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New App Lets Consumers Find Fashion With a Photo

In the latest effort to offer consumers yet another channel through which to shop, a new app lets customers track down fashion finds by scanning and uploading a photo.

With ASAP54–named for the app’s instant gratification and as a nod to the former fashion-forward Studio 54 nightclub–consumers can take pictures of fashion items they like and the app will work to locate that exact item and suggest others that are similar.

Daniela Cecílio, the brainchild behind ASAP54 and former COO of boutique fashion site Farfetch, developed the app out of frustration with not being able to find the perfect item on existing online outlets.

“When words simply aren’t enough to describe the item that you are looking for capture and upload a picture instead, and ASAP54 will help you to find similar items as well as provide you with edited style-savvy recommendations,” the app website notes.

Here’s how it works: the app uses photo recognition technology to identify clothes and fabrics, then searches its database to return photo-based results for the must-find item, and the user is directed to online stores where they can purchase the product.

Scanned images can range from complete looks to single clothing items to fabric swatches and those using the app can also set search parameters that will limit results based on price, color or specific brand. So, for example, if the user scans a pair of rust-colored Aldo boots, but wants to find a similar style in black, the app can help with that.

If the algorithm-driven results aren’t satisfactory, the user can opt to have a live fashion expert scope out their picture and, within twenty-four hours, offer suggestions about where to find it–or a comparable item.

ASAP54 also marries functionality with a social element and allows users to follow friends and style- influencers to comment on or “like” their favorite finds and even crowd source an item or look if the search results didn’t do it. They can also peruse the most searched items around the world and save items in a wish list to return to later.

More than 150 retailers, including Net-a-Porter, Barney’s, J. Crew and Topshop are already in the app’s database, which has over one million products to peruse and the company expects that number to grow as business does.

The app is available for free at the iTunes store but ASAP54 plans to limit the number of new downloads in the first few weeks to keep the experience exclusive at the outset.