Fashtory by Saudi entrepreneur Alanoud Al Mubarak connects buyers with designers from around the world
Fashtory is the new app to find fashion on the go
Like all the best ideas, the thinking behind the recently launched Fashtory app – created by Saudi national Alanoud Al Mubarak – is incredibly simple.
A keen traveller, Al Mubarak enjoyed sourcing new designers wherever she went, but became frustrated with endless scrolling through the internet for ideas and suggestions. Conversations with friends confirmed she was not the only one struggling to find emerging designers. It then occurred to her that others might be trying to get in touch with start-up designers in her home country, too.
The result? A single, coherent platform to connect fashion and accessory designers the world over to would-be customers. “I created Fashtory out of a genuine desire to help fashion lovers across the world connect with local designers when travelling,” Al Mubarak explains. “I wanted to make the process of sourcing and connecting with designers abroad as easy as possible for busy women like me, and the app does exactly that.”
Free to download and join, the Fashtory app is an online directory of fashion, accessories, shoe and jewellery designers, with locations and contact details, plus an online gallery or portfolio to browse through. Interested shoppers, stylists, buyers and stockists can search the app by category and country, and then make direct contact. Designed to act purely as a directory, the site is non-transactional, meaning it does not handle sales, so there are none of the pressures to spend so often found on third-party sites.
Travellers can access new labels in cities even before they board a plane. Crucially, the app offers start-up brands access to a global audience. As Al Mubarak explains: “It gives designers access to a huge network of interested buyers, and in markets they might not have been able to reach before.” With direct-to-designer contact, customers can be kept up to date about sales and new arrivals, all of which can be shared easily with friends.
Despite having only been up and running for such a short time, Fashtory already operates across 26 countries from Azerbaijan and Brazil, to Canada, China, South Korea, Sweden and the United States, providing a unique way to connect with new talent around the world. There are three shoe labels and 67 fashion brands to browse through, including an impressive 52 brands from this region (with 17 from the UAE alone), which is enough to keep even the most demanding fashion follower busy.
With market researchers Forrester Analytics predicting that, in the US alone, consumers are expected to spend Dh433 billion via smartphone purchases in 2018; and with China already purchasing 50 per cent of its clothes online, it seems Al Mubarak’s timing is immaculate.