by Y Combinator8/18/2016
Looklive is a community and marketplace for fashion. Users can browse through more than 60,000 celebrity styles and shop their looks. We sat down with Cedric Rogers to talk about what he’s building.
What YC Likes About Looklive:
“These are the guys who will make it easy for men to shop online.”
-Michael Seibel, Partner at Y Combinator
Where did the idea for Looklive come from?
The three of us have over 10 years of experience in men’s fashion, running both traditional brick and mortar stores as well as e-commerce sites. Greg’s previous startup, Karmaloop, did more than a $1 billion in sales. We noticed a shift in how men were buying clothing—they were being drawn to the styles worn by their favorite celebrities. We would often get questions like, “Do you have the jeans Kanye wore at the MTV Awards?” We decided to start building Looklive in response to that demand.
Can you walk me through how it works?
Sure! We’ve aggregated the most popular images of celebrities from events and their social media accounts. Users browse through these images to see what their favorite celebrities are wearing or discover what’s in style right now. If they find a product or outfit that they like, they can click on the image and purchase the product directly through our app. Oftentimes these products are out of their price range so we also suggest similar products at a lower price point, making style more accessible to the general consumer.
That’s pretty cool. How does it differ from your average ecommerce sites?
Ecommerce has made purchasing products easy so the fundamental problem now is that discovery is broken. This generation is drawn to the lives of celebrities—take a look at how successful Keeping Up With the Kardashians or DJ Khaled’s Snapchat feed is. Millennials are spending hours looking at Instagram, reading style blogs, and browsing on Pinterest to find the one jacket or hat they saw on tv. And, if they do find the brand, it’s either too expensive or they don’t know where to buy it. We’ve looked at this entire user flow and removed all the barriers that make purchasing difficult.
What’s some of the feedback you’ve gotten?
It’s pretty interesting to see the wide range of influencers our users request. It’s not just movie stars or singers. We have athletes like Cristiano Ronaldo and even entrepreneurs like Jack Dorsey. One user submitted an image of Jack, asking for the type of jacket that he was wearing at a conference. We were able to find that specific jacket and offer a few others, which actually turned into a sale.
Why is now the right time for this product?
When you think of shopping, you think of women’s fashion. Men’s shopping has been long overlooked and the existing solutions out there don’t work. Just this week Macy’s announced that it’s closing another 100 stores. Traditional retail is failing because it doesn’t engage customers. They make customers come to them rather than the other way around, and they don’t deliver the products that they want most. We see this as an opportunity to provide a better solution.
What’s your long-term vision for Looklive?
Our vision is to combine content, community, and commerce into one experience about men’s fashion. It starts with celebrity photos but next will be other users contributing photos and videos. We’re excited about the opportunity to have our users become influencers on the platform and give style inspiration to one another. Ultimately, Looklive will be the go-to platform for men’s lifestyle.
Y Combinator created a new model for funding early stage startups. Twice a year we invest a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200). The startups move to Silicon