Introducing my friends to Spylight.com was not unlike the feeling of spending too much time on Reddit and getting to show people funny videos/stories/cat pictures before they go viral. Call me a hipster, if you will. But it just feels so damn good to have discovered something excellent before it becomes everyone’s favorite thing.
Spylight is, by all means, a shining example of fashion technology. It’s a website and an app, it’s crisp and slick, and it’s nothing short of an ingenious online shopping experience. Their tagline is “Shop the Screen”, which is the whole concept in a nutshell. So simple, and so perfectly executed.
If you like a character from a movie or TV series—male or female—the Spylight team can find you an exact match for their costume items. Did you like Jess from New Girl’s cute dress last episode? Here it is. More of a CeCe girl? Oh, no problem. Maybe you’re more of a Parks and Rec girl. Or a Girls girl. Whatever. It’s all on there. It’s fabulous.
So when I was offered the opportunity to talk with Aly Moore and Jess Weimer from Spylight HQ, there was no way I was going to turn that down. Admittedly, excitement and interest in quickly turned to jealousy as I realized that their jobs are, essentially, perfect. But it was impossible not to love these girls; they were charming, professional women with a lot of great advice to give about working in the fashion tech industry.
LD: First things first: introduce yourself! What’s your name, what do you do at Spylight, and how did you get to where you are now?
Aly: My name is Aly Moore and I’m the co-founder and COO of Spylight. I am in charge of Spylight’s content. I met our CEO, Casper Daugaard, at Yale and we became fast friends. Somewhere along the line we started working together on Spylight!
Jess: My name is Jess Weimer and I am a Data Manager at Spylight, where I’m essentially the Fashion Police of content quality. I also wear a few different hats here and there (as do we all), from blogging to tweeting, to being the in-office comedian.
LD: Can you give us a brief overview of the Spylight history? How did it come to be?
Aly & Jess: Our CEO Casper Daugaard is a bit of a TV nerd. He went through a phase, let’s call it, where he wanted to dress like his favorite television characters. He obsessed and obsessed over the idea and eventually assembled a team of the most capable people he knew—and built a prototype. Lucky for us, the Hollywood studios love the technology and here we are! Our staff is now close to 30 people—over 80% of our staff are women.
LD: Big question: HOW do you get your leads on where to find items?! Do you work with the costume designers on the shows to get a heads up on where to find certain items, or do you rely on spotting items yourselves?
Aly & Jess: Ah, the secret sauce! Spylight works directly with the actors and costume designers to get exact information on what your favorite characters are wearing. We’ve sent our fashion consultants on set to obtain this information in an intricate—but sorry, top secret—manner that relies heavily on Spylight’s proprietary technology. It’s a lot of hard work but totally worth the effort for getting head-to-toe exact matches. And our technology makes it a really awesome experience.
LD: Favorite TV show/movie category of Spylight?
Jess: My personal favorite TV show on Spylight is New Girl, where we have awesome exact matches and also a ton of features on our fantastic blog! (http://blog.spylight.com/) We have pieces that share insight on the fashion of everyone’s most-loved characters.
Aly: I love the style of Olivia Pope from Scandal. She is fierce and knows how to dress to impress and get any job done. I firmly believe that dressing like Olivia helps me handle Scandal-like situations calmly.
LD: Do you ever buy any of the finds—if so, what have you bought?
Aly & Jess: We all indulge in retail therapy courtesy of Spylight. Not surprisingly, our CEO Casper Daugaard is most guilty of this. I think he has bought the entire Teen Wolf wardrobe at this point—it’s secretly his favorite show.
LD: There’s a section on the homepage where fans can request certain items from shows. Providing it’s well-written and achievable, do you respond to such requests?
Aly & Jess: We most definitely respond, and always very quickly. Some of the questions have been quite hilarious and have turned into fun office competitions.
LD: Where would you like to see Spylight in, say, a year’s time?
Aly & Jess: In a year, Spylight will be the most trusted brand name in making Hollywood content shoppable. We want people to say “Oh yeah, I found that on Spylight!” and never be left in the dark when it comes to what their favorite characters are wearing.
LD: And lastly … what is the ultimate goal?
Aly & Jess: The ultimate goal of Spylight is to create a real win-win-win scenario for fans, studios, and brands. Spylight identifies what clothes fan favorite characters are wearing, helps studios gain more engagement and incremental revenues, and gives brands recognition when they are featured on awesome shows! We want Spylight to revolutionize the shopping experience. We also plan on having tons of fun along the way!