fashion

fashion

First came the e-girls, with their chunky hair highlights and fake freckles. Then came the cottagecore girls, with their poufy dresses and elaborate picnics. After them, people donned oversized, white button-down shirts to emulate “coastal grandmother” vibes. And most recently, the “Vanilla Girl” trend convinced folks to try soft sweaters and sweet perfumes to highlight cozy luxury. Sure, it’s easy to scoff at the ephemerality of all things TikTok. But that would be missing the myriad business opportunities that each of these niche, ever-evolving microtrends present for influencers.

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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.

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Photo by Decerry Donato

Online shopping surged in the past few years and nowadays some may feel trying on clothes in stores takes too much time. But too often, purchasing clothes on the internet can lead to making multiple returns because let’s face it, it’s not always easy to ensure the items fit properly.

Former New York lawyer Lenny Adams knows how difficult it is to shop with time constraints. Most of his day is spent in the office, and Adams wanted a solution. That’s why he created Toli 360, a retail mirror that has the ability to measure an item of clothing on any individual and body type.

Here’s How It Works:

First, the shopper stands on a turntable that performs a complete 360 degree measurement of the body. The platform measures every centimeter of the individual, then weighs and photographs the body (over 200 images taken) using four high definition cameras. This all takes place in less than 30 seconds.

Toli 360 example of a person's measurements

Photo by Decerry Donato

Once the process is complete, a digital version is produced, allowing the shopper to try on clothing in the mirror and see how it will fit, drape and cling on their body. Every person that goes through the full body process will also have the option to view the digital version on the app at no additional cost.

When the customer is ready to shop, Toli will redirect them to the brand’s website. Adams said that they do not hold inventory—Toli will act as a marketplace where customers can buy clothing and accessories.

Founded in 2016, Adams’ vision came to life and he decided to step away from his law practice and put 100% of his time into building Toli 360. The fashion tech startup also partnered with Oracle earlier this year to help with data protection and cloud computing assistance.

Toli 360 expects to open its first retail location in 2023. The location has not been determined, but Adams said they are looking to place a store in a higher end shopping mall.

Once the physical location opens, customers will be able to walk in and use one of the mirrors for a full body measurement and then shop from the comfort of their phone. The app will store each person’s specific measurements and allow them to walk away and shop from anywhere. If the customer feels their body type has changed (weight loss or gain, for example), they can come back to receive an update of their measurements. The physical location will have several mirrors lined up in addition to a gallery so customers can feel the fabrics of the items they plan to purchase.

Earlier this month, Toli inked a deal with five different fashion brands from high end to streetwear and lifestyle. Adams did not disclose any of the names, but he did say that they were all highly recognizable brands.

“They each wanted to carve it out for their sector of fashion,” Adams told dot.LA, “The foundation is all the same, but in terms of what to do with it, I like seeing all designers and brands have a different idea of implementation for it.”

Toli 360 founder Lenny AdamsCourtesy of Toli 360

Aside from Toli’s other capabilities, Adams confirmed the mirror’s four built-in cameras can also be utilized for creating TikToks and recording YouTube videos.

As someone who enjoys buying clothes, Adams said that Toli’s mission “is about ushering in the next generation of fashion retail and part two of that is to bring the world's largest mall into your living room.”

Adams believes that the model of fashion retail will benefit greatly from this technology, especially because we’ve been buying clothes in the same way for the last 50 years.

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