Personal shop pulls big money into Shoreditch

Pic © Thread: Kieran O’Neill, of Thread, Shoreditch online fashion business, London EC2A 4QS

UNIVERSITY dropouts may take cheer from the story of entrepreneur Kieran O’Neill, above. His online fashion business, Thread, has finalised almost £2 million of backing from big honchos, including numero unos from Lovefilm, Spotify and Bebo, as well as Edgar Bronfman Jr, the former Warner Music bigshot.

O’Neill told Loving Dalston: “I started the company last year [2013], basing it in Shoreditch, as I wanted to dress well but didn’t have time to go shopping. Best of all, it’s completely free.”

The service went live only last month December 2013.

O’Neill continued: “With Thread, we’re aiming to create the easiest way for guys to dress well. If you want to update your style, find new ideas in your current style, or just avoid the shops, Thread is perfect.”

He would say that. But how does it work? A would-be user subscribes, then fills in an online questionnaire about their size and what they consider “their” style, brand likes, budget and income… well, you can imagine all the  aspects that have to be covered.

One of Thread’s on-staff or freelance stylists will eventually chat with the user to create outfits and send several new looks every Friday.

The user rates the suggestions – and the information derived goes into Thread’s algorithms to build the user’s profile. The clothes have to be paid for only if he wants to keep them.

Algorithms are key to the system but O’Neill wants to be able eventually to assign one stylist to 10,000 clients.

The 26-year-old calls himself a serial entrepreneur. Before Youtube.com lowered even one office work rate, O’Neill at the age of 15 launched video-sharing sites. He quit management studies at uni to found Playfire, which he sold to a London digital games retailer. Thread’s retail partners include Liberty, LN-CC, Oki-Ni and Urban Outfitters.

If Thread’s promise is fulfilled, it will surely expand to cater to females. Unless some young woman drops out of uni somewhere in England and…

Hamish Scott 070113

* Picture above is supplied by Thread.

* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.

 

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