Melbourne Spring Fashion Week is partnering with Australian shopping app Bluesky as its official eCommerce partner.
Participating retailer lookbooks will be available on Bluesky within minutes of MSFW runway shows – which run from August 30 to September 7 at the Melbourne Town Hall – allowing consumers to shop the catwalk from their smartphones (iOS and Android), tablets and laptops.
The retail-focussed runway event celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and interesting to see it buddy up with the high profile, 14 month-old Melbourne fashion tech startup.
Calling itself “Australia’s premier social shopping community” Bluesky has attracted considerable media attention since its May 2013 launch by two young Malaysian-born, Melbourne-based entrepreneurs, David Mah and Nigel Ang. The duo met at RMIT while both were studying electrical engineering.
Bluesky was their second startup together, after developing an online social diary platform called UniSquare in early 2012, as part of the Melbourne University Accelerator Program. After failing to monetise the venture, they shut the project down in December that year.
Mah and Ang had much better luck with Bluesky, securing A$700,000 in seed funding within a matter of months from a consortium of local angel investors, led by Readify co-founders Christine Mingins and Grahame Leonard and BIR Solutions managing director Michael Royal.
In the lead-up to Christmas, reports the duo, Bluesky managed a Top 20 rank of 13 on the Australian iTunes store. No mean feat, considering the store hosts 1.2million apps.
Last month Mah and Ang announced they had raised an additional $600,000 in venture capital and that Bluesky has facilitated some $10million of retail sales, reaching 230,000 shoppers and hosting over 500 brands. The duo hope to reach one million users by the end of this year.
“Our partnership with MSFW is focussed on bringing the event ahead of the digital curve, allowing consumers to purchase their most coveted runway items at their fingertips almost instantaneously” said Mah, Bluesky chief executive officer, in a statement.
“We’ve seen incredible growth in mobile commerce in recent years and soon the majority of retail discovery and transactions will happen on mobile devices”.