Personal fashion styling platform Amogue not only provides curated outfits for every body type and occasion but also redirects users to get these looks from ecommerce platforms.
Fashion is not just for celebrities, fashion is for all. We all draw some form of inspiration from our favourite celebrities who make dressing up seem effortless. While most of them can afford a stylist for every occasion, we have to depend on our friends and even the salesperson at the store to help us buy off the rack, but without breaking the bank.
To help people get the style they need with curated looks, Amogue Expedite, a Rajasthan government incubated startup, was founded by Gautam Bhatheja and registered in January 2017.
Jaipur-based Amogue works as a personal fashion stylist to people depending on the inputs given by them such as skin complexion, height, weight, and body shape. It also lists handpicked products from various ecommerce platforms.
Gautam says, the name Amogue combines words ‘Amor’ (Spanish term for ‘Love’) with ‘Vogue’ (French term for ‘Fashion’) to mean ‘Love for Fashion’.
He says, during his college days, he would accompany his friends while shopping and used to help them decide on outfits according to the latest trends and their respective body types. It is then he thought of launching an app that could help users make informed fashion decisions, based on body parameters.
How does the platform work?
Once the Amogue app is installed, a user is asked to enter basic details such as their weight, height, complexion and body shape. The app then provides sample looks under categories such as wedding wear, casual wear, lounge wear, beach wear and office wear.
“Amogue provides 20 options under each category of top wear, bottom wear and footwear,” says Gautam.
The app then acts as an aggregator and provides similar products, if not the same, for every look the user selects. It lists products from some of the major ecommerce platforms such as Myntra, Jabong, Flipkart, Amazon, TataCliq, Ajio, Shoppers Stop, Shein and Zara.
Once the user clicks on a particular product, they are redirected to the ecommerce platform to make their purchase. “We want to be the Trivago for fashion,” says Gautam.
Gautam says, he started working on a mobile application that would display style inspirational looks to its users, while he was still in his final year of Electronics and Communications Engineering at Global Institute of Technology.
After almost two months, in August 2016, with help from his friend Palkesh Jain, Gautam ran the first prototype and got feedback from students of GIT, Jaipur. The feedback was mostly about having information regarding where to shop these looks from.
Gautam also got his friends Mahendra and Om Sharma on board and ran two more prototypes - one in November 2017 and another in July 2018 - to get more feedback on the developments. “Some of them also asked me if a particular look would suit them,” says Gautam.
After getting the feedback, he thought of putting all these features into one app. He consulted technical developers to understand the backend better.
However, a challenge he faced was figuring out how to bridge technology with fashion. “I had some knowledge of the technical part, but had no clue on the application part - how to manage the backend data,” Gautam says. It is then that he took help from his friends Ankush Chaugh and Harish Karthik to understand the backend operations better.
The next roadblock was curating the looks. “I had to understand what colour best suits which body type and complexion,” Gautam says. They consulted fashion stylists and designers - Aashima Jain, Akshita Garg, Priyanka Chugh and Sejal Verma, and for almost seven months, the team went through different websites and attended apparel industry events to get the looks on point. “We made a whole document on which colour works for which complexion, height and body shape,” he says.
“After finishing up the app, I saw it was taking too much time to assist,” says Gautam. The application kept stopping as it was running on five servers.
The final leg
Once everything was sorted, the last and final challenge for team Amogue was to manage the finance. “Although our friends and family have been supportive of us, we need more financial aid and have asked the Rajasthan Government for help,” Gautam says.
The startup has connected with the government of Rajasthan and is now in talks to get the application backed by Amazon Web Services.
After almost 20 months of development, the team is set to release the final version of the application on January second week this year.
"For the final product, we are integrating three more features,” says Gautam. They are also introducing an ‘apparel image search’ feature that will help users upload their pictures to find similar, if not the same, products from ecommerce sites listed in the platform and within 10 minutes.
“We want to add a social media touch to the platform by allowing users to have their profiles and upload their images in the application,” says Gautam.
While Gautam (25) started the business with Palkesh, the latter officially left the company last month. Om (26) and Mahindra (26) are now part of the founding team and have invested in the company. While Om is a professional backend developer with five years of experience, Mahindra is an Android developer with four years of experience in the field.
Besides this, the team has two full-time employees - a graphic designer and a content uploader. They have also hired a freelance content writer.
Growing numbers and revenue model
India is one of the fastest-growing ecommerce markets in the world. With cheaper smartphones, faster connectivity and affordable services, millions of internet users are shopping online. According to Statista, the retail ecommerce volume in India is expected to rise from $16.07 billion in 2016 to $52.3 billion in 2022.
Players in the ecommerce segment such as Myntra and LimeRoad also have a similar feature such as Amogue, where they provide styling ideas to its users. However, the options they provide are limited, claims Amogue. Other personal styling startups include Voonik, SnobBox, Dekkoh, Red Polka, Wooplr, Smart Closet, Stylefix and Your Closet among others.
Online fashion discovery platform Wooplr raised $8 million in Series B round from Sistema Asia fund. On the Wooplr platform, when an influencer uploads a picture, the followers are informed where to get the outfit or similar outfits from.
Amogue, on the other hand - besides listing products of varying ranges (Rs 200 to Rs 20,000) and for different occasions from various ecommerce platforms, also provides styling ideas based on parameters and that, sets them apart from the other players in the market.
After developing the prototype, Gautam says he personally went to prospective shoppers at the GT Central Mall in Jaipur and asked them to try the product. “Word of mouth has helped a lot, and now we have 750 downloads of our application,” says Gautam.
While the application is free to use and provides personal fashion style to all its users, Amogue is generating revenue in the form of commission for every purchase made. It works in an affiliation model where it is collaborating with a content monetising tool, the name of which the founders refuse to share.
A customer, on an average, spends up to 15 minutes on the application and has up to 15 regular users in its pilot application.
Everytime a user is redirected to an ecommerce platform from Amogue, the startup is notified. Once the purchase is made, Amogue receives eight percent commission on an average.
The company wishes to raise funds in the future in order to get expert designers and have designer products listed on its application.
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