Boston might not be the first city you associate with fashion, but with local tech companies working to disrupt an antiquated industry, it's time to get these growing fashion companies in Boston on your radar.
Founder and chairman Ben Fischman, who previously founded Rue La La, launched this e-commerce shoe site in March 2015. The company releases new, Italian-made shoe designs, priced between $128 and $298, every week and then retires old designs after three months. They have raised $32 million to date in their attempt to bring high-end shoes to the everyday shopper.
Perhaps the most famous of Boston’s fashion tech companies, Rue La La is a members-only e-commerce site that features daily flash sales on designer merchandise. Rue La La was previously part of Retail Convergence, Inc, a company that was acquired by GSI Commerce back in 2009. The company has raised $22 million to date and was founded in 2008.
With technology disrupting the way we shop for just about everything these days, it was no surprise when this Woburn-based company began predicting how your clothing would fit based on machine learning. The startup provides personalized recommendations to consumers based on algorithms and software designed to make clothing designs easier and better.
Focusing on the rise in women’s athleisure over the past decade, Crane & Lion focuses on the intersection between fitness and lifestyle clothing. The Boston e-commerce company was founded by John Udelson, who previously sold Curbside Hospitality, a valet service geared towards hospitals.
Founded in June 2014, this Boston-based brand sells women's clothing exclusively online. Brass Clothing focuses on high-quality, affordable basics with user feedback tied heavily into the mix. They want your clothes to fit you so perfectly, they’ll even give you merchandise credit if you have to take something to a tailor.
A duo out of MIT founded this local e-commerce company in 2012 to disrupt the state of menswear. They began with a Kickstarter and one shirt with phase-change materials and an anti-bacterial coating. The project earned $429,276 on a goal of $30,000. Today, the company sells both men’s and women’s clothes, focusing on the design and movement of the human body throughout the day. They have raised almost $6 million in financing to date from investors like VegasTechFund (from Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh), SK Ventures and Red Sox pitcher Craig Breslow.
This Wellesley-based mobile app is like Rent the Runway, but the inventory is from local designers it might otherwise be hard to discover. Users can rent high-end handbags, accessories, clothes and shoes for four days, and then either return or purchase the items. The idea was born out of Babson College’s Hatcheries incubator program.
Founded in 2014, Tracksmith is an e-commerce running apparel company aimed at competitive runners. The athletic clothing is made entirely in the U.S. from high-quality fabrics. The company is based in Wellesley and currently has $5.7 million in funding.
Gemvara brought technology to the antiquated fine jewelry industry, encouraging consumers to design their own pieces at wholesale prices. Jewelry is made to order on their e-commerce platform utilizing their 26 gemstone and eight precious metal options.