Dyli: Personalized Fashion Discovery

Where Tinder and fashion magazines coincide, you will find Dyli. Dyli is a mobile app that helps users discover fashion by engaging them with curated, personalized content and allowing them to share their finds with fellow fashionistas. The way it works: swipe right if you love it, and left if you don’t. Advanced recommendation algorithms learn each user’s unique style, so with each swipe you get more highly tailored content.

Dyli was born in Harvard Business School as a first-year class project. During a brainstorm, one teammate was browsing Tinder while another teammate was flipping through a fashion magazine. And thus the idea was conceived. The team recognized that Tinder found success in its addictive UI/UX, tailor-made for impulsive, fast-paced millennial consumption. At the same time, fashion magazines offer their avid readers fresh, expertly curated, aspirational content. At this cross-section, Dyli set out to create a new platform for fashion content, taking a page out of Tinder’s book. Data collected from the app would eventually be presented to retailers to improve an array of pain-points from advertising and demand forecasts to the design process and decision-making.

Founder Brandon Tadesse came from the fashion world before HBS, “I modeled in NY for about one year, mostly runway, but my agency dropped me like a bad habit when they realized I wasn’t giving up macaroons and baked lasagna.” His co-founder, Nick Alexander, founded an e-commerce company, which was acquired by TellApart, and had a similar focus on learning and optimizing based on customer data. “I was also voted least fashionable in high school,” Nick admits, “which is why I’m grateful we have Brandon.”

Brandon and Nick led the team full-time this summer to launch their beta on August 4, 2014. The response was incredible. During the month they tested, their “power-users” logged over 1,000 swipes within 24 hours of downloading, an 8-minute average session time, and more than 1,800 total swipes per user. Of these users, 95% were active weekly. Do you think they loved it?

Based on feedback from this beta, Dyli is working on the next version of their app while also building up their team. And Rough Draft Ventures is excited to support Dyli as they continue to reinvent fashion content discovery. I think we can all anticipate the answer to our last question: will you love it?

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