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Style for Hire launches to put life into your wardrobe

TLC's Stacy London creates a stylist network that can tend to fashion emergencies on limited budgets

Technology trends and news by Krystal Peak
April 16, 2012
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/25e1

Usually the mere mention of having a stylist meant that you were in the tax bracket reserved for the 1%, but a new startup called Style For Hire, is trying to bring the curation and personalization of having a stylist to the masses.  The young supportive fashion company, co-founded by celebrity stylist Stacy London and Cindy McLaughlin, is launching with 135 stylists in 24 cities in the U.S. today. In cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Boston; Style For Hire wants to match you up with a stylist that understands your aesthetic and can help you get all those needed elements into your wardrobe. 

While many of us may think that stylists were brought to this earth to make fashionistas spend more on clothes than rent and food combined, Style for Hire insists that its team is focused on helping people find those key items for their closet that get them the most bang for their buck -- looking especially close at the adaptability of items, cost-per-wear, wearability at any age, body type, lifestyle and budget.

The company offers multiple services, including closet audits, closet shopping, and personal shopping. So whether you are about to enter the workforce, change professions, you've just lost the baby weight, you are shopping for the wedding, or just need a boost in you winter apparel, Style for Hire professionals could be the solution.

The rate per hour ranges from $65 to $300 and the average length of an appointment is 2.6 hours. The company started with a soft launched about a year ago, and is already seeing 46% of clients re-book two or more times and 22% came back 3 or more times within the year.

The company has raised $1.5 million in funding from Golden Seeds thus far.

In conjunction with the official launch, Style for Hire unveils the newly designed styleforhire.com -- with new site design & functionality. Style for Hire's website now has optimized stylist search capabilities, detailed stylist profiles, robust client dashboards and a Tumblr-based blog. The company is also working on building a before and after forum for people to share their transformations. 

One of the co-founders, London is known as co-host of TLC's show What Not to Wear for 10 years, and a veteran fashion editor & stylist -- and now she and her co-founder McLaughlin are trying to bring more options to the the average fashion inspired person. 

Stylists with Style for Hire go through a stringent vetting process to ensure that all team members are in sync with the company's inclusive attitude and approach to fashion.

The growing world of curated designs

And it seems like this is just the right time for such a service to hit the country since the desire for curated designer items and personalized fashion items coming to you is en vogue with sites like Fab.com, One Kings Lane, Pinterest and Etsy on almost every woman's bookmark list -- everyone wants to perfect their aesthetic. 

Just this month, Pinterest was crowned the third most popular network online in the US -- just behind Facebook and Twitter, according to a new report out by Experian Hitwise.

The report shows that Pinterest received 21.5 million visits in the last week of January -- a staggering 30x more than a single week it had in July. The total visits in March show that Pinterest is rapidly creeping up on Twitter's 183 million visits with its own 104 million. Facebook is in a league of its own with 7 billion visits in March. LinkedIn, Tagged and Google+ rounded out the top six with 86 million, 72 million and 61 million hits, respectively. 

Pinterest, with its strength in building brand and product awareness by creating an early shareable wish-list of goods is targeted more toward women, but a surprising number of men also frequent the site -- giving the new service a 60/40 split. 

Also announced this month was the ever expanding reach of Fab continues to spread, this time into beauty products. The flash-sales design site just debuted its collaboration with Glamour Magazine to offer its users top-shelf beauty products at big box store prices.

Fab has taken well to the idea of curating and selling hand-picked items for people with a design-focused aesthetic and people are responding in droves. Now with more than three million users Fab is crafting new verticals for its clients including kids products, pet items and fashion offering.

The new pop-up shop, will offer high-quality make-up, skincare products, lip care, candles and more. Brands featured include Nest Fragrances, Philip B. Botanical Products, Oscar Blandi, Pangea, and Demeter.

These curated offerings are quite a few steps removed from how Fab started out -- as group buying gay-centric deal site -- and in the last few weeks the stats have spoken for themselves with more than 100,000 products sold each month (thats nearly three items every minute.)

And back in December, Trunk Club, a service that has stylists create a trunk of items the customer might love and sends them to their home, announced that it had experienced 500% growth in sales for the year.

At Trunk Club, you can keep or send back as many items in the case as you wish and the stylists are paid on commission. 

The company, which raised $11 million since inception from notable venture firms such as U.S. Venture Partners, Greycroft Partners, Apex Venture Partners and Anthos, has also hired significantly in the last 12 months, quadrupling its staff to 60 from 16 at the start of the year.

As more companies scramble to give consumers the just-for-them ecpereince, it will be interesting to see whether Style for Hire folds in well with the trend or is boxed out by more accurate searches and suggestions.



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