Zoora Aims to Marry Indie Designers with Shoppers Hungry for Options

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seven people, most of whom are working part time. The entire team considers fashion a personal passion, with the exception of technical co-founder Chirag Nirmal, who has “a passion for tech and loves the idea of mass customization,” Pagano says.

Pagano just quit her full-time consulting job at Fidelity a month ago, and has been bootstrapping Zoora. The startup needs to get some traction before targeting outside funding, says Pagano. “Our first step is to prove out the hypothesis that women want more choice in their purchasing,” she says.

Zoora will also spend the next month or so taking clothing samples to different cities throughout the country, to get shoppers excited about what it has to offer

One big question comes to mind in light of Zoora’s mission to put design decisions in the shoppers’ hands: Does it ultimately interfere with a designer’s vision as an artist?

“There is always a step between the runway to the stores,” Pagano says. By that, she means that the artistic vision that a designer presents in initial showings almost never translates literally into the garment that winds up in consumers’ hands. Retail buyers work with designers to develop the garments in different colors, fabrics, and lengths than what was shown on the runway. Now, Pagano says, her startup is putting that power elsewhere.

“Why does it have to be just an influencer?” she asks. “Can’t the customers decide for themselves what they want to buy?”

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