We talk to Daniel Eckler, founder of three successfully crowdfunded menswear products, who now wants to redefine the morning routine with a clothing app.
It is said that to survive in the startup industry, one must be incredibly adaptive. For Mylo, this meant going so far as to change their name. Previously known as MIJLO, the Dutch-based design collective first launched in 2013 with A Better Backpack, a timeless bag built to last a lifetime. After successfully raising CAD 81,000 on Kickstarter, founder Daniel Eckler launched his next product: the Springwise-featured Everyday Watch, a timepiece that enables 10 variations with two different faces and five straps. Like its predecessor, the designs took from of the universal appeal of lasting fashion, and the again surpassed its goal of CAD 63,000.
Next came the Where’s Wallet, which saw an incredibly playful interactive Where’s Wally style website, and a smart, simple wallet embedded with tracking chips so users will never lose their cards and cash. But though the campaign was funded successfully, Daniel cancelled the funding to focus on his next big thing.
“We always knew we wanted to find something technically and culturally innovative,” he tells us. “Ultimately, we knew we wanted to merge Gap and Ikea by leveraging new technical and cultural trends.”Using the revenue from the successful products, MIJLO dropped the ‘IJ’ from their name and began development of Mylo, a menswear app that helps users dress nicely. Having noticed the difficulty for men to shop quality basics, Daniel wanted a solution that was simple and fun to use. The app works like an ecommerce platform, making clothing recommendations from a range of quality staples, hand-picked from selected brands retailers. It then helps users put together outfits based on the items in their wardrobe — they can input their location so the app knows the weather conditions for the day, and select from different styles such as ‘office casual’ or ‘contemporary’. Users even have the option to consult a stylist, and if it happens to be raining that day, the app will recommend its favorite raincoat. “Our philosophy and aesthetic direction is identical: we’re still focused on the simple life, but we’ve switched back to our digital roots after dabbling in physical product development,” Daniel tells us, “Our biggest step has been strategic: we realized that we can provide more value in the digital realm given our collective expertise.” For consumers who like to look for advice when it comes to clothing, Mylo’s numerous successes with classic menswear products backs them up as a trusted voice. When asked what made the team realize that they needed to pivot, Daniel attributes it to a loose web of inspiration. “During our product development phase we simultaneously sought out the proper outlet,” Daniel says, “Once we came up with the Mylo app, it was obvious we’d found the right outlet for our set of ideas.” In terms of key learnings, Daniel shares a quote from Steve Jobs about how a great product is not solely coming up with one great idea, but more to do with learning from the trial and error process of development.
“There’s just a tremendous amount of craftsmanship in between a great idea and a great product. It never comes out like it starts because you learn a lot more as you get into the subtleties of it. And you also find there are tremendous tradeoffs that you have to make. There are just certain things you can’t make electrons do. There are certain things you can’t make plastic do. Or robots do. Designing a product is keeping five thousand things in your brain and fitting them all together in new and different ways to get what you want. And every day you discover something new that is a new problem or a new opportunity to fit these things together a little differently.”Currently in Beta, Mylo is inviting users to sign up for early access. “People think that men aren’t interested in clothes to the same degree as women,” Daniel says, “And we think that’s true; the reason being that shopping and trying to dress well takes effort. Mylo cuts out the hassle. It helps you get dressed in a matter of seconds, and it houses a basic menswear shop that allows you to grab whatever you need whenever you need it. We think there’s a huge opportunity to take advantage of a lack of mobile menswear options right now. We think our simple approach will make a difference.” In the long run, Daniel and his team want to redefine the morning routine. “The idea is that a man wakes up every morning, and it takes him roughly 15 minutes to figure out what he’d like to wear. Now that Mylo exists, he can pop open the app, tell it what he’s up to and what the weather’s like, and it will display several outfit suggestions. A 15-minute process has been shaved down to 30 seconds.” And for the busy females looking to trim their morning routines, a womenswear version is on Mylos’ radar. Find out more about Mylo here.
9th December 2015