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The platform started out using celebrity looks to gauge interest and had around 16,000 downloads in the first month, before introducing its real-world version in February this year, featuring 180 real women recruited as contributors to the site.
“You match with real women who are showing you what they’ve found, how it fits, how they’ve styled it and then where to buy it,” founder and CEO Sarah Neill explained.
More than 83,000 women from over 100 countries have downloaded the app, with the US, Australia, and the UK accounting for 70 per cent of users.
Mys Tyler will use the capital raised to build on product development and grow its marketplace so there is greater visibility and access to the platform globally.
Mirvac partnership taps into community connection
For Australian property group Mirvac, this isn’t just a strategic investment but also a partnership it hopes will help shape the future of its retail business through shopping centre activations.
Kelly Miller, general manager of retail at Mirvac, said the partnership will provide opportunities to bring digital and physical communities together.
“As a group, we are heavily invested in supporting progressive brands and entrepreneurs with purpose, and truly believe the future of fashion will integrate sustainability, convenience, and physical and digital spaces,” Miller said. “Combining our audiences gives us greater insights into trends across the globe, while providing opportunities to co-create, bring partners together and, most importantly, inspire our combined communities.”
The first stage of this active partnership is coming to life through a styling advisory service at Toombul shopping centre in Brisbane throughout October and November.
“It’s called Stylist in Residence and it’s essentially a pop-up that hosts four co-working desks, a consultation area, changing rooms and racks of clothing,” Neill explained.
Mys Tyler stylists will work with the community to help women of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities meet and learn about fashion. The program is set to include one-on-one styling sessions, workshops and fashion shows.
There are also plans for a styling takeover of Birkenhead Point in Drummoyne, NSW, which have been delayed due to Covid restrictions.
Miller said shopping centres need to embrace community interaction and Mys Tyler offers a great opportunity to do so.
“We love that about Sarah because she is connecting a global community of like-minded individuals who want to be kind, but also want to share style ideas and get help, but also with a sustainability lens,” she told Inside Retail. “It’s just a really wonderful shared set of values that we loved.”
Solving the $1 trillion ‘fit’ problem
Neill’s background is telecommunications but she said the idea for Mys Tyler had been brewing since 2014, when she was living in New York.
However, it wasn’t until 2020, after witnessing the growth of affiliate marketing, that she finally decided to quit her job and return to Sydney (pre-pandemic) to bring the idea to life.
Neill started building Mys Tyler through Antler’s start-up program and Antler became the company’s first investor, putting in $155,000 for 10 per cent equity to get the ball rolling.
Now, Mys Tyler has a diverse contributor base that includes women from all over the globe who are passionate about normalising every shape and size.
In the US, Statista reported that return deliveries cost US$550 billion in 2020, with this cost expected to swell globally into a $1 trillion issue. Neill believes the body-positive app can help solve this problem by creating a more empowering and personalised shopping experience for women.
“We’re fixing a critical flaw in the world of fashion that has meant women have had to buy clothes off models or influencers who look nothing like them,” Neill said. “Until now, women have had to imagine what clothes would look like on themselves, only to try them on later with a shockingly low success rate.”
While Mys Tyler started out with the goal of making shopping easier for consumers by helping them find clothes that fit, the impact has been much greater, Neill said.
“It’s turned into a community of body-empowered women whose lives have truly been impacted for the better since using the app.”
In a recent survey, 43 per cent of users said they were more body confident as a result of Mys Tyler.
“The messages of thanks from early users are beyond anything that I had anticipated,” Neill said. “I thought we would create something functional, but we’ve tapped into something so much more important and are incredibly proud to be helping women feel more confident in themselves as we create a space where women feel welcomed, represented and supported.”