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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Toronto app is like a personal shopper on your phone

blynk app torontoNeed ideas on how to wear that amazing jacket you just picked up? Maybe you're trying to figure out how to work the minimalism trend, or figure out a hot date outfit, and need some inspiration on what to grab from your closet - or the mall. Blynk, an app developed in Toronto, aims to make it simple for fashion lovers to nail the style they want.

In the iOS and Android app, outfit photos appear along with an algorithm-generated bank of shoppable items that can help you replicate the look; users can swipe left or right, Tinder-style, to save the ones they like. "We see on average 125 swipes per session on average, with some people swiping over 30,000 outfits," says founder Jaclyn Ling. (All told, Blynk receives over 5 million swipes a month.)

Eventually, the app begins tailoring the looks it shows you to your preferences, using an algorithm that measures everything from the looks you're swiping, any linked-up social profiles, other users with similar likes, and features and brands in the products you like. Ling says the app's focus is more about letting users find and collect inspiration than encouraging them to shop.

"It's a great resource for people to wake up in the morning, take a quick skim through your looks in your Blynk profile, and then think about how to recreate it with the clothes in your own closet. (Also), we send recommendations that people may not have thought of trying, but still suits their style. So users of Blynk love to use it before they go shopping to see what they should buy next."

Since their launch last summer, the app has evolved to allow users to build up "style profiles", creating and saving categorized albums full of looks to create a personal inspiration resource.

"For example, in my own personal profile, you'll see I have albums for 'office,' leather,' 'all black outfits,' 'looks I have' and 'looks I want next' -- totally suited to my fashion style and my lifestyle." If you're looking for something specific, you can search with combinations of keywords - say, "summer + office" or "casual + minimalistic" - to find exactly what you're looking for.

What's next? Expect Blynk to get even more personalized. "We aim to be able to serve recommendations for any style type, for any budget, an geographical location, any occasion and even any brand," she says. "One day, you'll be able to ask Blynk for a recommendation for 'a minimalistic outfit, for a young professional in Toronto, for a date night'."

Want to learn more about Blynk and other Toronto Tech companies? Join Blynk on April 2nd at the TechToronto Meetup where you enjoy free food, drink, hear five tech companies present about the challenges they overcome and meet other people interested in startups. Find out more here.

Photo via Blynk.

by Natalia Manzocco via blogTO

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