Paper notes and agendas, digital written bits and pieces, smart phone images and videos and much more material can be very confusing for a fashion buyer facing the order season. “Fashion buyers shall not worry about keeping track of their purchases,” commented Giacomo Piazza, co-founder of the newborn app and a related website FABS App. This new digital tool is a true assistant because it helps managing – and keeping track of what brands and product types they bought and also calculates how much of their budget was spent in real time. Thanks to its website version buyers can also see what was presented during events or fashion shows they might have missed. Piazza knows what buyers need managing their order seasons and daily work because he co-founded the 247 Showroom, top-end specialized fashion showroom with offices in Milan and Paris. He found out how to help make buyers’ lives easier.

Can you describe how the website is structured and how it works?
FABS is a shortened form for Fashion Buyer Society. It is an app aimed at fashion buyers that helps them simplifying their work and organize their orders during sales campaigns. It is based upon three main steps: Snap, Catalogue and Archive. All products bought are collected and filed on one’s own iPhone; they can be modified and consulted in any moment.

How and when did this website originate?
The idea to use a digital, easy and efficient instrument for buyers’ productivity was born after our day-to-day observing of wholesale professionals. We are the founders of 247 Showroom, a retail and marketing platform for some of most important contemporary brands and every season we work with hundreds of international buyers. We know the target and difficulties they meet every day when compiling all of their orders together according to ways that are neither decoded nor standardized. Every buyer usually adopts an own method- more or less advanced, though surely never efficient enough because it mixes digital tools (smartphone, digital video camera, tablet, computer) with analogic ones (notes on paper, agenda, and similar ways...) and is thus hard to be coordinated.

They missed this easy, fast and digital – and also a cool image interface. This is why we created it.

When did you launch it and what was the initial reaction?
The launch of the app was very welcomed by buyers who immediately picked its true usefulness and already approved our idea when that was a project in-progress. Also international press and the fashion business showed particular curiosity and interest. Fashion and business can only walk hand in hand.

To whom is it addressed?
It is aimed at all fashion buyers. Both, those who buy for small boutiques, big department stores and on-line business. Tomorrow FABS will become a useful tool for the whole fashion system thanks to new features and a community open to all fashion professionals.

How many members does the site currently have and how many are you looking to have in the long run?
After about two months from its launch, FABS is now counting over 1000 users. On the long run we count that most international buyers that buy more brands use the app.

What have been the biggest challenges of running the site thus far? And the greatest joys?
Our main challenge was projecting future developments of the app from our users’ feedback. Our daily challenge is to listen to our clients and their needs. The main success also comes from our users’ feedback: many of them contact us spontaneously in order to express their enthusiasm or for offering input about our next app’s updates. One of our greatest satisfaction was that some clients told us: “FAB meant a turning point for me.”

What services are you offering right now through it?
Download and subscription of the app are free. Once a user is part of the system he/she can profit from inserting and archiving all of the orders that won’t be filling one’s smartphone memory and all the material that was filed can always be accessed. Then there is a service that is offered by our web version that is automatically synchronized with the app: by accessing with the same credentials users can work on the order and download a file that already compiles their order recap.

What new services or columns are you planning to add in the near or long-term run?
From next seasons we will implement our services for managing calendar and appointments in addition to an on-line magazine, a community only hosting Fashion Buyer Society members and a consultancy service aimed at helping buyers placing successful orders.

Are fashion, streetwear or sportswear playing any important role in your website?
It is a digital instrument specifically aimed at fashion professionals, therefore the answer is obviously “Yes”. With the aim to talk to our target users we have designed a brand identity and contemporary and cool interface as if it was a fashion brand. FABS is certainly a fashion project.

How do you stay in touch with your members? How important is the social network aspect for this website?
We are lucky we know our target group personally. In fact we hear from them and meet them during the events of the fashion week. Our relationship with our users is one-to-one.

What section, service or part of the website do you personally like most?
The Stats section is our favourite because it is the one with the most significant innovation content: through it one can devise how their buying activity and assortment are progressing and, especially important, how their budget is being placed in real time. Such figures and information can only be calculated once the buying process is finished. This section of the app is as simple to be consulted as indispensable in order to better one’s working results.