Photo by Tamara Bellis on Unsplash

Can technology bring back the fashion boutique experience? This startup thinks so.

The last 20 years of the internet have been all about the consolidation of e-commerce. Amazon controls everything today, as they’ve built a $500B behemoth. A little-known fact is that Amazon has also quietly built a $30B advertising business, as they charge brands for the privilege of showing up higher in Amazon’s search results.

Meanwhile Shein, with their mobile-app-only shopping, is doing $10B/year in sales and valued at more than H&M and Zara combined.

In summary, it’s been a great time for Amazon, Shein, and but not such a great time for consumers who want the personalized experience of a fashion boutique. Also, it’s definitely not been a good time for small independent fashion brands who struggle for exposure in a world where Amazon controls everything.

Maison Orient, a new startup in Istanbul and NYC, is changing that. For consumers, Maison Orient provides the experience of a fashion boutique, with products and collections carefully curated by the company’s founders and a level of personalized experience that is rare in today’s world of giant e-commerce. And for independent brands, Maison Orient provides access to new markets with better brand exposure and better margins than is possible selling through the e-commerce retail giants.

There is much being written in 2022 about how we’re entering “web3”, a new era on the web where the pendulum swings back toward empowering smaller merchants and individual consumers. Maison Orient is a shining example of that trend, using new technologies to create a fashion tech platform that delivers the boutique experience favored by consumers and fashion brands alike.

Maison Orient will be presenting this week at Demo Day for the 4thly Startup Accelerator.



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Bret Waters

Bret Waters

Silicon Valley guy. I teach entrepreneurship at Stanford, run the 4thly Startup Accelerator, and coach startup CEO’s at Miller Center. Also, I love fish tacos.