Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Have you ever creeped on a stranger on the subway because you needed to find out where her awesome skirt was from? Now there's an app for that.
A new shopping app, ASAP54, from Daniela Cecílio, the former CEO of luxury shopping site Farfetch, allows you to take a photo of an item of clothing and surf through their database to find something similar. The app uses image recognition technology and pulls items from over 150 retailers, including Barneys, Net-a-Porter, J. Crew, TopShop, and Forever 21.
"The idea was born out of my frustration when searching to buy products online. I'm a very visual person and find it hard to describe what I see in words, so Googling emotions was a terrible exercise," Cecílio told Racked in an email. "I thought, there has to be an easier and quicker way. I was also looking for a simple way to be connected to what my friends and muses were coveting. I loved the idea of a sneaky peek into other people's fashion searches that I can turn to for inspiration."
Cecílio sees her app as an easy fashion assistant as the world of shopping continues to morph. Desktop e-commerce used to be all the hype, but today, more and more consumers are turning to their cell phones to assist them in shopping. Forty six percent of shoppers look up prices on their smart phones and 42 percent check online inventory before making a purchase, according to Rapid Marketplace research. Cecílio said the app aims to bring cell phone users fast and relevant results by letting them filter by brand, price, and color. Just upload a photo of something you like, and surf ASAP54's database of 700,000 pieces. If you can't find the item, the app offers in-house stylists to assist customers further in their search. It also promises a 24-hour turnaround.
And since no start-up could do well today without a social component, ASAP54 also includes a "follow" element, where you can get a glimpse at other people's styles and buy what's on their lists.
The London-based company is currently iPhone only, but they plan to release an Android version later this month. Cecílio, who's successfully raised $3.75 million in venture capital for her startup, said she also has her eye on sorting out a local component to the app, itemizing countries like Japan, China and Russia by adding local fashion talent.
· ASAP54 [Official Site]
· Former Twitter Exec Will Help You Shop Your Closet [Racked]
· Meet Dreamcliq, the Pinterest of Dating Sites [Racked]