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Meet the Retail Futures 2020 Shortlist

The Fashion District, in collaboration with the Fashion Innovation Agency at London College of Fashion, UAL, is delighted to announce its shortlist for the second edition of Retail Future!

The shortlist was selected from 88 applications from around the world by our high-profile panel of industry experts, and 14 start-ups have been selected for this years cohort.

Remo Gettini – CTO, Depop said: “The next generation of fashion creators and technology innovators have the power to unlock the future of fashion – that’s what Depop has championed from the start. As consumer needs evolve faster than ever, fashion’s innovation will be unleashed by agile and adaptive start-ups which can combine deep understanding and insight with forward, purpose-led thinking. We’re excited to support Fashion District’s Retail Futures 2020 and celebrate the future of fashion innovation.”

Our cohort of 14 start-ups are offering up a range of solutions that include new AR & 3D digital customer experiences, marketplaces for sustainable fashion, black-owned businesses and rental menswear, as well as AI to optimise retail & supply chain efficiency.  Due to the number of high quality entries this year, the judges also created a new “Highly Commended” category for the competition in order to profile those start-ups that are of exceptional quality.

Harita Shah – Director of Brand, Creative, Media, Comms & Events, Unibail Rodamco-Westfield, said:  “There have been some truly innovative ideas and solutions put forward by the SMEs. 2020 has been a year of huge acceleration of trends which has fostered creativity and ingenuity – just what we need to explore and reshape the industry going forward. URW is proud to be working with Fashion District again this year on Retail Futures 2020 and investing in the future of retail.”

Congratulations to all! Read about our shortlisted and highly commended start-ups here:

Alpha AR

Alpha AR is a unique AI-based deep tech solution that boosts your sales and the imagination of your customers by converting 2D images into 3D models within minutes! Combining utility, interactivity and imagination, it is an effortless solution for getting your products ready to be showcased in augmented reality. Alpha AR is here to help you create the 3D content that you want to share with the world. Transform your competitive edge and shape the future of shopping by letting your products be experienced in AR.


AnamXR is the world’s first SaaS platform scaling virtual retail and event builds for the fashion industry to immerse communities into real-time, interactive brand and shopping experiences and live within the Planetary Boundaries.


Blaqbase is a shopping app with beautiful, high quality products by black women. The platform helps users to discover, shop from black owned brands and show support for black owned brands by joining the growing community. 

Cerebra Technologies

Cerebra forecasts what is going to be trending next and surfaces the reasons why certain products are going to be appealing to particular consumer segments. This helps retail teams plan which products to carry, which to phase out, and what are the best channels to reach each consumer segment. These insights have been used by leading fashion houses to increase conversions across marketing and sales strategies, both retail and wholesale. Cerebra’s AI technology can extract signals from any data source, from social media to product reviews, past sales, e-commerce user journeys, and competitor pricing. With automated workflows for a range of applications from forecast-based replenishment to dynamic discounting, Cerebra makes data-driven decision making easy for CMOs, CFOs and merchandisers – no coding is required.

Compare Ethics

Compare Ethics is the platform that builds trust and transparency through data-driven sustainable product verification. For fashion retail, we turn sustainability data into business value. For consumers, we empower them to know the impact they are making by choosing responsible brands.


DOV is a leading visualisation studio using real time technology to bring digital events to life like never before. We want to drive the creativeness of humanity beyond reality and accelerate the planet towards a greener, sustainable future.


FavourUp helps fashion, retail, and travel brands create localised user-generated content at scale, and provide consumer insights down to a postcode level.

Little Black Door

A next-gen fashion technology platform pioneering ways to digitalise and share our wardrobes, by using AI and links with brands, stores and resale partner platforms,  powered by a female-focussed community who love to share fashion and what to do better with their wardrobes. LBD is the future of fashion interaction, removing existing fragmentation and traditional barriers of digitalising and sharing wardrobes, whilst empowering the primary and secondary fashion economies. LBD champions conscious consumption, encouraging use of wardrobe items and investment in quality slow fashion.

Lone Design Club

Lone Design Club is cutting through the noise of a saturated fast‐fashion market and shaking up the conventional shopping experience by challenging traditional retail offerings both in the UK and internationally. Presenting a new immersive shopping experience LDC is blurring the lines between consumers online and in‐store purchasing experiences. Lone Design Club seamlessly blends their physical stores with online experiences through live streams, an online marketplace, mobile self‐checkout and product information and QR codes connecting the physical to the digital. The beauty of LDC is that every concept store is unique; whether it is displaying a new emerging premium brand, discovering one-of-a-kind products, or gaining a glimpse into the fashion world with their in‐store experiences and events led by influential individuals within the fashion industry.


Garmentry is one of the world’s first luxury menswear rental platforms, using excess stock of high-end brands and retailers. It gives consumers access to an unlimited wardrobe of clothing at a fraction of the retail price, while helping fashion businesses hit their sustainability targets.  


Gfaive is the first Fashion Collection planning and sales forecast AI platform, that allows fashion brands to avoid overstock and out-of stock situations. With Gfaive customized platform Fashion brands can have a clear view of: fashion collection planning (which product attributes will be demanded the most), buying support (long-term demand forecast), sales KPI monitoring (know which item where and when will be sold). We provide AI-powered predictive analytics for preproduction planning phase. And brands can track key business performance in real time through our easy to use BI dashboards.


Presize is focused on solving the online returns problem which is predominantly driven by the wrong fit: 50% of garments purchased online are returned, resulting in avoidable environmental damage, customer frustration and great value loss in a $500B online global market. We approach the issue by leveraging Computer Vision and Deep Learning algorithms to recommend the customer their perfect size – all we need is a 7-second video of the end user doing a 360 degree turn in front of their smartphone camera.


The RoundRack tool enables brands to measure the recyclability of garments during their design process. It uses a unique algorithm to consider the sum and combination of materials. Accordingly, it offers alternatives for better results, helping brands to reach their sustainability goals.


Skinz App is a product of LOOT, a digital design studio with a specific focus on the fashion industry. The app aims to pave a brand new way of customers to interact with products they love. By designing a seamless and fun mobile experience, its goal is to put a dent in the digital fashion revolution happening right now.

Highly Commended


AskLily is a B2B company that develops an AI solution empowering brands and retailers with data on the style and preferences of online shoppers.  We do this by implementing our intelligent system, using Computer Vision technology we are able to analyze each and every item and to better match shoppers with what they are looking for.

By Rotation

By Rotation is the UK’s leading fashion rental app aiming to democratise fashion and make it available to all. After travelling to her motherland Rajasthan, India, for her honeymoon and witnessing the first-hand effects of textile waste, Eshita felt compelled to change, and bring about change. Inspired by a love for fashion that doesn’t weigh on her conscience Eshita Kabra-Davies founded By Rotation as a side hustle in October 2019 whilst working in finance, and not long after, left her high-flying career to launch the platform which now has over 27,000 members. Eshita is especially focused on creating a conscious community of like-minded individuals combining to create a more inclusive industry.


HURR is the smart way to rent your wardrobe, on-demand. The UK’s leading wardrobe rental platform allows members to share clothes and accessories, securely and in seconds. HURR has been named the “Airbnb of Fashion”, disrupting fashion ownership and paving the way towards a more sustainable future. Discover and rent curated edits of contemporary and luxury brands, accessing trend led pieces and coveted one offs.


IVA is a B2B platform connecting games with fashion & lifestyle brands. IVA enables the integration and sale of IRL designs as clothing assets for game characters and avatars. Existing design specs are taken from brands and provided to games developers in a standardised package of 3D assets that are quick and easy to integrate in different game development pipelines.


Own-Kind is data-driven personal styling online. Sign up to our free App to browse all your favourite brands, as well as your own wardrobe items in one place, and access a range of personal styling tools and services.

Personify XP

Personify XP automates digital experiences for anonymous digital shoppers driving an average increase of 10% in revenue. Personify XP partner with some of the world’s most exciting brands like Pentland Brands, Lovehoney and Vitabiotics. A Gartner Cool Vendor in Personalisation, Personify XP delivers ‘personification’ solving the ‘cold start problem for personalisation.