Venture Corner: Fashion Start-Ups at HBS

Clothes on a rackThis week’s Venture Corner explores two HBS start-ups in the fashion world.  Both started by current HBS students, Love That Style and Grace Choi & Co., seek to use digital media to engage target clients in a unique fashion experience.  

Love That Style: E-commerce reseller of luxury dresses

Founders: John Ference, Ozan Sonmez, Katherine Lee, Yi-An Huang, Deborah Hsieh, Aaron Byrd (all NI)

Concept: LoveThatStyle.com is an online marketplace that represents a new way to buy and sell branded, gently-worn, like-new luxury dresses and goods through today’s hottest marketing channels, including Pinterest.

Sellers get paid for dresses currently hanging idle in their closets. Sellers send photos (iPhone, BlackBerry, etc.) of their dresses with designer, size, and desired selling price to LoveThatStyle. LoveThatStyle posts the dresses online, interacts with the buyers and ships the dresses. Buyers pick out the dresses and LoveThatStyle will send them the dress dry-cleaned and bow-wrapped at close to a 50% discount off of retail.

Next project: TBD

Number of employees: 6 (all founders)

Ten-year goal: “We’re taking it day by day”

Target audience: Aspirational fashionistas

Grace Choi & Co.: Innovative women’s retail

Founder: Grace Choi (NI)

Concept: Grace Choi & Co. is a contemporary woman’s lifestyle brand offering innovative performance beauty and fashion products. The company strives to deeply engage with its customers through heavy utilization of social media and encourages interactions with executives through digital and traditional media platforms.

Grace uses her training in medical device development to create unique and innovative products that solve women’s daily needs. Having launched her first product on HSN under Kelly Ripa, Grace is currently promoting the debut of her porcelain skin bb cream on her own website.

Next project: Women’s high-heeled shoes where the insole doubles as a ballet flat

Number of employees: Grace Choi and one intern

Ten-year goal: Replicate Richard Branson’s Virgin Corporation, Grace Choi will be the overarching brand of multiple women’s fashion & beauty businesses

Target audience: Women in their 20s’-30’s, who have disposable income who seek quality products

April 3, 2012
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