There is a reason why #ootd (outfit of the day) is one of the most popular hashtags on Instagram. People want to know how fashionistas, be it a stylist based in New York with a walk-in closet or a hippy in Beijing who only shops at thrift stores, wear their clothes and accessories.
But more than that, these consumers want to know how they can emulate the very opinion leaders they adore. They want to know where to buy that maroon skater skirt or navy blue suede pouch. They want to buy these items right away.
Hong Kong-based startup Minipopup aims to solve that specific sartorial woe faced by countless netizens. Credible fashion bloggers or curators can curate their style guides with items from e-tail partners like Net-A-Porter and Nasty Gal. According to the firm, there are currently 500 curators, more than 20 e-tailers, and 3,000 brands on the platform since its launch in January 2014.
The website generates revenue through affiliate marketing, and shares 50 per cent of the commission earned with curators. Benoit Lavaud, CEO and Founder, Minipopup declined to share the exact percentage or amount earned through each transaction.
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These curators come from different walks of life. 60 per cent of these curators come from within Asia, said Lavaud, adding that the others are located in the US or in Europe. He also shared that most sales on the website can be attributed to shoppers based in Europe, while their Asian counterparts are still more comfortable with online window shopping.
To date, the startup has raised US$1.5 million in seed funding. The investors — all eight of them — are either family members or friends of Lavaud. He added that the firm is looking to raise another US$500,000 to US$600,000 to build a bigger team. At the moment, there are four staff members at Minipopup.
Going forward, Lavaud expects to double the number of bloggers by the end of this year, and collaborate with more partners to create exclusive partnerships.
There are many of such startups around, all revolving around curation, like Taiwan’s Re.Mu and Singapore’s Styleprofile. Both were launched last year. However, the competition is only natural. People want to know what the well-dressed are wearing, or what they should wear to appear oh-so-natty. Otherwise, why are fashion magazines still working on photo shoots and showcasing what their readers should buy this month?