Will Froelich

Not Just a Lookbook

Will Froelich

Developer, Designer in Los Angeles, CA


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Not Just a Lookbook

Not just a lookbook

The Goal

A better solution for fashion buyers and brands to buy and sell with better control over overall season order.

The Problem

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Fashion brands typically have a couple seasons for their product lines. They design and produce prototypes to shoot and market to brands at industry events. Buyers will walk a show floor or visit brands and place orders, typically a piece of paper, and try to manage size allocations, colorway selection, overall costs and any other bits that go into a season order across many different brands.

Paper and fax is obviously not the optimal solution. Beyond the inconvenience of writing everything down by hand, this can lead to huge loses if there are any mistakes or shut out brands that don't get attention before the big players enter the room.

The "Must Haves"

The Process

Not just a lookbook

A lot of time was devoted to understanding both sides of this marketplace. We found that brands were overly excited to have more control in this process and that buyers were fairly indifferent to new technology in this space. Established buyers had less incentive to change and brands would do whatever they could to get noticed.

That provided an interesting dynamic to solve for. We looked to answer the brands concerns while overly providing comfort to the buyers in order to convince them this would save time.

A MVP was developed, much of the work was done manually behind the scenes to prove each side of the marketplace would benefit from such a system. iPads were used to replace the printout and be fully usable on a show floor. Invoice emails were auto-generated and a system was setup to hold the hands of each party.

My Contribution

Working with a product designer to develop the product I architected and developed this product. I used Codeignitor as the backend with mysql as the store. The frontend used a custom developed MVC style framework to create testable and stable code that ran equally well on desktop and mobile browsers.

Retrospective

This project was helped greatly by the team discussions that helped us center around the core goal. Trying to balance two opposed users was a challenge that taught me a lot about finding the ask that will best serve every user in the long run.

At the time I was proud of the javascript framework I designed to run this app. It was lightweight MVC that was performant on iPad 1.0. There were plenty of bugs still in mobile safari and finding ways to get an app-like experience was challenging.

The MVP for Not Just a Lookbook went on to secure financing. It was renamed as NuORDER and is currently the #1 B2B eCommerce Platform.


818-588-6124
will@fform.com