Still, there are plenty of people willing to try. For this year's Global Fashion Battle, an entrepreneurship competition in New York City launched by the fashion and tech wing of Startup Weekend, eight teams participated in a 54-hour startup marathon aimed at conceptualizing and pitching the next best fashion tech idea. Along the way, they were guided by mentors from both industries including investors like Corigin Venture's David Goldberg. The top three ideas were then selected by a panel of judges, comprised of CEOs and technology execs from fashion and technology companies.
And while some of these ideas are only concepts at present, companies that could change the way you shop and possibly even run your company may well arise out of the competition, which was held during the recently passed New York Fashion Week. Four of the 14 participating teams vying for the win in 2014, the competition's inaugural run, developed their ideas into companies that still exist today, says Pavan Bahl, a co-founder of the event and fashion community, Open Source Fashion. "One goal this weekend was to show people [that] their ideas for fashion can really be pursued as businesses," says Bahl.
Here are four ideas that could shake up your next shopping excursion:
1. Dress like your favorite music icon.
Imitation is sometimes the best form of flattery, and that extends to clothing style. The team that won the weekend's competition proposed an app called Tailor Swift, which would provide suggestions to users based on what their favorite musicians are wearing, curated from social media and news websites. The platform would show users the individual pieces of clothing that are sported by their favorite artists, where to find them and their cost. If an item falls outside a user's price range, the app could also suggest similar alternatives at a more modest cost.
2. Shop like a local while traveling.
Forget hitting up department stores and chains while you're away from home. For the person who wants to scout out local boutiques and trends while traveling, this proposed app, called Fashion Jungle, would provide users with suggestions for stores that fit with their style preferences. It would then map out the most efficient route to hit all the shops.
3. Sport customized outfits.
One problem with shopping is that it often takes a lot of time to find the perfect piece to complete an outfit. This proposed app, called Fadvisor, would give people suggestions about items of clothing. For instance, a user can take a picture of herself wearing a skirt, upload it to the app and ask local retailers to find a blouse that would match well with the skirt. The retailers can then respond with pictures of any items they have in stock that they think would work well, as well as the price, and give users the option to pick up the item in store or have it shipped to them.
4. Really learn what's trending.
The most overwhelming part of figuring out your style is often the sheer volume of items from which to choose. One team sought to solve this problem with an app, called Editt. The app gathers trends from social media into one place, and based on a user's existing preferences, offers up top picks for that person to more easily find clothing and accessories, as well as suggestions on where items can be purchased.