Fashion & Beauty Springwise

We’re deviating from our regular schedule to bring you the best new business ideas of 2007, featuring our personal favourites. This isn’t a trip down memory lane—all of these smart concepts will continue to provide entrepreneurs with plenty of opportunities in 2008. Today: fashion & beauty. Enjoy!

  1. Full provenance sweaters: Brands are increasingly sharing detailed information on their products’ sources and background. In the Netherlands, new knitwear brand Flocks gives customers details about the individual animals that provided the wool for their sweaters and mittens. More »
  2. DIY dress design: Couture gets personal with StyleShake—a new online venture that lets creative customers design their own duds, picking from a selection of quality fabrics and putting together dresses from virtual pattern pieces to create truly personal pieces that can be delivered to their door in as little as 10 days. More »
  3. Wedding boutique for gay men: With same-sex marriage and registered partnerships now legal in a growing number of countries, a whole new bridal industry is springing up to cater to the demands and wishes of gay and lesbian couples. Spotted in Barcelona: BY, Europe’s first wedding shop for gay men. More »
  4. Sampling salons for cosmetics: Given the overwhelming array of cosmetics and high price tags on many department store offerings, it’s no wonder customers are wary of plunking down their hard-earned dollars without first trying a product. Department store make-up counters have long offered testers, but not without a sales pitch. Cosmetics shoppers in Tokyo now have an alluring alternative—sampling salons. More »
  5. Socks with a story: Swiss Netgranny is a collective of 15 grannies who knit socks on demand and sell them online. Customers can choose their favourite granny from a gallery of Grosis. More »
  6. Web retailer helps find the perfect fit: Every body is different, and just five or six percent of bodies fit the model that most designers use as their standard. Which is why MyShape, a women’s apparel retailer, is using proprietary technology to customize selections to a customer’s individual shape. More »
  7. Baby clothes rental service: Since newborns grow out of a clothing size every month or so in the first half year of their lives, German Lütte-Leihen came up with a solution: a layette rental service for a fixed fee per month. Clothes are delivered by post. Once babies grow out of a size, the set can be exchanged for the next size up, free of charge. Like Netflix for baby clothes. More »
  8. Cosmetics brand prices everything at $1: Take a high-margin product like cosmetics, and cut prices by at least half. Now add online accessibility with customization, community and values. Throw in a pinch of demystifying expert advice, and you’ve got e.l.f., which sells cosmetics for eyes, lips, face and nails for just one dollar per item. More »
  9. A social marketplace for clothes hounds: Now that social networks have become a regular part of the fabric of modern life, segmentation is well under way, with communities popping up all over focused on specific groups and interests. Case in point: OURthreads.com, a social marketplace designed specifically for users interested in fashion, clothing and accessories. More »
  10. Manicures on the go: In this perpetually time-crunched era, it’s no secret that finding time for personal grooming services like haircuts and manicures can be a challenge. Which is why :10 Minute Manicure is going after consumers whose nails need some speedy attention in airports in busy commercial centres. More »

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