With a mobile app called Fashion Buddy, 19-year-old entrepreneur Lindsay Smith is looking to thread this ambitious needle: giving users access to crowdsourced feedback on outfit choices in a safe space, while simultaneously running a profitable business that partners with big names in retail.
On the mobile app, now live for Android and iOS, users uploads photos of dueling outfit choices — either on themselves or laid out on a bed or through screenshots of online shops. They select how long they want to hold the public vote. Other users then swipe up on their favorite choices to indicate the winner.
To help keep the space safe amid an increasingly hostile online environment, the language is brimming with positivity. The winning threads are labeled “Looks great” while the losing outfit is dubbed “Looks good.” There’s no chat functionality or comment box that might be exploited by body-shaming harassers.
And that’s on purpose, Smith said.
“Safe space’ is a keyword,” said the founder, who’s been bootstrapping the company with proceeds from pitch competitions as well as her own money. “My overall goal is to create a judgement-free zone where people can post their outfits and not feel judged. No one will know it’s you wearing the outfit if you don’t want. No one will comment negative things.”
How does the app plan to make money? Smith, a sophomore in of Drexel University’s entrepreneurship program, said the plan is to partner with retailers to give them access to anonymized data on customer choices. Though a freelancer built the current version of the app, Smith brought on a CTO in fellow Drexel student Tri Le to help the company stay on mission through tech.
“I want to make people feel confident,” Smith said. “There’s a lot of negativity and stereotypes out there and I wanna make them feel comfortable with what they wear.”-30-
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