Fashion has always been one of the most forward-looking industries, and with online e-commerce, it shows no sign of slowing down. Taking its place as the largest sector of the e-commerce market and with Southeast Asia’s Internet economy projected to exceed US$200bn by 2025, it is the perfect opportunity for fashion start-ups in the region to thrive. Read all about the most promising fashion start-ups set to change the Southeast Asia market below.
Photo: Courtesy of Style Theory
No longer will your days be spent hopping from store to store trying to find the perfect dress: Style Theory is here to break that agonising routine. Being Southeast Asia’s first-ever fashion “shareconomy”, it offers a subscription-based service in which users are given access to its collection of some 10,000 pieces of premium women’s clothing to rent. Although based in Singapore, it expanded into Indonesia in 2017, offering around 5,000 items from 160 local and international brands.
Photo: Courtesy of Zilingo
Providing high-quality fashion to customers in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Australia, Zilingo connects merchants across Southeast Asia and provides them with wider access to the international market. Although it was only launched in 2015, Zilingo has grown rapidly, raising more than US$80m through four venture-capital funding rounds.
Photo: Courtesy of Sorabel
Have grown quickly since its debut in 2014, Sorabel is an e-commerce start-up with a B2C (Business to Customer) business model that has a very simple premise: to allow users access to quality and cost-effective clothing compared with the ever-growing fashion industry. With offices in Jakarta, Bandung, and Jogjakarta serving more than 1 billion customers, the company recently closed a US$27m Series B+ funding round in December 2017.
Photo: Courtesy of Pomelo Fashion
Based in Bangkok, Pomelo Fashion is set apart than the others on our list for its groundbreaking retail transformation by promoting “online to offline commerce”. This particular strategy allows customers to try pieces they picked online at nearby locations, which reduces one of the most persistent problems in the fashion industry: product return. With this experimental idea, the company raised more than US$31.6m in five rounds of funding.
Photo: Courtesy of Covetella
Another subscription-based fashion “shareconomy” service on our list is none other than the Singapore-based Covetella. Being sought after for its special-occasion formal gowns and cocktail dresses, customers can schedule an appointment at a showroom where stylists can help with fittings and minor alterations. It also provides stylish menswear.