My friends and I shop for a lot of things online: bags, shoes, scarfs, hats, picture frames, wall sconces, refrigerator magnets, assorted gadgets and doodads, but we don’t shop for clothes. Sizes are invariably off, colors never come out the way they were supposed to, and then there are the less pleasant details to consider, like apple shapes, pear shapes, muffin-tops, and arm jiggle. Online clothing retail sites rarely account for these shopping realities, and everyone knows that sizes fluctuate depending on the brand (and I refuse to buy a larger size). But MyShape, a shopping website for women’s apparel, has developed a unique new service to make online clothing shopping more reliable, and the company just received a big boost in the form of $5.5 million in funding from Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Tenaya Capital,and Draper Fisher Jurvetson Growth Fund.
Founded in 2006, the company’s patented ShapeMatch technology makes it quick and easy for shoppers to find clothes that fit and compliment their body types. Shoppers simply log into the site, define their preferred style (such as pant length, necklines, looser or snugger fits, etc.), upload eleven key measurements (more for a more exact fit), and then shop among the selection that MyShape provides for your body type.
In 2009, the company did away with size altogether in its new “Sizeless Shopping” feature, which guarantees that shoppers will find clothing for their size and shape regardless of the size on the tag. This feature sounds like it could be frighteningly honest…as in: you thought you were a 6? Surprise: you’re actually an 8. I think the only way that I would be comfortable with this feature is if the company promises to cut the tag off before shipping the item to me.
“As more styles and brands of clothing become available on the web, the challenge to an individual shopper in finding relevant choices grows,” said MyShape CEO Mercedes de Luca in the company’s announcement. “MyShape simplifies the shopping experience by showing women their own individually personalized view of the universe of apparel.”
Brands include Calvin Klein, DKNY, Emporio Armani, Dulcci Vetan, and more. The company has also announced several new designer partners, including eBags (bags and luggage), Her Room (lingerie), Rafaella (sportswear), Jonano (eco chic clothing), Biatta (intimates), Altitude Fasique (tall women’s business clothing), and more.
The site serves nearly one million users per month and the company plans to use the funds to further develop its technology and grow its operations. The site recently launched its new “Style Tuner” technology, which allows shoppers to rate different styles with a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down,” thereby providing the site with more information about individual shoppers preferences to provide an even more personalized shopping experience (à la Pandora).
This latest round of funding brings the company’s total funds to $28 million.
Image source: myshape.com