Generally, when we purchase an article of clothing we just pick out our size and assume it’ll fit. But is this the smartest way to go about it? How often do you pick out your size to discover it just doesn’t fit the way you want it to? Well, instead of shopping based on size you can now shop based on shape with Fovo. Fovo, the ecommerce platform that curates clothing based on your shape, uses an algorithm based on just 5 simple questions that gets you shopping smarter immediately.
Today, LA TechWatch chats with fashion extraordinaire Kiana Anvaripour about the company as well as her connection with Zappos founder Nick Swinmurn.
Tell us about the product or service.
Fovo is a personalized e-commerce platform that is revolutionizing the way women shop online by providing a product feed that has been customized by body shape, not size. Fovo was created by Kiana Anvaripour, shape expert and founder of luxury shapewear line dMondaine and early investor and advisor, Nick Swinmurn the Founder of Zappos.
Fovo has developed a proprietary algorithm that spans sizes 00-32. Once a woman has taken the 5-step entry quiz, she is presented with a feed of curated merchandise that is specific to her body type. Each product features expert styling advice billed simply as “Why This”. As a user interacts with the Fovo platform, it begins to learn her preferences and curates up-to-date style, trend and designer suggestions based on those learnings. A universal shopping cart allows users to purchase products from all retailers featured on the site with one simple checkout process.
How is it different?
I believe shape matters more to product selection than size. It dictates, size, fabric and so many other attributes in choosing a product. Fovo is the first e-commerce platform to focus on body shape rather than size. The site is a unique combination of commerce and content, with an endless feed of curated merchandise based on a user’s body type along with expert style advice.
Fovo is a data-driven platform, using an algorithm to provide consumers with a personalized feed of curated merchandise. The site is also unique in that it is not an e-commerce retailer, but instead allows purchasing on site through partner retailers.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
The women’s US retail market is $175 billion. Huge . Online shopping currently makes up $40 million of that and is expected to reach $80 million by 2018 . That’s $95 billion left on the table. We are going after the 7 out of 10 women that do not trust the experience and still shop in store.
What is the business model? We have Affiliate deals with our retailers that allow us to monetize from day one. Building our user base is the focus, which will then allow for other revenue channels.
How has your past experience at Zappos influenced the direction of this venture? Nick Swinmurn revolutionized e-commerce at Zappos and has always been passionate about increasing customer loyalty and satisfaction. His experience developing the apparel side of Zappos was invaluable when it came to designing a totally new kind of e-commerce experience.
Tell us a little about your background and what inspired the business?
I am a nationally recognized shape expert, successful entrepreneur and luxury designer with 17 years of fashion industry experience.
After attending the Otis College of Art and Design, I worked with designers such as Roland Mouret and PREEN. I then advanced to more senior positions with luxury lingerie brands such as Madame V and Letters of Marque where I further cemented my passion for helping women to understand how to love and accentuate their bodies.
In 2011 I launched dMondaine, my own line of luxury shapewear lingerie that reached international distribution and is sold at luxury retailers such as Neiman Marcus, Barneys, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, and Net-a-Porter.
The apparel e-commerce model is broken and hasn’t changed in years. Women are expected to sort and purchase merchandise by size, which further perpetuates the stereotype that the numbers 6, 8 or 10 actually mean anything. With Fovo, I have built the very first personalized e-commerce company powered by shape. Our core principle is that body shape is to be celebrated. By empowering women to shop by shape before size, I am sharing a powerful message of body love and acceptance.
Tell us what building your company in LA has been like?
I was born and raised in LA. There is a lot happening in LA right now in fashion, tech and of course the entertainment industry where LA has always been the epicenter.. Apart from the fantastic weather there is a growing community of influencers and talent. I built dMondaine here, producing in LA and selling all over the world, with much success. With Fovo we also plan on tapping into our amazing community to help grow this powerful message.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
We are very focused on growing our user base and delivering an amazing product.
If you could be put in touch with one investor in the community who would it be and why?
Troy Carter -I think Troy understands that creativity, content and technology are all intertwined.
What does being “Made in LA” mean to you and your company? It means a lot. I built my first business here where we actually made and continue to make lingerie in LA thanks to the garment industry.
What else can be done to promote early stage entrepreneurship in Los Angeles?
I am a firm believer in people helping people. Whether it be women or men, and paying it forward. So creating better opportunities for mentorship.
Where is the best place in LA to watch the sunset?
So many places to choose from, but I would have to say Terranea.
I am from the Southbay and got married there. The sunset there is incredible and Palos Verdes is a quiet gem of a place.