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If you've ever wanted to steal the look of someone walking by without awkwardly approaching them to ask what they're wearing, Style Thief is your new secret weapon. Founded by LA entrepreneur Samantha Russ and starlet/style icon Kate Bosworth, the free iOS app allows users to take a snap of a piece they love and download the image to the app, which uses a photo recognition engine to scan its database of more than 300 retailers to find an exact match or something similar. The user can then filter the results by price, color or texture, and instantly shop it at retail value or—when available—at a discount via Style Thief's flash sales tool. This is the future, people.
After personally receiving a demo by a Mara Hoffman-clad Russ, we sat down with the It girl herself, Bosworth, who was decked out in a rad crown braid and a floral-print taffeta minidress by RED Valentino. Here, she tells us more about her rising fashion-tech career, why Style Thief is changing the fashion app game, where she shops in LA and the one summer beauty product she swears by.
First JewelMint, now Style Thief. What intrigues you about the relationship between tech and fashion?
"I love to online shop, so I'm interested as an e-commerce consumer as well as an entrepreneur. Style Thief is a bit of a new frontier, so I'm intrigued by anything that involves uncharted territory. Launching JewelMint with [MySpace co-founder] Josh Berman and Diego Berdakin was amazing; I was immediately hooked after seeing how they worked together."
How did you and Samantha Russ link up?
"It was very serendipitous how we met. I was looking for a new venture, so when this came up I knew it was a perfect match. It's been very fast and furious. We immediately knew that we wanted this to be a solid service app that wasn't over-complicated or consisted of multiple steps."
What feature sets Style Thief apart from other fashion apps out there?
"The simplistic quality in which it's utilized. Style Thief's main motivation is to digitally recognize information to find exactly what you're looking for or something similar. Refining search in the shopping space is something I think people are looking for. People have been calling it 'the Shazam of fashion'. It's just as addictive."
Although you seem like a girl who genuinely loves fashion, do you ever get tired of it?
"My father was in fashion and his father was in fashion retail, so it's engrained in my heritage. During 'Take Your Daughter to Work Day' I remember my father showing me all these different styles and textures and prints—I'll never forget that. My love for fashion is a bit deeper than just being a fan; I have a real appreciation and respect for it because it's very much a part of my family and upbringing.
I also have huge admiration for designers that I know and love, and I feel very grateful for the opportunities that I've been given to explore and design. My experience has ranged from JewelMint, where I designed accessories and jewelry at lower price points, to Topshop, where I created collections for them and learned a lot about apparel. The next collaboration I'm working on now is something that I haven't focused on yet so it's a whole new learning curve for me, which is exciting."
We can't wait to hear more about that collab! In the meantime, where do you shop in LA?
"Let's see...wow, I haven't shopped in so long! I do like Opening Ceremony, Satine and Barneys. I also love American Rag, which Sam's father (and Style Thief CEO) Larry Russ is co-owner of. I've been going to American Rag for years—it's an LA staple."
Finally, what's your tried-and-true summer beauty secret?
"I absolutely love SK-II's Cellumination Cream, which is a brightening moisturizer. It has a gel-like texture to the touch, but when it goes on it makes your skin super soft and supple without over-hydrating it. It's really, really nice. Just use that and a bit of a cheek stain and you have a really beautiful summer glow!"
· Style Thief [iTunes]
· Kate Bosworth's Boyfriend Directs New JewelMint Promo [Racked]
· Kate Bosworth Swears by Body Scrubs at This LA Korean Spa [Racked]
· Topshop Launches Coachella Collection Starring Kate Bosworth [Racked]