TopShou: A Lebanese youth startup blending fashion and functionality
Editor’s note: This article is part of a new GYV series covering the evolution, scope of work and challenges of youth startups founded by millennial entrepreneurs from different countries around the world.
If you woke up this morning wondering what in the world to wear today, then you might seriously want to give this article (and app) a shot.
Launched in 2015 by young Lebanese entrepreneur Loubna Ibrahim after winning third place at ArabNet Beirut’s Ideathon competition, TopShou is a community-driven fashion discovery app that provides users with outfit inspiration on a daily basis.
The mobile app started as a tool for people to organize their closet and pick out outfits while also asking for a styling advice but gradually evolved into a full-fledged fashion discovery platform where users can express their style, explore looks shared by others, get and offer fashion advice and shop online for new items that complement their outfits.
“We started the app with a personal challenge that turned out be everyone's challenge: what to wear. However, when we implemented the idea and hit the market, we rapidly noticed that we didn't get it right as the app’s high download rate was met with a very low retention rate,” Ibrahim told Global Young Voices.
“So we had to undertake more use behavior research and analysis which helped us pivot our idea and relaunch the app in a completely new way: a community-based fashion discovery platform that gives women the opportunity to discover, create and follow trends.”
Understanding the market remains a key concern to Ibrahim who encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to rise the challenge and be able to adjust and follow market needs anytime and every time. “Money is only there when you are ready,” she noted. “Once you validate your model, and if there is an added value, investors will jump in!”
But of course there’s more to one’s entrepreneurial journey than money and market studies. “With the little experience I have so far, all I can say is follow your passion! Yes, this is a cliché phrase, however, it is the main motivation that will allow you to face and overcome any challenges you come across,” Ibrahim observed.
TopShou currently boasts around 4,000 monthly active users and with expansion plans already in action, the app is set to reach more fashion enthusiasts worldwide in the coming months. “Our aim is to reach 20,000 monthly active users in the next six months, especially that will be launching the Arabic version soon,” Ibrahim concluded.
Want to learn more? You can always download the app from the Apple Store here.