United Styles: DIY Fashion Design

Source: TechCrunch, Oct 2011

Based in Shanghai, UnitedStyles is a Facebook Connect-enabled service that lets any user create customized women’s apparel, allowing them sketch out, adjust and share a design via an online interface and customized 3D preview (Note: Chinese users will have to use a VPN to login through Facebook).

Co-founder Marc van der Chijs tells me that his objective is to recreate the entire fashion design experience for Internet users, “It’s very strange that you cannot [already] design your own clothes online.”

The dominant business strategy in fashion is to guess months in advance what a customer will want and UnitedStyles wants to reverse this; “We change the fashion industry from a ‘push’ into a customer ‘pull’ model,” van der Chijs, who also founded the “Chinese YouTube” Tudou, explains, “Because of mass production, clothes have become cheaper but also less personalized. Tailors hardly exist anymore, or are considered too expensive.”

With UnitedStyles a user can replicate their own “tailored” experience, choosing from a variety of styles, prints, colors and shapes (There are several charts to check sizing). The company launches today with five styles, mainly tops and dresses but will be adding more variety asap.


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