Meet the LA-Based Fashion Tech Companies Changing the Way We Shop

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

Meet the LA-Based Fashion Tech Companies Changing the Way We Shop
Photo by Decerry Donato

As the pandemic restricted many businesses to pivot strictly to online sales or close up shop completely, the paradigm shift to the digital economy spurred innovation–especially in the fashion industry.

Research by the National Retail Federation (NRF) shows that nine in 10 shoppers are more likely to choose a retailer based on convenience, and are looking to retailers to help them save time and effort in their busy lifestyles.

Now, more than ever people are relying on online retailers' wide range of offerings that include curbside pickup, buy now, pay later and virtual try-ons, with 86% of consumers saying that shopping is more convenient than it was five years ago.

To meet people’s demands for convenience, try-on technology has reached new heights.

Here’s a look at three fashion startups based in Los Angeles that are enhancing customers’ online shopping experience by leveraging VR tech.


StyleScan

StyleScan founder Larissa Posnercourtesy of StyleScan

In 2018, former catalog fashion model and Wall Street investment advisor Larissa Posner noticed the change in her own shopping habits. Coupled with the shuttering of Barney’s in Manhattan, Posner knew that e-commerce was the future. But the more she shopped online, the more she realized that no one had yet figured out how to digitally dress models that are size inclusive. So Posner created a solution. StyleScan is a fashion tech startup that offers AI-powered visualization technology that elevates the online shopping experience.

Retail e-commerce in the U.S. reached $768 billion in 2021 and so far, this year that number jumped to $875 billion according to Statista.

According to Posner, StyleScan’s "Switch Model" technology was built to enable shoppers to preview clothing on a variety of models of different shapes, sizes, and ethnicities that best resembles their own.

Switch Model employs a transfer algorithm, which accurately translates clothing onto human photos. Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) calculates orientation of the body, joints including the shoulders, thighs, calves and the clothing is then generated onto the human model in the photo.

StyleScan’s software can dress each model digitally in a matter of minutes from just one photo which eliminates the need for physical photoshoots. Posner said StyleScan has its own proprietary data set of photos, created in-house by photographing around 30 of humans across all shapes and sizes and that data set is what they use to train its algorithms. However, Posner says their technology has been trained on tens of thousands of human photos to achieve realistic looking digitally-dressed models.

One of StyleScan’s clients, Alla Berman saw a boost in engagement and conversions once they implemented “Switch Model” to the website. In a press release, Berman stated “we saw daily sessions increase by 25%, leading to a 47% increase in sales and 13% increase in conversions. The site’s most viewed item was powered by StyleScan. These analytics and increased engagement numbers are extremely promising.”

FaceCake

Courtesy of FaceCake

Alternatively, AI-driven augmented reality shopping platform FaceCake allows consumers to virtually try-on merchandise or multiple products using their own images in real time.

Make-up brand Anastasia is one of FaceCake’s clients and has integrated its technology on the Anastasia app. First, it asks the user a couple of questions related to what make-up they prefer before it directs them to take a photo of their face. From there, the consumer can apply and try-on the make-up products without the mess before committing to a purchase.

Chief marketing officer Robb Whittlef says “at the end of the day, we were working against retail organizations and brands that had legacy technology systems and when the pandemic hit, it really changed the landscape.”

Today, FaceCake is being used by a number of beauty and designer brands including Chanel and Deka Lash.

Toli 360

Lenny Adams using the Toli 360 mirror. Photo by Decerry Donato

Using a mirror outfitted with four high definition cameras and one 360 degree turntable, Toli 360, a Los Angeles-based fashion startup, has developed a technology that can retrieve a shopper’s measurements in under 30 seconds.

Unlike FaceCake, Toli 360 requires shoppers come into its retail location which is scheduled to open in 2023 so that they can be measured by the mirror and will produce a digital version of the individual.

To begin the measurement process, a shopper stands on a turntable platform that rotates 360 degrees while the Toli mirror takes over 200 photos. Once the process is complete, the digital version will allow the shopper to try-on clothing in the mirror and see how it will fit, drape and cling to their body. The data is then stored in the cloud and can be accessed via Toli’s app for the individual to use when they are ready to shop. The consumer is then redirected to the brand’s website since Toli does not hold any inventory.

Similarly to Posner, Former New York lawyer Lenny Adams founded Toli 360 in 2016 because he wanted a solution to his problem–shopping with time constraints.

While Toli has yet to launch, Adams’ confirmed that the company has inked a deal with five different fashion brands.

🚁 One Step Closer to Air Taxis in LA
Image Source: Joby Aviation

🔦 Spotlight

Joby Aviation, a pioneering electric air taxi company, has achieved a significant milestone by successfully flying a hydrogen-electric aircraft demonstrator for 523 miles with only water as a byproduct. This groundbreaking flight showcases the potential for emissions-free regional travel using vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, eliminating the need for traditional runways. The company's innovative approach combines its existing battery-electric air taxi technology with hydrogen fuel cells, paving the way for longer-range, environmentally friendly air travel.

For LA residents, this development holds exciting implications for future transportation options. Joby's technology could potentially enable direct flights from LA to destinations like San Francisco or San Diego without the need to visit conventional airports, offering a cleaner and more convenient alternative to current travel methods. The company's progress in both battery-electric and hydrogen-electric aircraft positions it at the forefront of next-generation aviation, promising to revolutionize urban and regional mobility.

Notably, Joby Aviation has already made strides in Southern California by securing an agreement with John Wayne Airport earlier this year to install the region's first electric air taxi charger. This strategic move sets the stage for LA to be among the initial markets where Joby will launch its electric air taxi service. With plans to commence commercial operations as early as 2025 using its battery-electric air taxi, LA residents may soon have access to a fast, quiet, and environmentally friendly mode of transportation that could significantly reduce travel times and traffic congestion in the region. In the not too distant future, LA might find itself in an identity crisis without traffic and excess smog 🤞🤞.


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Fuel Innovation: 7 Unforgettable Team Building Experiences in LA
Image Source: Discover LA

In today's competitive business landscape, team building activities have emerged as a crucial tool for fostering a positive work environment, enhancing productivity, and crucially, improving employee retention. Studies have shown that such activities help employees feel valued, with one report indicating that 93% of those who felt appreciated were more motivated at work. Importantly, team building events may improve retention rates, as employees who feel connected to their colleagues and company culture are more likely to stay long-term. With these benefits in mind, let's explore some of the most engaging and effective team building activities available in Los Angeles.

Pickleball

Image Source: Modern Luxury Angelino

Pickleball is a fantastic team bonding activity because of the easy-to-grasp rules and gentle pace make it perfect for everyone, regardless of age or fitness level. The game thrives on communication and teamwork, as players must collaborate and strategize to outplay their opponents, boosting team cohesion. Plus, the lively, fast-paced action sparks friendly competition and laughter, creating a fun and spirited atmosphere that brings everyone closer together. Los Angeles boasts numerous pickleball courts that are easy to rent if you have your own equipment. If you need additional assistance organizing your pickleball outing, there are plenty of full-service companies ready to handle every detail for you.

Resources: Pickle Pop, Corporate Pickle


Escape Room

Image Source: The Escape Game

Escape rooms are a great way to build camaraderie. They require participants to work together, combining their problem-solving skills and creativity to overcome challenges and puzzles. The immersive and time-sensitive nature of escape rooms fosters collaboration and communication. Additionally, the shared experience of tackling complex tasks and reaching a common goal helps build trust and foster positive emotions among colleagues.

Resources: The Escape Game, 60Out


Day Trip to Catalina Island

Image Source: Love Catalina

Catalina Island is a perfect day trip for a team because it provides a break from the usual work environment, allowing team members to relax and connect in a new setting. Shared experiences during the trip, such as exploring new places and participating in fun activities, help build stronger relationships and foster a sense of camaraderie. There are numerous team-building activities such as an arboreal obstacle course, an island tour, scavenger hunts and more.

Resources: Catalina Island Group Activities


Top Golf

Image Source: Topgolf

Topgolf is an excellent team building event because it provides an inclusive, relaxed atmosphere that accommodates players of all skill levels, fostering personal connections and improving team morale. The unique blend of competition and entertainment creates an ideal setting for building trust, enhancing communication, and revealing hidden skills among team members. Additionally, Topgolf offers structured team building packages with guided activities, discussion prompts, and lessons on culture, change, collaboration, and strategy, making it a versatile and effective platform for strengthening relationships and boosting overall team performance.

Resources: Topgolf El Segundo


SoFi Stadium Tour

Image Source: Discover LA

A SoFi Stadium tour offers a unique, behind-the-scenes experience of one of the world's most advanced sports venues, allowing team members to explore exclusive areas like premium suites, team locker rooms, and the player tunnel together. The tour provides a shared, memorable experience that can foster camaraderie and spark conversations among team members, regardless of their interest in sports. Additionally, the stadium's state-of-the-art features and impressive architecture can inspire creativity and innovation, while the group setting encourages interaction and collaboration, making it an engaging and enjoyable activity for teams of various sizes and backgrounds

Resources: SoFi Stadium Group Tours


Corporate Volunteering

Image Source: L.A. Works

Volunteer work serves as an excellent team building activity by uniting employees around a shared, meaningful cause, fostering a sense of purpose and collective accomplishment. It provides opportunities for team members to collaborate in new ways, often revealing hidden strengths and leadership qualities that may not be apparent in the regular work environment. Additionally, engaging in community service can boost morale, enhance the company's reputation, and instill a sense of pride among employees, leading to improved workplace relationships and increased job satisfaction.

Resources: Habitat for Humanity, L.A. Works, VolunteerMatch


Corporate Improv Sessions

Image Source: Improv for the People

A corporate improv class encourages spontaneity, creativity, and quick thinking, skills that are valuable in the workplace. It promotes active listening and collaboration, as participants must work together to create scenes and respond to unexpected situations, fostering better communication and trust among team members. Additionally, the playful and often humorous nature of improv helps break down barriers, reduces stress, and creates a shared positive experience that can improve team morale and cohesion long after the event.

Resources: Improv-LA, Groundlings, Improv for the People

🎬 Paramount and Skydance Are Back On
Image Source: Paramount

Happy Friday Los Angeles! Hope you all had a fantastic Fourth!!

🔦 Spotlight

Paramount and Skydance Media have rekindled talks to merge after negotiations abruptly halted in June. The proposed deal, contingent on approval from Paramount’s board, aims to combine Paramount’s extensive media holdings—including CBS, MTV, and Nickelodeon—with Skydance’s film expertise showcased in hits like "Top Gun: Maverick." This merger signals a potential transformation in the media landscape, positioning the new entity to compete more effectively amid challenges from streaming services and the decline of traditional cable TV.

Led by Shari Redstone, Paramount’s controlling shareholder via National Amusements, the deal represents a pivot towards revitalizing Paramount’s strategic direction amidst financial struggles and shareholder concerns. The involvement of major investors like RedBird Capital Partners and David Ellison underscores the financial backing aimed at stabilizing Paramount’s operations and addressing its $14 billion debt burden. Importantly, the agreement includes provisions to protect National Amusements from potential legal challenges, addressing previous hurdles that stalled earlier negotiations.

The deal also includes a 45-day period for Paramount to explore alternative offers, highlighting continued interest from other potential buyers like Barry Diller’s IAC and media executive Edgar Bronfman Jr. This flurry of activity underscores the significant stakeholders’ interest in Paramount’s future and its potential as a key player in a rapidly evolving media industry.


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  • Sidecar Health, a startup that offers personalized health insurance plans to businesses that allow members to see any doctor and pay directly at the time of service, raised a $165M Series D led by Koch Disruptive Technologies. - learn more

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