Fashism’s supportive online community caters to the more fickle fashionistas

Fashism’s supportive online community caters to the more fickle fashionistas

Deciding what to wear can be a daunting task. The clothes that cover our naked bodies come in all shapes, colors and sizes and it’s tough to know what looks good when we look in the mirror. Thankfully, when no one is around to answer the question, “Does this look okay?” the Internet is at our service.

For the past 2 years, Fashism, one of New York City’s fashion startups, has built an online community of over 80,000 users who upload photos of their outfits in order to get realtime feedback, advice and opinions on their clothing and accessory choices. The site is simple to use. If you need feedback, sign up and upload a photo for others to see. Or you can browse through others’ outfits and help them by rating it “Love it” or “Leave it”. You can also leave comments like “Where is that shirt from?”

In November 2011, Fashism launched its first iPhone app, which has been downloaded over 100,000 times. The app showcases curated looks from the site’s most popular users as well as in-app activity notifications. It also gives users access to photo tools such as crop, contrast and filters. In March, Fashism was finally released its app for Android.

This past March was a very busy month for Fashism founders Brooke Moreland and Ashley Granata because it was the first time they introduced ecommerce to the site. Now, you can find dozens of hand-picked accessories to top off outfits, all under $30. Moreland says they noticed that thousands of comments on the site were recommendations to add certain kinds of accessories like jewelry or scarves. To introduce an additional revenue stream and help their users, it seemed only natural for Fashism to offer those items for purchase. While they won’t divulge early numbers, they say sales have been most excellent.

If you’re familiar with New York City’s fashion startups, then you’ve likely heard of Fashism’s #1 rival, Go Try it On, which launched one year after Brooke and Ashley announced their site. While similar in function, Go Try it On is currently wearing its “Pinterest outfit” with big boxed images and an endless scroll, following in the footsteps of countless copycat designers. One last app that lets you save and share your outfits is Cloth, which takes a less social approach and focuses more on outfit recall so you never have to ask yourself, “What did I wear this time last year?

In 2012, Brooke and Ashley have been laser-focused on continuing to build their product for users both in the United States and abroad. 60% of Fashism’s users are located in the US including power user Lady Gaga. While outside of the U.S., Fashism is attracting fans in China, Japan, Russia and the UK. When I asked which city dresses the best, Ashley answered, “The Parisians are the best dressed. Their look is always chic and effortless.”

In 2010, Fashism raised $1 million from notable investors such as Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, Ron Conway, Project Runway judge Nina Garcia and Rick Webb. Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley and fashion designer Steven Alan also serve as advisors to the company.

Founders Brooke Moreland and Ashley Granata

Read next: The time is right for Amazon to 'do a Kindle' on the TV industry with its own set-top box