It’s Official: Fashionism Successor ‘Views’ Revealed

By David Knight |

There have been plenty of rumours swirling over the new project from the people behind Fashionism – and now Silicon Allee can reveal the first official unveiling of Views. Hermann Frank has teamed up with co-founders Dario Galbiati Alborghetti and startup veteran Christophe Maire in the new venture, which like its predecessor will be in the location-based shopping space.

Hermann sat down to talk about his excitement over the new project, what went wrong with Fashionism and what they learned from the experience.

Fashionism had created a lot of hype in the Berlin scene when it finally went into a limited field test in February. Yet a few months later, the project had bitten the dust. That, however, did not dim the enthusiasm of it creator, who decided to rethink and return to the space.

Views, Hermann said, aims to redefine the way consumers and offline retailers connect, bridging the offline and the online worlds. For now, that’s all we’re getting, as he wants to “keep the curtains closed” on what the product will actually entail. This policy of stealth no doubt comes from his experience field-testing Fashionism: “Back then the product created a lot of buzz, which was not intended by us at all.”

Amazing Feedback

But the hype did prove a positive as it attracted the attention of some leading figures in the Berlin startup scene. “All of the sudden we got all this amazing feedback on our product from people who have been working in this space for years,” Hermann added. “This helped us a lot to focus on making the best possible product.”

After a few weeks of intense feedback and preliminary financing talks, the Fashionism team shut itself into the office and started to work on the next iteration. “It quickly became obvious that the name Fashionism didn’t adequately reflect on the vision behind the project, this is how Views was born.”

So the big question – why did this transition entail a whole new setup rather than the existing Fashionism one? The bootstrapped startup went through what Hermann described as a “very rough period” where money was first tight and then non-existent.

“But this is a commitment to make if you want to get to the next level, right? Naturally, in the end not everyone could stand the extreme pressure and the extremely uncertain conditions.”

Creating an Engagement Loop

What learnings have Hermann and the rest of the team taken from Fashionism, then? He added: “If you do this user-generated content for shopping, it doesn’t work as easily as an Instagram works, for example. So there has to be a clear mechanic behind the whole product. Creating this engagement loop is something that we have learnt from the experience.”

Together with his friend Dario, Hermann has formed a co-founding troika with Christophe Maire, fresh from his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. In addition, Simon Schäfer from investment company JMES – the main force behind The Factory – has come on board as a business angel.

Details may be thin on the ground, but it now seems certain that Views will be similar to its predecessor but focusing on a wider range of products. Hermann has promised more news in the next few weeks, so watch this space.