Yesterday we wrote about how well-known fashionable startup company Ringly decided to exit the wearable tech market. Although they had a team, investors, and partners on board, they still did not have staying power. “We’re still believers in wearable tech and its ability to make us healthier and happier” explained Christina. Now, we are sad to report that two more startups have also bowed out, MEZZI, the smart bag company, and WiseWear, the connected jewellery brand.
Quite tight-lipped, the smart bag company has admitted that they are currently making some changes at MEZZI. Since its launch in 2014, Mezzi, Italian for “having the means needed for a particular purpose,” introduced to the market products created on the principles of design, innovation and authenticity. Proving to be both beauty and brains, the collection of Mezzi bags successfully empowered women’s wardrobe with much needed smart technology.
“Mezzi bags successfully empowered women’s wardrobe with much needed smart technology”
Disrupting the accessories market all the way from Vancouver, Canada, I must admit that I instantly had a crush on their Nerina bag, a handbag with integrated technology. Mezzi was the idea of Venture Capitalist Keir Reynolds. Having witnessed many business women sacrificing style for technology, Reynolds was inspired to find a way of marrying design and function in stylish harmony. His goal was to give women access to beautiful handbags that would support their common technology without having to downgrade their wardrobe choices.
Thanking their “wonderful and loyal customers since 2014” the startup that played a role in changing and disrupting the fashion accessory industry not only bid farewell but also admitted that they “look forward to seeing what the next chapter brings”.
We literally bowed our heard in sadness when Jerry Wilmink confirmed that his San Antonio startup WiseWear Corp. has made plans to liquidate its assets, blaming a change in Apple Inc.’s operating system on a failed round of financing that forced the maker of designer fitness jewellery into bankruptcy Wednesday. FashNerd has been fans of the smart jewellery brand for years.
Mysanantonio.com reported that the company, launched in 2013, primarily blamed its Chapter 11 filing on its inability to raise $2 million in Series A financing that it needed to continue operations.“Certainly (a) very promising company,” said Ron Smeberg, WiseWear’s bankruptcy lawyer. The lack of funding prevented WiseWear jewelry from achieving large-scale production that would have created economies of scale and lowered the price of its products, he added.
If the name Jerry Wilmink or the brand WiseWear does not ring a bell, then the question to you my friend is where have you been in the past 24 months? Wilmink was the name whispered throughout 2015, WiseWear even more so in 2017 when Iris Apfel collaborated with the startup on the “Socialite Collection”. Wilmink is the man behind the antenna system that can transmit Bluetooth signals through metal. It was this new idea that brought about the WiseWear’s smart sensing technology embedded in the sleek metal jewellery.
WiseWear corporation was a success story that many fashion tech startups looked up too. They managed to get their products into major retailers, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s and Nordstrom.
We are not even that far into 2018 and so many of the key players of the merger of fashion with technology have bowed out. What does this mean for the remaining players? I think that the demise of these impressive startups is proof that bringing a product to market is not the hardest hurdle to jump for fashion tech businesses, it is keeping it there.