findSimilar by Cortexica is our fashion innovation of the year #ShinyShinyAwards

This year was the year that we finally stopped chasing women down streets to ask where they got their dress from, and started letting technology do the legwork instead.

Using top-notch visual recognition technology, the brilliant findSimilar by Cortexica wins our fashion innovation award for styling itself as the original ‘Shazam for clothes’, and actually being pretty damned accurate too.

findSimilar by Cortexica screenshot

Cortexica’s image searching prowess is being used by apps, retail sites and other fashion-forward companies to maximise their chances of uniting us with stuff we’ll actually buy – and fittingly, the image search technology has spawned plenty of its own copycats. We particularly love its shoe finder, for sourcing those special heel shapes and colours with efficiency that words in a search engine just can’t match.

Magazine ‘get the look’ features, your days are numbered.

Commended: Lyst

We love Lyst. It might not be the most original idea, but it’s proof that sometimes the best plan is to take an existing concept and do it better. Beautifully designed with slick editorial and social content to boot, the London-based startup allows us to keep an eye on all the brands we love, find sale bargains and discover new labels – all without the hassle of actually visiting their individual sites. Convenience just got luxe.

One to watch: Metail

It’s Cher’s Clueless wardrobe come to life! We had to give virtual fitting room Metail a special mention for its huge potential in minimising tears, torn seams and returns, even though it’s not being used by many of our favourite brands at the moment. Once the big names catch on, we think it could be huge.

Honourable mentions

Topshop Facebook Catwalk

When it comes to social media, Topshop is always ahead of the fash pack and we love them for it. This year saw several new innovations from the brand, including previewing its SS15 Topshop Unique looks on Facebook and allowing us to buy straight from the catwalk.


Swiping is the new clicking, and we were impressed by Mallzee’s potential to fill our every empty minute with a little quick-fingered window shopping. The idea of a fashion curation site isn’t new, but the Tinder-style functionality definitely caught our eye.


Gathering fans apace, we thought Grabble deserved a shout out for its nifty new app (another Tinder-alike), and the massive selection of brands that have already signed up to be featured on the site – Topshop, ASOS and Urban Outfitters among them. From its toolbar ‘grab’ button to alerts whenever one of your grabbed items goes on sale, Grabble ticks all the boxes to help make us better shoppers.


Another visual recognition tool with huge potential, ASAP54 just missed out to findSimilar by Cortexica – but we expect to see both do big things. With a team of pro stylists on hand to find matches if the technology can’t, ASAP54 is pushing all our most impatient shopper buttons. Great work.

Congratulations Cortexica! We love your style… and now we’ll be copying everybody else’s. 

Staff Writer