By Shawna Gillen
Dying for that handbag you saw during your morning commute? Luckily, there’s an app for that! Fashion startup ASAP54 has launched an app that will identify an item of clothing through image recognition services. With the click of your iPhone’s camera, you can find that denim studded jacket or statement necklace you’ve been coveting ever since you saw it on that impeccably dressed person on the subway this morning.
The way the app operates is quite simple. By snapping a photo with an iPhone or taking a photo found online and uploading it to their database, the image can be identified based on its designer and fabric. A list of links will be provided for the end user, including where the particular item can be purchased. Based on the search results, the app will also make suggestions of other similar clothing styles and brands.
The company’s founder Daniela Cecilio, 33, found inspiration after becoming frustrated with Google’s inability to produce the description of clothing she was looking for. After relocating to London from Sao Paolo, Cecilio and her team began working feverously on ASAP54 in April 2013.
“My idea was that everything you see you should be able to find,” Cecilio said in an interview with Business of Fashion. “It was always very hard because you would Google, and Google would come up with the worst results. Nothing compared with what you were searching for. I use Polyvore, I use Shopstyle, but no one is focusing on something proper for the fashion industry.”
The London-based company unveiled their launch on February 28. Since going live, they have grossed upwards of $3.75 million in venture capital. This figure holds strong promise for ASAP54 becoming a major player in the fashion industry.
In addition to ASAP54 structuring a personalized wardrobe for its users, there is a strong social media element to their mission. Once users create their profiles, they can share their clothing interests with their friends and adopt inspiration by browsing through their newsfeed.
An added bonus to ASAP54’s services is that the app acts as valuable advertising platform for retail organizations. Bearing this in mind, the likelihood of brands endorsing this technology is inevitable.
Reaching the consumer is an obvious focal point etailers, and the advent of ASAP54 has the potential to make that dream a reality. Putting the user in the driver’s seat and taking the headache out of endlessly searching for inspiration by shopping online is a relatively simple concept with tremendous benefits.
ASAP54 continues to operate out of London but aims to expand internationally. Their app can now be downloaded for free on the iTunes App Store.
Shawna Gillen is a budding journalist and online shopping aficionado. She is currently finishing her senior year at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. Keep up to date on the latest technology and trends by following her on twitter @S_Gillen.