Choosy is a fashion brand that creates outfits from the
fashions worn in top trending posts on Instagram.
Its CEO, Jessie Zeng, created an algorithm to find the
top trending fashions.
Choosy received $5.4 million in a funding round led by
Forerunner Ventures to launch the site in July
When Jessie Zeng set out to open an online fashion house,
it made sense that she would do so by way of Instagram: The MIT
graduate describes herself as a “social media obsessive” who
spends hours pouring over the fashion stylings of the site’s
Zeng’s company, Choosy,
draws its fashion inspiration almost exclusively from the top
trending posts on Instagram. Choosy’s chief goal is to put the
bespoke, buzz-worthy items worn by the site’s social media
darlings into the hands of consumers, for a fraction of what the
real items cost.
Zeng built her company around questions she saw cropping up
again and again on the images of celebrities and influencers:
Where can I buy that outfit? What brand is that? How can I get
what they’re wearing?
“No one ever answers those questions,” Zeng told Business
Insider. “And then, when you do find out what item they’re
wearing, it’s usually so expensive that it’s unattainable for the
Zeng decided to open her own retail brand centered on providing
consumers with the items they’ve expressed interest in purchasing
online. To do so, Zeng and her co-founders kicked off their
fashion company in an unusual way: By writing algorithms for
fashions that were trending online in real-time.
For its debut, Choosy’s team created four
algorithmically-inspired outfits drawn from styles worn by
supermodel sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid. The items were an
“The entire collection sold out and we had nearly 10,000 names on
the waiting list,” said Zeng. “That was how we really started. We
thought, ‘Okay, we can build a real company around this.'”
Now, Choosy is building a brand that delivers algorithmically
informed fashions in as little as two weeks. Zeng, whose family
runs a number of textile manufacturers in China, has leveraged
her connections in the textile industry into a fast-paced fashion
production network. The team creates small batches of the first
crop of styles in-house; if an item proves popular, the
manufacturing is outsourced to another nearby clothing factory in
order to meet demand.
Most items on Choosy are priced at around $50, although jackets
and clothing with bead work and premium fabrics run closer to
$100. The company’s competitive pricing is a result of both
its direct-to-consumer business model and its ability to avoid
planning out inventory altogether.
Choosy’s model of consumer-focused “social commerce” has caught
the eye of investors. Zeng said that the company’s first $5.4
million round, which included investments from firms like New
Enterprise Associates and Forerunner Ventures, was
Eurie Kim, a general partner at Forerunner Ventures who led the
funding round, said that her firm was interested in Choosy
because of the company’s unique merchandising approach. “They’re
leveraging technology and data to listen to consumers’ real-time
excitement and enthusiasm for styles and trends,” Kim told
While Choosy is still awaiting its official July launch, the team
is actively culling Instagram for fashion inspiration and
encourages Instagram users to tag the styles they’d like their
company to create using the hashtag #getchoosy.