If you hadn’t heard, men’s fashion is hot right now.
Companies as trendy as Fashion Nova are starting to create lines targeted at men who have a sense of style. Shows like Queer Eye are emphasizing the importance of dressing well. The fashionably-dressed man is having his day.
But what about the man who either doesn’t have the time or doesn’t know what he’s doing?
Many men feel incapable of taking the next step in fashion, or don’t know where to start. They’re lost when it comes to where to shop, what to buy, what looks good on their bodies, and what sort of style they prefer. They don’t have the time to sit down and educate themselves on trends, fits, fabrics or what clothing they need to be a truly stylish person.
That’s where clothing subscriptions come in.
Some leading CEOs see subscription services as a big trend this coming year.
For people who don’t have the time or inclination to do their own curation, subscription services fill a big need. Companies like Blue Apron have been changing the game for food distribution, and just about everything has a subscription service now.
If you’re tired of seeing men wearing the same old T-shirts, hoodies, sneakers and jeans ensemble everywhere, you’re not alone. The founders of clothing subscription service Bombfell felt the same way back when they started their company.
Jason Kim, Sarah Lee and Bernie Yoo had a vision of what men’s fashion could be—and the results speak for themselves. They’ve combined AI and the human touch to create one of the most interesting and useful subscription services on the market.
What Is Bombfell?
Short for “Bombfellow” (bombshell + fellow), the company’s name indicates its goal: helping men dress well. In particular, Bombfell is targeted at men who don’t have either the time or inclination to devote to understanding fashion.
Bombfell is built on a realization that Jason Kim and Bernie Yoo had as roommates at Harvard in 2007: when it came time to update their dated wardrobes, they had to rely on partners and friends with a better sense of style.
Four years later, they were still wearing the same clothes they had purchased while rooming together. It was time for a refresh, but they lacked the time and inclination to build a completely new wardrobe from scratch.
Realizing that there were probably many other men in the same boat, they paired up with fashion expert Sarah Lee to create Bombfell, a service that would help men find the fashion that would make them look their best with a minimum of effort.
How Bombfell Works
When a new customer signs up for Bombfell, they’re taken through a short quiz that indicates their size, style preferences and budget. Bombfell uses a proprietary AI recommendation engine to combine this with other details for a recommendation.
Then a human stylist looks at the recommendation and combines it with their own experience (as well as order history, for longer-standing customers) to create a personalized experience.
There’s no obligation other than a $20 stylist fee, which is credited towards the clothing kept.
When a box comes, the recipient can keep as many or as few pieces of clothing as they like—they only pay for what they want to keep. Bombfell’s discount scales with the amount of clothing kept, so the more a customer keeps, the more they save.
AI Meets Human
The difference for Bombfell is their system that combines the human with the electronic.
Since AI recommendations are paired with stylist recommendations, Bombfell is a more customizable and more personal experience than some other subscription services. The AI will give hints on what to pick, but each stylist uses those recommendations as a guideline, not a template.
Personalization is on the way up in 2018, and brands are starting to figure out that they need to use recommendation engines and other AI tactics. Companies like Bombfell that have been using recommendation engines for years now are ahead of the curve, and have an advantage over other firms that may just have started to use the advantage that smart tech carries.
Many brands haven’t yet figured out how to marry a personal touch with the efficiency of an AI.
Bombfell has, and their continued success indicates that more companies should follow the same model. Recommendation engines help companies personalize their content or offerings to their customers individually, and as the world trends towards more personalized experiences, expect more subscription services to take advantage of the same AI capabilities that Bombfell has showcased.
The future is now.
Lucas Miller is a contributing writer at Grit Daily. He is the founder and CEO of Echelon Copy LLC, a media relations agency based in Provo, Utah that helps brands improve visibility, enhance reputation and generate leads through authentic storytelling.