Dressing rooms and I have never seen eye-to-eye. Maybe it’s the unforgiving fluorescent lights, or perhaps the sadistic three-way mirror that quietly reminds you that once you’re in, there’s no escape. Whatever it is, a trip to the dressing room always ends up the same: me, sobbing on the floor as I call a friend and ask her to come pick me up. So dressing rooms and I have agreed to stop seeing each other, but to remain civil when we run into one another in social situations.
But for those shoppers who have a more amicable relationship with the dressing room, there’s Go Try It On, a mobile app and Web service that allows women to snap a picture of an ensemble they’re considering and get instant feedback from a community of style experts and fashion aficionados. And today, the company is announcing its new Personal Stylist Network, as well as a new $3 million Series A round of funding led by investors Len Blavatnik and Alex Zubillaga, along with Index Ventures and others.
The Personal Stylist Network will allow users to create their own private style community consisting of friends, other Go Try It On users, or even style experts from their favorite brands. The closed loop of critics presents a nice alternative to sharing your photo with a whole bunch of strangers—mainly due to the fact that they may not appreciate your fashion sense the way your close friends do, but I can also see the benefit of not sharing my muffin tops with the world (just my close friends who won’t say anything about them).
But the comments and suggestions users leave on photos are surprisingly constructive. For example, one user from Luxembourg posted a photo of herself in a pair of skinny jeans with a fitted blue blazer with rolled up sleeves (no shoulder pads, calm down), paired with a plain white tee and flesh-toned flats (see below). The photo received 40 votes and a resounding “love it” response. One user weighed in: “Love the chunky bracelet and the blazer…but lose the rubber bands and club bracelets on the other arm.”
“Creating your personal stylist network is free,” Go Try It On founder and CEO Marissa Evans tells me. “The idea is that members can connect with friends, experts from the community and brands to build up a network that can give them honest advice and helpful suggestions on a very personalized basis, anytime, while in stores or at home.”
To staff the stylist network with real professional stylists, Go Try It On has partnered with The Gap and Sephora, who will provide style experts to offer insights during designated hours on Friday and Saturday, when Go Try It On sees the most traffic. The partnerships will also provide Go Try It On with a new revenue stream as it facilitates connections between brands and users.
The company says it will use the new capital from this round to enhance the data analytics behind the experience to offer users personalized analysis of what to wear—what the company calls “a Google Analytics for style and fashion based on outfit metrics.”