17 Oct 2021 By AWAY IN STYLE

How SoftBank-backed Style Theory Is Changing the Fashion Landscape

How SoftBank-backed Style Theory Is Changing the Fashion Landscape of Hong Kong Via a Netflix-for-fashion Business Model

The venture-backed and tech-driven fashion rental platform has seen strong reception since its launch – a 193% increase in number of users shows that the Hong Kong market is ripe for sustainable fashion.

Style Theory, Southeast Asia’s largest circular fashion subscription platform, is taking deeper roots in Hong Kong come final quarter of 2021 with their flagship rental memberships. Likened to Netflix’s subscription-based business model and its diverse selection of shows, Style Theory similarly provides people with a monthly access to a limitless closet of designer wear at a fraction of the retail price.

With over 9,000 users locally and more than 100,000 users in Singapore and Indonesia, this proven model has been the cornerstone for the SoftBank-backed enterprise to raise USD30 million since its conception in 2016 by power couple, Chris Halim and Raena Lim.

“We are in the business of innovating practical ways for users to make sustainable choices and normalize it,” says Raena Lim, Co-Founder of Style Theory. “Our business model relates to the universal problem for anyone who wants to enjoy fashion freedom and access designer wear without the guilt of overconsumption or worry about their budget.”

Despite COVID-19 headwinds, Style Theory has grown its Hong Kong users by 193% over the past year, and it continues to amass strong demand in across sharing economy, preloved fashion, and subscription-based rental services. Its membership program offers each user an expertly cleaned and maintained designer bag that can be rented for HKD899 a month.

Style Theory is targeting to reach 3 times growth in Hong Kong by Q1 2022 by leveraging on the already positive reception and its plans to establish an official facility in the city. The next few months will be crucial for them to steadily progress at a comparable scale to its other successful regions.

“We attract strong demand from customers and investors due to our unique subscription business model that makes circular fashion easy to participate in,” says Jennifer Ong, General Manager of Hong Kong Expansion at Style Theory. “Our services re-dress women with an unlimited and new lifestyle choice, and we’re excited for Hongkongers to no longer experience buyer’s remorse or sacrifice wardrobe variety.”

With heavy investments in product and innovation, the Style Theory app harness machine-learning algorithms to capture its members’ browsing and rental history to create an easy and personalized shopping experience. With this data, Style Theory also sustainably sources additions to the inventory from businesses and consignors, building a robust circulation of over 2,000 authenticated bags to choose from. This ultimately extends the lifecycle of each item to combat the impact of overproduction by the fashion industry.

By developing in-house authentication and leather care capabilities in their facility, Style Theory is further equipped to manage and hold every single bag to the highest standard, ensuring that the condition of the used items remains as good as new for thousands of users.

Through this holistic approach and an upcoming warehouse to open in Hong Kong, the business creates a customer experience unmatched with other sustainable fashion brands in local grounds.

About Style Theory

Style Theory is Southeast Asia’s largest circular fashion platform offering women the opportunity to build their Infinite Wardrobe in an affordable, convenient and sustainable manner. Founded in Singapore in 2016 by Raena Lim and Chris Halim, Style Theory operates in the sharing economy as a solution to fashion consumption that is making significant strides towards ending today’s buy-and-throw-away culture. In late 2017, the company launched into the Indonesia market and has recently entered Hong Kong in 2020.

Carrying more than 50,000 high-quality designer apparel and more than 2,000 designer bags for its growing base of over 200,000 users, Style Theory is all set to be the future of fashion where renting is equivalent with – if not better than – buying. In its initial rollout in Hong Kong, Style Theory members will have access to over 2,000 designer bags.