by today’s kids who are not only stylish, but decide their style. Despite naysayers, children have become a cult classic with the tag of cool city kid.

Tennis, after a fashion

Image result for Tennis, after a fashion

At a glance, many may believe that sports courts are far from the ramp. Reality shows that sports and games which started as a recreational or social event, had an influential effect on fashion.

The dress worn by men and women during these events were linked to their social status and traditional values. As sports became popular and accessible to most people belonging to various social segments and strata, the fashion associated with the sport also evolved.

Fashion in tennis

Tennis is associated with British aristocracy and it gradually spread to various other countries with British occupation. Then, it went further. Currently, there are four Grand Prix championships conducted for tennis: Wimbledon, US Open, French Open and Australian Open. Apparel, both off and on court, in the various tournaments has always grabbed the attention of the game’s fans on one side and fashionistas on the other.

White for Wimbledon

The very British Wimbledon is considered the most prestigious tennis tournament. It is the only tennis tournament that employs the strict all-white dress code while all other tournaments have relaxed theirs to a great extent. There are a few reasons for the preference for white.

●       Wimbledon is a summer event and white is considered apt for summers.

●       Tennis was started as a leisure game for British royalty and army men at social gatherings. The athletic activity of the game lead to sweat that altered the look of coloured garments. That was considered inappropriate, hence white was preferred.

Wimbledon claims to uphold this tradition with strict rules on dress, inner wear, footwear and accessories.

In England and France, women started playing tennis at social gatherings and events. Later, the leisure game evolved into a championship game, first for men and later, also for women.

It is interesting to note the changes in women’s tennis dress and the various social, cultural and political factors that influenced this evolution process. The World Wars, movies, celebrities, art movements, change in attitudes and economic factors have had a fair share of contribution to the changes.

In the earlier years of the Wimbledon championships, a woman player wore a long, ankle length skirt with a full-sleeve shirt tucked in, and a tie. This tradition was followed by all English players. The attire was formal and met the standards of English tradition.