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Fashion & Trends, People

Fashwell: Fashion's Visual Search Engine

By Sofia Celeste 09 August 2018

MILAN, ITALY - Imagine you follow a hot European influencer on Instagram… but his/her clothes are just so darn expensive. What if you could just take a screenshot, and pictures could come up, displaying looks that are almost the same and cost a fraction of the price?

That’s actually what Zurich-based visual search engine Fashwell is all about. Its ceo Matthias Dantone, a techie who shows up to conference calls in an effortless t-shirt, claims that he is a fashionista at heart with an unabashed collection of about 150 pairs of shoes.

Now the leading provider of fashion and furniture in the eCommerce business, Fashwell uses an algorithm to offer fast image processing that doesn’t require any manual cropping from users.

Fairplay caught up with Dantone on Skype:

How do you satisfy some of the pickiest fashionistas… like ahem… me?

We actually had to treat the algorithm like a small child and teach it how to recognise certain fashion images. For example: that is a car, this is a shoe, that is a clutch… And eventually it learned fashion style and totally understands it.

How did you guys come up with this?

I was trying to find a certain style of sneaker, but didn't know how to do it with just regular text search. That's how I came up with the idea of visual search for fashion.

Tell us about your main partners…

Zalando is one of our major partners, and we also have partnerships with Spanish fast fashion brands and high end fashion networks.

Zurich is not exactly a fashion hub… What brought you all together?

I would say that Zurich is a tech hub wand we are really savvy when it comes to technology. Most of our clients are based outside Switzerland.

What is on the horizon for you guys?

We just opened up an office in New York City. What is also important we are growing so quickly. We grew about 100 percent quarter on quarter. Our partnerships are growing as well — we have a lot of big partnerships coming up. What is cool is that we see that business search is really taking off. We forecast 25 percent month per month growth rate.

It must be hard to track visual searches. How do you get paid?

We get paid based on volume. The more shoppers are using it, the more we get paid.

Retail is dying these days, though major retailers like Nordstrom and Macy’s are looking to enhance their digital footprint. How can you work together?

We are already working with brick and mortar store retailers. The cross channel search is really interesting. We can really help them have an edge in a playing field where Amazon and eBay are really becoming the number one starting place for product search.

How is Fashwell catching on?

We see that shoppers use a lot of screenshots for visual search, mostly of social media images. It's a sign for us that visual search is really growing in terms of social shopping.

We are specialised in fashion and home decor. In the end, it’s all about style and personality and you know… it’s not so easy to find that product you are really looking for, but as long as, for example, the chair is comfy and similar, the brand doesn’t really matter.
 

 

 

 

Sofia Celeste
FAIRPLAY Editor-in-Chief

When she is not hunting down the latest in tech and fashion, Sofia Celeste is scouting artisan talent for her online magazine bacoluxury.com. Born in the US and raised on the Pacific Island of Guam, she went on to write for Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall Street Journal. Her work is now regularly published in top fashion publications NOWFASHION and WWD.

MILAN, ITALY - Imagine you follow a hot European influencer on Instagram… but his/her clothes are just so darn expensive. What if you could just take a screenshot, and pictures could come up, displaying looks that are almost the same and cost a fraction of the price?

That’s actually what Zurich-based visual search engine Fashwell is all about. Its ceo Matthias Dantone, a techie who shows up to conference calls in an effortless t-shirt, claims that he is a fashionista at heart with an unabashed collection of about 150 pairs of shoes.

Now the leading provider of fashion and furniture in the eCommerce business, Fashwell uses an algorithm to offer fast image processing that doesn’t require any manual cropping from users.

Fairplay caught up with Dantone on Skype:

How do you satisfy some of the pickiest fashionistas… like ahem… me?

We actually had to treat the algorithm like a small child and teach it how to recognise certain fashion images. For example: that is a car, this is a shoe, that is a clutch… And eventually it learned fashion style and totally understands it.

How did you guys come up with this?

I was trying to find a certain style of sneaker, but didn't know how to do it with just regular text search. That's how I came up with the idea of visual search for fashion.

Tell us about your main partners…

Zalando is one of our major partners, and we also have partnerships with Spanish fast fashion brands and high end fashion networks.

Zurich is not exactly a fashion hub… What brought you all together?

I would say that Zurich is a tech hub wand we are really savvy when it comes to technology. Most of our clients are based outside Switzerland.

What is on the horizon for you guys?

We just opened up an office in New York City. What is also important we are growing so quickly. We grew about 100 percent quarter on quarter. Our partnerships are growing as well — we have a lot of big partnerships coming up. What is cool is that we see that business search is really taking off. We forecast 25 percent month per month growth rate.

It must be hard to track visual searches. How do you get paid?

We get paid based on volume. The more shoppers are using it, the more we get paid.

Retail is dying these days, though major retailers like Nordstrom and Macy’s are looking to enhance their digital footprint. How can you work together?

We are already working with brick and mortar store retailers. The cross channel search is really interesting. We can really help them have an edge in a playing field where Amazon and eBay are really becoming the number one starting place for product search.

How is Fashwell catching on?

We see that shoppers use a lot of screenshots for visual search, mostly of social media images. It's a sign for us that visual search is really growing in terms of social shopping.

We are specialised in fashion and home decor. In the end, it’s all about style and personality and you know… it’s not so easy to find that product you are really looking for, but as long as, for example, the chair is comfy and similar, the brand doesn’t really matter.
 

 

 

 

Sofia Celeste
FAIRPLAY Editor-in-Chief

When she is not hunting down the latest in tech and fashion, Sofia Celeste is scouting artisan talent for her online magazine bacoluxury.com. Born in the US and raised on the Pacific Island of Guam, she went on to write for Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall Street Journal. Her work is now regularly published in top fashion publications NOWFASHION and WWD.

 

Photo: Fashwell

 

Photo: Fashwell

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