NY Startup Interview: Gili Golander, Founder/Fashion Director, Bazaart

Today, we’re excited to be interviewing Gili Golander, Founder/Fashion Director, Bazaart.  Bazaart reinvents fashion catalogs on tablets. With Bazaart, fashion brands and their fans can create shoppable interactive catalogs, on top of Pinterest. Bazaart is the first-ever Pinterest-driven, user-generated, 24/7 fashion catalog.

Q: What is your company/service?

“Bazaart is a personal fashion catalog for tablets. It combines the beauty of the print catalogs, the sleek interaction of tablets, and the curation of Pinterest into a unique, engaging, shopping experience. With Bazaart, fashion brands and their fans can create shoppable collage based catalogs using Pinterest pins.

The alpha version of Bazaart that’s on the App Store is an iPad app that lets you restyle Pinterest pins to make a collage. With one tap of your finger, Bazaart lets you grab your favorite fashions, trends and styles from Pinterest boards. And then, in seconds, you can mix, match and create a collage to re-pin it to Pinterest. On the social side, you can re-pin and explore items while sharing your inspired new fashion ideas with friends and fans.

Watch our video demo: http://vimeo.com/45235089″

Q: What were you doing before starting this company?

“Daughter to a high-tech entrepreneur and a fashion professional, my career path is a delicate dance between those two extremes. First and foremost, I am enthusiastic about fashion and for me the technology is there to enhance and democratize it. My deepest wish is to touch people’s lives through fashion and help them to speak its wonderful language.

I have profound technological and UX (user experience) background that is enhanced by fashion and styling knowledge and experience. My master’s thesis focused on fashion and trends in web design, and I have three publications. I have developed and designed user experience for various software products, as well as styled fashion shoots, worked as the fashion journalist and editor in online magazines and provided personal styling services.

As Bazaart’s Chief Fashion Officer, I am proudly mixing the two worlds to support and fuel the launch of our fashion tech business. Concocting exciting collaborations with fashion bloggers, stylists, brands and retailers, imagining the product from vision to detailed design, and creating fresh and brash fashion content are all things I do and love doing.”

Q: Where did your vision/inspiration for this company come from?

“I have always been a sucker for fashion catalogs. Printed dreams, inspirational images, beautiful collages, engaging aesthetics and exciting fashion – it was all
there, waiting for me in my mailbox (the real one), marking the beginning of a fresh new season.

Then came the Internet, and brought many new excitements like online shopping, fashion blogs and websites, live streamed fashion shows – the fashion world had exploded into a bazillion digital pixels. But one day, when I was looking for a new pair of shoes online (yes, guilty as charged), I suddenly realized that I was just scrolling through hundreds of images, usually in a grid layout, and that somehow, at some point, creativity and inspiration was forsaken on the altar of functionality.

With the rise of tablets, with their minimal footprint and gorgeous display, an opportunity to put the ‘F’ for fun back into fashion shopping arose. Not just to replicate the old fashion catalogs into a digital form, oh no! The old fashion catalogs were a “one-style-fits-all”. Wouldn’t it be better if the new breed of digital fashion catalogs were created just for me? Colors, shapes, brands and styles that I liked in a personal fashion catalog.

In February 2012, the Bazaart team was brainstorming and planning on how to create this new type of fashion catalog, and at the same time a couple of cool dudes in San Francisco were gaining a huge momentum with a humble website called Pinterest, which I absolutely went
bananas for, alongside the entire fashion world.

That’s how the Bazaart came to be the first-ever Pinterest-driven, user-generated, 24/7 fashion catalog.”

Q: What problem are you solving, and why does the world need your product?

“Did you know that more people still buy fashion through paper catalogs than online? As the fashion industry moves from printed paper catalogs to online, some of the fun and inspiration is being lost. Paper catalogs are colorful, exciting and beautiful, while fashion e-commerce
websites are, a lot of the time, just an endless grid of items.

With the rise of tablets on the one hand, and the oh-so-visual social network Pinterest on the other, Bazaart saw an opportunity to combine fashion, style, and technology into a unique social, sharing, shopping experience.

Bazaart combines the beauty of the print catalogs, the
sleek interaction of tablets, and Pinterest. With Bazaart, fashion brands and their fans can create shoppable collage based catalogs using Pinterest pins.”

Q: What keeps you motivated?

Big dreams, a great team, passion for fashion, my amazing family, and good coffee :-)

Q: What keeps you up at night?

I work long hours and have three kids, the youngest being one and a half years old. The only thing that’s keeping me up at night is my baby, otherwise I sleep like a rock!

Q: What would you consider to be a successful result for your company?

Here’s a nice forecast: In 2015, Bazaart partners with 50 international fashion brands and retailers. Bazaart has 5 Million active users and $50M USD yearly revenues. From iPad only in 2012, Bazaart expanded their technology to Android tablets and smartphones (iPhone and Android). Recently, Bazaart began partnering with a huge home-decor retailer. This would be the first non-fashion catalog on Bazaart platform. Bazaart now has offices in New York, Tel-Aviv, and recently opened an office in London. Bazaart has recently been approached by Google with an acquisition proposal. The future is bright for this great company.

Q: What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

Listen to others, think and adjust, but remember to listen to  your gut feeling!

Q: What is the Bazaart vision?

Imagine if you could get a fashion catalog that is not a “one-style-fits-all”, but is custom tailored to your unique sense of style. Your catalog would be composed of all your favorite brands, colors, styles and sizes that fit just you. Oh, and you could start shopping immediately. Wouldn’t that be something?

Bazaart is a personal fashion catalog for tablets which is based on three cornerstones:
* Beauty – to bring back the lost qualities of art and beauty of paper catalogs to digital.
* Personal – to offer customized fashion content through automatic, personal and peer curation.
* Freedom = to allow both people and brands to contribute creative content.

Moving forward towards realizing its vision, Bazaart will offer smart personalization capabilities such as matching item colors, finding alternative items, and keeping items you like while replacing the rest of the look with a single swipe of your finger. Our smart algorithms will compile catalog pages specifically tailored to your taste. Bazaart is on a mission to reinvent fashion catalogs on tablets.

Follow Bazaart on Twitter: @bazaart_co