Home Base: London
Year Founded: 2011
Power Stat: Lookk currently works with designers in over 43 countries.

In fashion, as in many art forms, it's tough for those new to the industry, without a following and a network, to get feedback on their work. On the flip side, it's equally challenging for people invested in discovering the next Raf Simons or Kris Van Assche to find the opportunity to do so. London-based Lookk, which launched in July, serves as an open-to-the-public digital showroom combined with an online store: Visitors vote for looks they like—encouraging their friends across the Internet to do the same—and Andreas Klinger, Tamas Locher, and their team use that data to inform what designs to stock, sometimes handling production for the real newbies. "We base our business decisions on the interactions between users and designers and try to support both ends as far as we can," Klinger says. What's key, though, is that this is not a fully crowd-sourced operation—so the guy with the most Facebook friends does not inevitably win.

The lowdown on the London tech scene: "It's surprisingly open and friendly. I think we need more small, simple start-ups becoming a huge success to give a little bit of confidence to people who are here in Europe." —Klinger

Why online shopping is broken: "If you think of buying fashion, you think of something very social—going with friends or something. When you think of buying online, you think of something that you do alone, at home in your bedroom, clicking on your computer." —Klinger


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