Fast fashion has become a huge force in retailing, as seen by the increasing ubiquity of stores such as H&M, Forever 21, Zara, TopShop, and the like. But while those companies are clearly dominating High Streets all over the world, their chief focus is in the brick-and-mortar realm, and the web has been an afterthought at best.
A Los Angeles-based startup called DailyLook is setting its sights on being the go-to fast fashion brand based completely on the web — the e-commerce answer to H&M. To do that, the company has raised a healthy $2.5 million seed round from a number of investors, including GRP Partners, RRE, SV Angel, Novel TMT Ventures, Matt Coffin, Thomas Mclnerney, and Rachel Zoe.
DailyLook, which carries items from other brands and also produces its own label through relationships with many of the same manufacturers used by the big fast fashion retailers, has been around and quietly building an audience since its bootstrapped launch back in 2011, founder and CEO Brian Ree told me in a recent interview. Through word of mouth, the company, which has a full-time staff of 20, has grown its user base to some 400,000 members that subscribe to its email newsletter.
DailyLook’s first business model was a “flash sale” type deal, with items from one new head-to-toe look sold each day for a limited period of time. Now, DailyLook is de-emphasizing the daily sale angle and shifted its strategy to a more standard e-retail model, offering a variety of clothes and accessories at all times on its site (though certain complete looks are offered at discounted prices for limited times.) Through it all, according to Ree, curation is still a key part of what the site aims to do.
“A lot of the fast fashion brands have gotten so big that their selection is overwhelming for the customer. The store is so huge, there are so many trendy styles, and it’s difficult for the average shopper to put together a beautiful curated outfit,” Ree said. “Our core concept is to be this brand that offers a styling experience, head-to-toe, with all of the actual products you need available right there.”
Right now those styling tips are offered by the site’s staff, which pulls together suggested looks. Another new feature called “Community” lets DailyLook customers share photos of how they wear items bought from the site. Going forward, Ree said, the company plans to build out more personalization technology to help target specific looks and styles to individual customers. Also on deck are plans to expand internationally within the next year.
While a key part of the consumer market seems to be gravitating more toward slightly more expensive, often American-made “investment” type pieces when it comes to clothing and accessories (see Everlane, Shinola, and the like), fast fashion has certainly been in high demand for a number of years now — and realistically, it will probably not slow down any time soon. DailyLook seems to have a smart angle to catch that wave from the web side, and it will be an interesting brand to watch in the months ahead.