V Busy with Tracey Lomrantz Lester of Choosy
Tracey Lomrantz Lester is the MVP of fashion + tech, and we’ve got a few words for anyone that says otherwise. This Soho-based powerhouse has worked for all of the top fashion publications and brands and is now the VP of Marketing & Creative at Choosy. Beyond her v impressive list of credentials and knack for predicting what’s next, Tracey is all about pushing fashion forward through technology and helping other womxn level tf up. We’re obviously here for it.
Hey, Tracey. We’re fangirling pretty hard rn. For the creative + entrepreneurial babes at home, tell us all a little bit about yourself.
I'm the VP of Marketing and Creative at Choosy, a startup fashion company that uses artificial intelligence and community influence to design this-minute styles that are essentially guaranteed to be liked. Before that, I ran brand at Intermix and editorial at Gilt. And prior to that, I spent nearly 10 years as a fashion editor at style.com, Elle.com, and Glamour, where I regularly appeared on television (The Today Show, Good Morning America) as a style expert. I've also written for Nylon, Details, Marie Claire, The New York Post and The New York Daily News. I've always been an early adopter in terms of digital--I joined Elle when its website had almost no original content; I launched Glamour's first video series and spun off @glamour_fashion into its own Twitter--and my true passion lies in pushing fashion-forward with the use of modern technology.
Whew. That’s amazing. Tell us more about Choosy!
Choosy is "fashion's first democracy." That means we're creating a space where absolutely everyone has a voice, has a chance to participate in our design process, and has a platform from which to share their style POV. Through private social groups, in-person events, and #ChoosyNation, we're putting the power of process back in the hands of the customer. We're not here to tell you what to wear--we're here to listen to what you want to wear (and then make it for you, in 21 days, mostly for under $100).
How does the AI stuff work in regard to predicting trends?
We design styles that are essentially guaranteed to be liked. How? Our proprietary artificial intelligence culls through 95 million Instagram images daily to find what's most trending. Then we validate that information through our community, and design utilizing those two inputs. The results are styles that we are certain our customer is looking for.
That’s so cool. Kind of reminds me of that scene from Clueless where she’s picking out her clothes on a computer. I digress, AI sounds like it’d be difficult to navigate. Any unique challenges you’ve faced with the tech aspect of Choosy?
Our biggest challenge has been keeping up with demand (admittedly a fantastic problem to have!). Certain styles have been so wildly popular--and viral, thanks to Instagram--that we've had long waiting lists, which of course, customers don't love. We're getting better all the time, but it's still a challenge. We've found that being open and honest with our customers is the best way to combat some of their frustration.
Love that. We’re v big advocates for being candid + transparent. Who has time for anything else? Can tell us about the overall situation of women in the fashion world?
Thankfully the fashion industry has been highly supportive of women for many years. Our CEO and co-founder is female and has been super vocal in her support for other women. But at the end of the day, it's critically important when you're building a business that's for women...to actually engage with women! To put them in leadership positions, to seek their input every step of the way, and to make sure they feel properly represented.
Couldn’t agree more. So any female or female-identifying media or artist (film/music/tv/etc) or women-centric business are you totally vibing with right now?
Issa Rae. She speaks so much truth to womanhood, to being a minority, to just trying to grind and make it and be the 200 different things at once we're all expected to be. And she's funny as hell.
We love Issa. Okay, so for the babes interested in seeing you at Tour. What will you be speaking about?
I'll be speaking about getting ahead in the fashion industry when you don't have any connections. It's historically an industry of privilege, and because internships are unpaid and the roles are usually quickly filled with friends and friends of friends, so many talented women never even get a chance. Create your own chance! I'll give you some tips on how.
Honestly can’t wait. Last q, what are you most looking forward to at Tour?
Meeting inspiring young women and helping guide their path!
Come see TRACEY at Pretty Thing Tour 2019 and use checkout code “CHOOSY” for $20 off your General Admission ticket.