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Metail signs partnership with South Korean tech giant

Lauretta Roberts
22 March 2017

British fashion technology start-up Metail has signed a partnership agreement with Benit, the technology arm of South Korea's fourth largest conglomerate Kolon.

The deal means Metail's technology, which allows consumers discover, shop and "try on" clothes online, will significantly increase its reach in the Asian market.

The Kolon conglomerate has a presence throughout Asia and interests spanning multiple sectors, ranging from manufacturing to construction, trade, life sciences research, environment, retail and fashion. It is now setting its sights on the fast growing South-Korean fashion e-commerce market through its technology arm Benit.

South Korea is the world’s 7th largest fashion market and APAC’s 3rd largest e-commerce market with 77% of all Koreans purchasing clothing items online in 2016. The South Korean fashion industry is expected to exceed $6.9bn this year and by 2021 it is predicted to hit $32bn. Benit’s clients alone account for $2.5bn of the market.

Tom Adeyoola who founded London and Cambridge-based Metail said the deal would help the business achieve its mission "to digitise all of the world’s garments and people". The Metail technology allows shoppers to create a bespoke 3D model of themselves, a Memodel, which they can use while shopping online to try on garments virtually. It rose to prominence in 2014 when it teamed up with Henry Holland's House of Holland label to allow consumers to shop direct from the catwalk.

"Following going viral in Korea with our mobile House of Holland offering for London Fashion Week in 2014 we’ve been looking for the right strategic partner to take advantage of what is clearly the most mobile-focused, tech-savvy and fashion-conscious market in the world," Adeyoola said.

"The Kolon group with their scale, fantastic stable of brands and market leading fashion focused IT services arm, Benit, quickly became the obvious choice. We’ve already placed a customer director on the ground and have built a strong working relationship with the consummate partner to help us perfect our offering for the Korean market and rapidly scale," he said.

Deputy general manager of Benit's mobile convergence team Jaehoon Kang said it has been looking for "innovative and useful solutions to develop the South Korean market "and Metail's solutions is the most valuable. We cannot try on clothes when buying clothes online. So often there are difficulties in sizing and styling; limitations which Metail help to overcome," he said.

"Through this agreement, fashion and distribution companies in the Korean market will be able to provide a useful and wonderful experience to customers. Benit is very excited to be adding such a great solution to its fashion-specific business portfolio," he added.

Metail was founded in 2008 and has gone on to develop an international customer base including House of Holland and Little Mistress in the UK as well as Abof in India and Princess Polly in Australia to name a few.

Yesterday luxury fashion etailer revealed a dedicated Korean language site for the South Korean market.

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