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Startup interview: Fitle

At Urban Linker, we are passionate about startups, so we're always happy to share some beautiful projects with our readers! Have a look at this interview of Charles from Fitle.

17.09.2015

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND, YOUR TRAINING?

After graduating from high school, I went to an engineering school in Rouen. I always wanted to create my own startup, so I did an Entrepreneurship Master’s Degree in ESSEC Business School, and in CENTRALE Paris. From 2011 to 2013 I worked at Ernst & Young in financial auditing. From October 2013, I started looking into the Fitle project, during my free time at first, and full-time once I quit my job. 

Can you pitch Fitle in a few words?

Fitle is a virtual fitting room. For most people, trying clothes on before buying them is essential. Yet we cannot do that when buying clothes online. With Fitle, people can visualize their clothes in 3D thanks to an avatar that reproduces the person’s body shape and the clothes fabric. This way clients diminish the risk of having to return a product that didn’t fit them. 
 

How did you come up with the idea?

It came from a personal observation: like many people, I didn’t have time to go shopping for clothes because I came out of work quite late, and did most of my shopping online. Today more than one clothing article is bought online, and this tendency is only getting stronger. The major downside of e-commerce websites is that potential clients cannot try the clothes on, which can sometimes be a restraint to purchasing. We came up with this solution to ease up transactions and reduce the amount of returns. 
 

What were the main challenges you faced?

It was quite complicated at first because the product we developed doesn’t exist anywhere in the world. It was a real challenge to create a totally new solution from scratch. This led to another challenge: finding the people who would be able to create Fitle. Forming a performing team around an innovative project was a major challenge but we did it, and we’re very proud! As most startups, the financial aspects was also a problem: Fitle is a project that required a lot of investment in R&D. We needed enough money to finance a team during the entire development length (18 months). 
 

What helped you go through it?

We received help from many actors like Réseau Entreprendre 92 or the BPI, that gave us support on the financial and the material part. We were incubated in the ESSEC and enjoyed the installations (premises, IT) and services (lawyers, accountants…) at our disposal. We also met entrepreneurs who gave us many advices on how to aim at the right direction. 
 

What technology do you use?

The first technology we used to create Fitle allowed us to recreate the user in 3D with his picture and body shape. The second shows the clothes in 3D by taking into account the brand and size. We have a data base from our partners to be able to automatically model the clothes. Our last technology is an extremely realistic simulator that recreates clothes by showing details such as folds, fabric, gravity… Everything was made so the user feels like being in front of a mirror. 

How is Fitle innovative? Why are you going to succeed?

Fitle is an innovative concept because it us unique: no other company offers what we do. AR technologies don’t allow the same preview. Fitle is an original product that will revolutionize e-commerce, by answering a real user need. 

Since when is the service available?

Official launching was made on the 15th of September 2015. A few privileged partners were able to try our product ahead, which allowed us to get some very valuable feedback. 

Were you inspired by other companies?

Our models are any recent startup that disrupted the market such as Uber, Airbnb but also Apple who changed the world with the iPhone.
You can learn more about Fitle on FITLE, on Facebook and Twitter.
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