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This Japan Startup Is Changing the Way Your Kids Buy Fashion

By Tim Romero: Serial startup founder in Japan and indomitable innovator

Japanese fashion is unique, and so is the entire Japanese fashion industry. Today I would like to introduce you to a Japanese fashion startup with a genuinely unique business model. Tsubasa Koseki and his team at Facy, have created a fashion marketplace based on instant messaging and relationship building between shops and consumers. Interestingly, this market is not dominated by major labels or global companies, but by more local, mid-market brands. Tsubasa and I talk about his plans for Asian expansion, Facy’s chances for global domination in this niche, and the major differences between fashion retailing in Asia and in the West. It’s a fascinating discussion and a great inside look at fashion retailing. Show Notes What is the last untapped fashion market The reason behind the recent boom in startup founders from Todai How SNS use differs between Asia and the West Why you may not be able to trust Japanese e-commerce reviews The biggest mistake fashion startups keep making Why the global fashion brands will be at a disadvantage over the next 10 years Links from the Founder Check out Facy Follow them on Facebook More about Facy on The Bridge [shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="7994466"] Leave a comment Transcript Welcome to Disrupting Japan, straight talk from Japan's most successful entrepreneurs. I'm Tim Romero and thanks for joining me. Every once in a while, I come across a startup with a business model that only exists in Japan. Now usually, this is because the startup is responding to a market need or a consumer behavior that also only exists in Japan. Occasionally however, only occasionally, I come across a unique startup with a genuinely good idea that has potential to make a global impact, and today, I'd like to introduce you to one of those companies. Tsubasa Koseki is the CEO and founder of Facy, and Facy has developed a fashion marketplace based on, believe it or not, text messaging. Consumers with questions about fashion can ask for advice, and fashion brands and stores respond to those questions. Yes, yes, I know, messaging is already widely used in the fashion e-commerce industry, but Facy has a wonderful and minimal approach to it that really deserves attention. Now, I grant you that the fashion industry as a whole is a bit outside of my core competence and in truth, I have a fashion sense that is perfect for podcasting, but Facy's results really speak for themselves, and Tsubasa and his company have big plans for expansion as well, but you know, Tsubasa tells that story much better than I can, so let's hear from our sponsor and get right to the interview. [pro_ad_display_adzone id="1411"  info_text="Sponsored by"  font_color="grey"  ] [Interview] Tim: Okay, so we're sitting here with Tsubasa Koseki, the CEO and founder of Facy. So thanks for sitting down with us today. Tsubasa: Yes, thank you, Tim, too. I'm very happy to present our project. I'm a big fan of your podcast. Tim: Well, thanks. Let's get right into what Facy does, so you talk about o-to-o means in offline-to-online support services for fashion and apparel stores, so how does this work exactly? Tsubasa: On our service, user can ask their fashion needs like Quora. Tim: Quora? Like the Q&A site? Tsubasa: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. User can ask their own fashion needs. For example, I'm looking for sneakers for the office, shop staff can reply to the post by uploading their item in their stores. User can ask additional questions. If it's okay, they can buy or reserve item. Tim: I really think you got an interesting approach to e-commerce in general, but fashion in particular where it is this kind of calling response where you got customers texting like just random questions, and how detailed are these questions? Are they simple things like, "I'm looking for a new pair of sneakers for basketball"? Or do you get people saying,

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