The fall collections at Marc Jabobs and Christian Louboutin don’t seem to have much to do with software. But with thousands of different items on line, often different from one region to another, the big business of fashion needs to be more automated than you might think. That’s why both use platforms from a Silicon Valley startup, Centric Software, alongside other brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Nike. It’s a specialty business that Centric carved out starting in 2005, and it’s now raised $24 million to hit the hot market for retail: China.
Centric makes its money by offering retailers and brands a centralized software system to handle their planning and buying, from the design process to scheduling samples and then managing an order. The company had tried to build a horizontal collaboration platform for all types of businesses, but saw a brighter future in refocusing purely on the retail and fashion market. “Other industries like automotive had these tools, but the consumer product industry hadn’t really adopted it,” says Groves. “If you were a large company like Adidas , you might deploy over a decade on a generic platform, then $20 million or more customizing the solutions.” Read more.