XZ app aims to propose fashion version of sharing economy in Japan



See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based startup Standing Ovation launched a fashion item management app called XZ (pronounced as Closet) earlier this week. XZ helps users mix and match clothing items in a user’s wardrobe.

A survey of 300 women from 18 to 34 living in Tokyo shows that while they have, on average, fashion items worth 345,000 yen ($3,200), they typically only wear 30% of these items while the rest (about 80 items) have never been worn and sit unused in a closet.

It is unfortunate that so many pieces of clothing go unworn. The XZ team says this happens because many women lack the skill to mix and match items:

We want to help women discover items in their closets and propose new mix and match outfits.

By sharing what users have in their closets, the app allows a user to see how other users coordinate their outfits and consider how to arrange an outfit based on what other users have done. How does XZ differ from other outfit coordination services like iQon and Wear?

CEO Yoshihiro Ogita explained:

Services like Wear and iQon are a reference tool that helps users polish their fashion skills, plus they include a catalog function. However, to absorb that knowledge completely, a user only uses them as a reference but must consider a suitable outfit by themselves. XZ offers advice based on what a user has in their closet, so they can start adopting proposed outfits as soon as the next day.

The XZ team is establishing a community addressing the fashion mix and match problem as well as acquiring influential stylists and fashion bloggers. Once the community is established it will create new fashionistas and cater to a user’s self-expression.

The company plans to develop a marketplace where users will be able to sell and buy and rent their fashion items. The team also plans to launch a B2C business where fashion brands can propose their newly-shipped items to users by considering what other items these users have in their wardrobe.

The company aims to attain five million downloads from Japan as well as 25 million downloads from the rest of the world in three years, as well as reach over 100 million users worldwide within five years.

The XZ service is available for iOS and Android platforms.