A fashion search and discovery app which leverages a blend of image recognition technology, crowdsourcing and human stylists to help users find and buy fashion products we like.
ASAP54, which could be a take on Studio54, alas there’s no evidence that points to our theory, although if you look at the outlandish behavior of Studio54, you might be able to relate it to ASAP54’s vision, because if they can pull this off, far out they’ve made a bucket load!
The founders of this incredible software which has just received an injection of $3Million, states that the omni-channel future of online and offline shopping is here.
Sure it’s frustrating to search the web for a particular pair of vintage Chanel frames which you’ve seen offline, yet isn’t the hunt the most exciting thing about it? With fast fashion, counterfeit and cheap wholesale sites popping up everywhere, finding a black diamond even a year later means you’re going to cherish it more? No? No. We want speed to market, we want to find things in a furious rush, as we have become disenchanted with delayed gratification. Welcome to NOW.
An avid online shopper, Daniela Cecílio envisioned a mobile app that could identify, source and let people purchase the products they encountered — on blogs, social media and in the physical world around them — avoiding the cumbersome process of searching
endlessly by keywords or tags and smoothing the path from inspiration to transaction.
“I get inspired by Instagram, fashion blogs, [but] most of them don’t give you enough information. It was always very hard because you would Google, and Google would come up with the worst results. Nothing compared with what you were searching for. I use Polyvore, I use Shopstyle, but no one is focusing on something proper for the fashion industry.”
Ah so bloggers are incredibly valuable, more so than Google! Bingo. (Even though they were banned at NY Fashion Week) Ahem.
So what happens when this sophisticated visual recognition technology fails to analyse images uploaded by users — either taken in the wild, or sourced online? It then produces a list of associated product recommendations.
Cecílio says that the recommendation element came when realising you’ve just snapped a one-off vintage piece, so the neccessity of suggeting other product makes sure that the user isn’t disappointed. And if that fails, there’s a crowdsource suggestions from other users, or a send button to query a human fashion expert, who will then scour the company’s database for five additional recommendations within 24 hours.
So if I can’t afford that Louis Vuitton suit that I’ve just visually shazammed, then I’ll get the next best thing?
And how would I feel with people taking pictures of me on their ASAP54 App, of my Vintage Burberry trench coat? Perhaps like a rock star, but then again, I would more likely feel buffer-zone ambushed!
The app is set to launch on February 28th in the US, Europe and Brazil, then roll out to other geographies, such as the Middle East and China, where it could launch as early as September.
Richard Chen, a partner at Beijing-based venture capital firm Ceyuan Ventures, believes ASAP54 has great potential in China, where mobile penetration is high. “The future of technology is mobile, not PC,” he said. “More and more Chinese are shopping online. However, to search these fashion items on mobile is a nightmare. We do not have the graphic search technology like the one ASAP54 has. We believe [the combination of] ASAP54 and China’s 600 million mobile users (still growing) will create endless possibility.”