Organizing events, managing invitations and fashion collections’ sample movements, as well as downloading pictures from computers and smart devices have all become smooth operations thanks to the Fashion GPS Radar apps, software and invitation-only network. Founder Eddie Mullon explains how his idea was born and how it developed. Interview by Maria Cristina Pavarini

GPS Radar mobile
GPS Radar mobile
Can you describe how the website is structured and how it works?
GPS Radar brings the ultimate level of at-your-fingertips efficiency for accessing and utilizing digital assets – runway looks, campaign images, product shots and more – to editors, retailers, bloggers and influencers.  This new integration will become a virtual showroom, allowing GPS Radar users to connect with any participating brand, at any time and any place. No longer will editors need to wait until 9 am to get last minute story images; with GPS Styles a user can now browse 24/7 by categories including product type, color, season, fabric, market ability and beyond. Brands can even create custom look books and share them with individual contacts and contact groups of the Radar communities more than 13,000 press members, buyers and influencers. This allows media to request a sample or download a hi-res image directly from the Radar web portal as well as mobile app.

How did the website originate? When did you launch it and what was the initial reaction?
In 2002, Rachna Shah of KCD [editor’s note: worldwide US-based PR and production agency] approached me in order to create a sample tracking system to manage the workflow between publicists and publications. At the time, they were managing their sample closet with a paper filing system. Once he realized that users loved the product and really appreciated what he created, he decided that I needed to start to build a company that focused on creating these efficiencies. He started to unravel how the fashion industry managed its business processes and understand how to support them in a more efficient manner. The aim of Fashion GPS has always been to build great products that simplify complex processes through technology.

To whom is it addressed?
Fashion GPS Radar significantly simplifies event coordination for editors, buyers, companies and other influencers, providing a centralized location to view and respond to event invitations. The concept is revolutionary for an industry accustomed to manually slogging through copious numbers of invites each season.

The program has been used though by educators and more for their less exclusive events. For example, Parson’s The New School in New York uses the application several times a year for their fund-raisers, student events and more. Other uses include some of the most coveted Sample Sales, Consumer Fashion Festivals and Art Galas.

Fashion GPS Radar Screenshot
Fashion GPS Radar Screenshot

How many members does the site currently have and how many are you looking to have in the long run?
Currently there are over 23,000 Radar community members. Top users include EICs, fashion directors, editorial directors, assistants, writers, bloggers, photographers, stylists, buyers from various international editions of the major fashion magazines, newspapers, blogs and websites as well as department stores including Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Holt Renfrew,  Barney’s and Le Bon Marché. We are looking to sign up all members of the industry worldwide.

Invite to a fashion show through the app
Invite to a fashion show through the app
What have been the biggest challenges of running the site thus far? And the greatest joys?
The fashion industry is filled with laborious and inefficient processes that led to loss of time and product. We’ve completely streamlined many of those processes from the front end of the supply chain (for example, when merchandise arrives and needs to go to the studio to be shot/retouched/uploaded to a brand’s website/etc.) to the end of the PR process (from receiving an invitation/communication from a brand to the actual editorial placement of products in a publication).

At Fashion GPS our mission is to design digital solutions to connect the global fashion industry. To build technology that supports the world’s tops brands by delivering innovative products to more efficiently power their businesses. To architect platforms to bring together designers, editors, buyers and other key influencers in this perennially evolving marketplace. With our industry know-how and association to the biggest names in fashion, we seek to expand beyond developing products that support the PR process and gain more ownership of the e-management of the entire eco-system, connecting Production or PR through digital.

What services are you offering through it right now?
Users have the ability to sync events with their personal calendars, map locations and routes, and access barcodes that enable quick check-in.  A mobile app for iOS users allows them to utilize these features on-the-go. The site is on its way to becoming a definitive Fashion Week calendar as an increasing number of designers choose to publically display their show information. GPS Radar also provides the industry with nearly real-time access to runway images and product images from top luxury brands as well as high street labels to share to social, save for story boarding later on and even request samples for editorial.

What new services or columns are you planning to add in the near or long-term run?
Over the last year, we have introduced RFID technology into guest management through GPS Events. While a majority of the New York fashion shows have done away with invitations and moved to iPads, barcodes and scanning, this weekend, this new functionality allows those designers that still prefer to use pristinely designed hard invitations to take advantage of all the benefits technology offers, increasing efficiency in guest management for their shows.

Are fashion, streetwear or sportswear playing any important role in your website?
Absolutely. We work with a number of high street brands and retailers such as Asos, Top Shop, River Island, French Connection and more, all of which who use our platform to share runway, product and campaign images with members of the press worldwide.

How do you stay in touch with your members? How important is the social network aspect for this website?
Via e-mail, push notifications and most importantly through our industry portal GPS Radar.

Fashion GPS Radar Screenshot
Fashion GPS Radar Screenshot

What section, service or part of the website do you personally like the most?
I would say convenience. With our industry always working on the go, we need to offer our brands, retailers and press solutions that simplify how they work. Fashion GPS’ Radar makes the global fashion industry accessible in just a click of a button. Our program allows a French editor to easily request samples for a photo shoot in Hong Kong or a German editor check out what press days are happening in New York. There is no other centralized tool like it out there!

Are there any interesting facts you would like to point out?
Since 2010, in the US alone, there have been over 5,000 events executed with our Fashion GPS Events software which translates into 4.2 million invitations that have been sent out.
In the last five years, GPS Samples has tracked more 15 million samples.

Since 2006, Fashion GPS has been designing digital solutions to connect the global fashion industry.  First with GPS Samples, followed by GPS Events in 2008, GPS Radar in 2011, and now GPS Styles, it has built technology that supports the world’s top brands by delivering innovative products which more efficiently power their businesses, as well as creating platforms to bring together designers, editors, buyers and other key influencers in this perpetually evolving marketplace.  Fashion GPS services over 250 clients via five offices in New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong and Los Angeles.