The female co-founded startup combines tech and the crowdsourcing of ideas to offer lower cost fashion. By Jessica Stillman (Editor, Women 2.0)
Los Angeles-based StyleSaint revealed it closed a $4.3 million Series A round in late 2012 last week. The announcement was made in conjunction with the release of the company’s first women’s apparel collection, which was launched using the funding.
The round was led by General Catalyst Partners and e.Ventures and it brings the total amount raised by the company, founded by Allison Beal and Brian Garrett, to $5.8 million. StyleSaint uses tech and a reimagined business model to create ethically produced, high end clothes more quickly and at a fraction of the cost of traditional luxury fashion brands and, according to TechCrunch, is part of a wave of Fashion Tech startups using innovation to cut costs:
StyleSaint is just one of a group of startups emerging that take advantage of the increasing popularity of online shopping to aim to provide luxury-level goods at more accessible prices by cutting out traditional middle men — Everlane, Warby Parker, Cuyana, and Basico are just a few examples in the general space. At the content and community levels, StyleSaint’s competitors include Refinery29, Polyvore, and of course Pinterest.
GigaOM sees StyleSaint as an exemplar of another trend: the crowdsourcing of ideas. “Across the web, you can tap the wisdom of the crowd to figure out what to read, watch, eat and do. But Los Angeles-based StyleSaint is using the crowd to not just help you decide – but actually design – what you might wear,” writes Ki Mae Heussner on the site.
Is the time right to rethink how we buy our clothes?
Jessica Stillman is an editor at Women 2.0 and a freelance writer with interests in unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work. She writes a daily column for Inc.com and has blogged for CBS MoneyWatch, GigaOM and Brazen Careerist, among others. Follow her on Twitter @entrylevelrebel.