Fashion Playtes raises $1.5 million

Ronny Kerr · August 13, 2009 · Short URL:

Online fashion community for tweens working towards 2010 Q1 launch

FashionPlaytesThe tween clothing market is valued at $11 billion per year, according to a statement by New Atlantic Ventures’ Scott Johnson.

It should not surprise us then, when an online fashion community targeted at exactly that market, called Fashion Playtes, secures $1.5 million in a Series A round of financing. New Atlantic Ventures themselves and LaunchCapital led the round, in tandem with the participation of several other angel investors, VentureWire reports.

Also as part of the fundraiser, the Fashion Playtes board of directors has taken on both Johnson of New Atlantic Ventures and Bill McCullen of LaunchCapital.

Though we’ve reported before on another online fashion community, StyleCaster, Fashion Playtes is different because its site will be designed precisely for that massive tween market, so that pre-teen girls and young teenagers can have one place to share their ideas about fashion.

“We really want to make it more of a community so girls can share and collaborate,” said founder and CEO Sarah McIlroy. “We want to have a gallery — which we are working on right now — where girls can upload the clothing.”

Though the site is currently in closed beta, one still gets a pretty good idea of the direction of the site from what is currently visible. On the collection page, you would see yourFashionPlaytes designs collection of garments in a stylized sort of closet, next to the figure of a girl wearing one of your outfits. Clicking on the ‘design’ tab brings you to a page where you can select a shirt, skirt, or handbag to color and decorate with various ruffles, ribbons, graphics, and more. All in all, the implementation makes for incredibly basic usability, meaning tweens may need to fend off their younger sisters to take turns on the site.

After designing and customizing their own garments, users can share their designs with other users as a means of collaboration or they can just purchase the piece of clothing they’ve created. Fashion Playtes says that a games section of the site is also in the works.

Though Fashion Playtes is opening up the beta in the fall, we won’t see a full launch of the site until the first quarter of 2010.  

With the ability of users to purchase their own clothing designs, this is one company that will leave nobody wondering as to their plans for monetization. As Fashion Playtes continues to draw in numerous partners in the tween market, the company says its new funds raised will go towards development of the site—probably so it can meet that 2010 Q1 deadline for launch.

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