Toronto Entrepreneurs Launch Web Platform to Help Men with Fashion Dilemmas

Posted by Samuel Dunsiger

For men seeking fashion advice, a Toronto-based startup has been launched for exactly that purpose. BROvisor, an online men’s fashion consultancy launched the beta version of its web platform today.

The platform is aimed at providing men with solutions to their daily fashion dilemmas, cofounder Bilal Khan explains in an interview with Techvibes.

“It is the merger of fashion and technology through an easy and convenient web site,” he says.

The idea for BROvisor can be traced back to November 2011, when the Toronto-based 500px hosted Pixel Hack Day, Canada’s largest photo-inspired hackathon.

That’s when Khan, a marketing management graduate from Ryerson University, and his partner-in-crime and cofounder, Anh Truong, a business and finance graduate from Wilfrid Laurier University, established the idea.

"Anh was participating in Pixel Hack Day and he asked me for help with the completion," Khan says. "I gave him the idea of doing an outfit completion based on photo analysis technology and creating an online wardrobe. I have always had a passion for men’s fashion and dressing well."

The duo initially created the prototype as a tool that allows users to upload a photo of an item of clothing and get suggestions to complete their outfit. “In less than 24 hours, BROvisor went from just an idea to a working web app,” Khan says.

To their surprise, they snagged second place in the hackathon. After that, Khan explains, “[Truong] offered me the prize, an iPhone 4S, and I said 'keep the prize and let's see where we can take this.’”

Now, after two years of development and fine-tuning, the platform’s beta version is available. He hopes the platform will help “those who are trying to better themselves through different occasions in their life, whether it’s a new job, promotion, dinner with an old friend or dinner with their partner’s parents.”

Here’s how it works: upon registering for a free account, users will be able seek advice about their fashion needs.

“You can ask us a question regarding any fashion-related issue, and we provide you the answer based on norms, rules, trends and expert advice,” explains Khan. “All the advice is displayed as a ‘style tile,’ providing a simple and easy way to display and share your advice.”

Consider it like a social network. While users ask questions to seek solutions, other users who are fashionistas can also chime in with their own answers and advice, Khan adds. Users are also encouraged to upload a photo of an article of clothing. With the clothing in hand, and details about their style, the occasion and weather, the platform uses a personalized algorithm to complete their outfit for them.

While BROvisor is simply at web platform right now, Khan notes that the startup plans to launch mobile apps for iOS and Android devices next year.

He adds that he hopes to move beyond men’s fashion advice and into lifestyle as well. But, for now, the platform—which is targeted to men across Canada, the US and worldwide—is focused on providing solutions to their fashion-related dilemmas.

“Each occasion has different norms and rules for which we can teach you how to dress for and give you tips,” Khan says.

Company:
500px Inc.
Website:
http://www.500px.com
Location:
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

500px is a photo community powered by creative people worldwide that lets you discover, share, buy and sell inspiring photographs. The first version of 500px came to light in the early days of digital photography. At that time, everything was slightly different — the Internet was slower, 3.2 megapixel cameras were the latest buzz, digital photographers were just getting acquainted with their tools, and 500 pixels... more


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Samuel Dunsiger

Samuel Dunsiger

Samuel Dunsiger is a freelance writer based in Toronto. He covers a range of topics such as technology, education, and occupational health and safety. His work has appeared in OHS Canada magazine, Jobpostings magazine, York Region papers The Liberal and The Markham Economist and Sun, and on BetaKit and blogTO.  He also works remotely as a freelance consultant for a PR agency in San Francisco,... more



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