June 14, 2023

This AI-Powered Platform Is Helping WOC Monetize Their Fashion Influence

Jessica Couch

Retail technology consultant Jessica Couch is launching an AI-generated fashion tech platform with co-founder Bo Hu Yang, aiming to help stylists and stylish people to monetize their influence. 

The AI-powered platform, which officially launches in October, is a personalized fashion discovery engine that matches people to products based on fit and style.

How does Looks work?

Stylists, can tag and post their looks on the platform and share them with their community.

The stylist will get paid whenever someone buys an item that they post.

The platform incentivizes peer-to-peer relationships to drive conversions democratizing influence and optimizing ads organically.

How did it begin?

Couch started her career as a designer after her aunt taught her the art of sewing, and with a small loan from her parents, she opened an online boutique in 2010, Luxor + Finch. 

Over her three-year run of designing and fitting clothes, she became inquisitive about several blocks and barriers she faced.

Couch told Afrotech, “After running that store for three years, I realized that one, yes, I could do that, but I had another question, which was whether the things I implemented in my small store were a problem with other stories or was it just mine?”

She began introducing small tech strategies to help her online store, which lit the fire in her to explore the tech industry further with her belief that the fashion sector could be revolutionized if merged with tech.

While transitioning into tech, she went from owning a company and being her own boss to working as an intern in New York that paid just enough to eat and sleep on her sister’s couch. 

Looks App

However, her dedication to asking questions, creating hypotheses, and figuring out how to validate them overpowered it all.

In 2018, Couch launched Fayetteville Road alongside Britanny Hicks, a management consulting firm, according to theGrio, that uses fashion and fit technology to make sure products are optimally matched to individuals. 

Black Stylists Monetizing their influence

“What is new is the fact that women of color, Black women especially, drive so much style and trend, and we are never even acknowledged for it,” Couch told Afrotech.

“I wanted to create a platform where we’re rewarded for it,” she said.

As the stylists earn more dollars through the featured items on their profile, it also helps them leverage their influence for further opportunities.

“Now you have equity in your own influence and that brand because every time someone buys a product based on what you have on, you are going to get paid. Now, to me, this will be liberating for people of color. I want people to stop appropriating these styles and looks for free,” said Couch.

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.