Innovation That Matters

Mystery t-shirts are handpicked for customers


In the midst of an explosion of information and choice, are consumers missing out on surprise? The team behind Hipstery, a web store for mystery t-shirts, thinks they are. Which is why there are no t-shirt designs to choose from on Hipestry’s site. Instead, customers select a size, pay EUR 17 (plus shipping) and answer a series of questions about themselves. The Hipstery’s ‘style scientists’ run the responses to this quiz through their ‘innovative style algorithm’—both concepts which the site’s irreverent tone would lead us to interpret loosely—to select the right t-shirt from their exclusive range of designs, many of which are out-of-print shirts from small suppliers. Leipzig-based Hipstery’s openly opaque business model latches onto an anti-trend noted by our sister-site trendwatching in last month’s briefing about transparency. While most companies are providing ever more choice and ever more information, a gap is opening for businesses who can relieve consumers of the burden of decision. Acknowledging that this is a big responsibility to hand over, Hipstery will replace any t-shirts that customers don’t like, with the option of a refund if they’re wrong the second time. Sometimes a lack of choice is a good thing, especially if used to surprise and delight consumers. It’s a theme creative entrepreneurs should have fun exploring. (Related: Soft drinks for the undecidedKashiwa Mystery Café.) Spotted by: Andreas Milles



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