Fashwire raises cash for fashion app that gives designers real-time consumer feedback


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New Seattle startup Fashwire is taking a new approach to software for the fashion industry.

“Most fashion apps are consumer solutions masquerading as a designer solution,” Fashwire founder Kimberly Carney tells GeekWire. “We are a platform just for the designer.”

Fashwire just closed a $725,000 seed round from private angel investors in Seattle, New York and Los Angeles. The cash will be used to help the startup grow its app that provides a direct, interactive link between designers and consumers.

Carney, who owns an independent clothing boutique that gives her a direct connection to designers, said the company will also use the funds to bring on new and established designers to Fashwire’s platform.

The company previously attempted a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter but canceled it to accept outside investments.

Here’s how the app works. Designers post pictures of new pieces to Fashwire and the app’s users rate the piece, giving it a simple thumbs up or thumbs down. That feedback is returned to the designer in real-time, allowing them to tap into consumer trends as they are designing.

On the flip side, consumers get a window into the design world, and as extra motivation, they can earn points and rewards for giving feedback.

Here’s a video from Fashwire that demos the app:

The company joins an increasingly crowded field, with Seattle-based startups like Glamhive, Garmentory and Fitcode also taking a tech-focused angle on the fashion market. Big names like Nordstrom and Amazon are also looking for ways to innovate in the fashion world.

Carney said Fashwire is now raising its Series A round and preparingfor a beta test ahead of its wider launch in August. So far it has 6,000 users and 1,400 designers signed up to be in the beta.

Fashwire plans to make money by charging fashion designers a subscription fee; other revenue engines include advertising, sponsorships and product offerings.