Welcome to the next phase in digital shopping. The Yes app launching today is AI in it’s finest form. The experience is designed very specifically for each user – trust us, the detail is insane. The company has partnered with over 150 global brands – think Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Rosie Assoulin, among others – to give you a completely customized selection of pieces that are streamlined to suit your own style. With the myriad of options online, many shoppers feel overwhelmed or bogged down in choosing what they actually want. All you need to do is take a short quiz telling the app what you love and dislike. It will then start pulling finely tuned options from the various brands. What shows up in your home feed is curated by a constantly evolving algorithm that’s a cross between what’s going on in fashion and what you love. Co-founders Julie Bornstein and Amit Aggarwal brought over two decades of experience (each!) in e-commerce with leadership roles at companies like Stitch Fix, Nordstrom, and Sephora as well as Google, Bing and even Groupon. Tapping each’s strengths in the online space they also brought on Taylor Tomasi Hill as their creative and fashion director for an even more fash-insider touch. We got a full walk-through of the program from Lisa Green, SVP of brand partnerships, to see what we’re actually supposed to be saying, “YES!” to.
How did you get involved with The Yes?
I was at Google for 12 years and the last half of the time I was working with all the fashion and luxury brands. As ridiculous as it almost feels to say now, I was explaining to them that digital was a good place for their brand and a great place to tell stories. I had the experience of convincing Chanel that YouTube was safe and worked with them on the launch of their first ever video campaign. It was kind of a natural progression of what else can digital and technology do for fashion to really sort of move it to the next level. I met Julie when she just raised her first round of funding to build The Yes. The idea behind it is that e-commerce has really remained stagnant since it began. It didn’t really take advantage of the fact that there’s so much more that can actually be done if you use technology. Of course, the advancements in technology over time and where they’ve gotten to at this point are such that now is a moment where we can really capitalize on the advances of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and create an experience that truly is centered around the customer. And so that no two people ever have the same experience.
And it seems current retail sites aren’t necessarily changing to make their shopping experiences more customized.
Quite frankly all those sites know we shop differently. They know what I’ve bought, what you bought but they’re not able to adapt their technologies to the way that each one of us shops. We’ve really built this experience completely from scratch; from the ground up. We wanted to create this really sort of seamless, efficient and wonderful experience that uses technology to our advantage.
Tell us about the brand selection process.
It’s this mix of high to low brands. I basically spent almost the last two years signing up all of these amazing brands. I have to say for the most part what they’ve been most excited about, especially with this crisis is a new way to get their inventory out. A new way to really connect with customers to expand their distribution without necessarily losing control and a way to really speak directly to their consumers. We really are sort of a connector between brands and consumers. And within the app consumers can actually sign up for a brand’s email list. They can follow them on Instagram directly through our app and more. Our thinking is that people want to know more about the brands that they’re shopping and there’s tons of cool creative out there. We want to cut through the clutter and just really want to be a plate that’s bringing brands and consumers closer together.