On Revolutionary Changes in Fashion, Social Networks and Women’s Rights!
Walking into their well-groomed office in Zamalek, we could tell that Slickr was going to be a hub where great taste, fashion and style will blossom. We were warmly greeted at the door by founders Maria Munoz and Moe Tarek. Had some tea and biscuits and the conversation just flowed.
Tell us more about what Slickr is?
Slickr is a social network tailored to Fashion, with e-commerce integrated. Basically what Slickr does is offer the best social shopping experience by integrating all the elements of the fashion industry and connecting them. Bloggers, brands, stores, etc. can all create profiles on the same platform and connect with their users in the same manner that other social networks do, only this is pure fashion.
Is the website ready to use?
Yes, we launched our PR campaign already and now we’re just fixing some bugs in the website. We’re trying to improve usability and users experience as much as we can.
How does Slickr connect the users with the stores?
If you follow a brand, you can see the items they post on their account and if you click through the links, it takes you directly to the brand or you can press the “Buy” button and purchase it immediately.
Can users purchase worldwide?
Right now we are focused in Egypt but this is not our sole target market, we’re planning on expanding pretty soon. The payment for now is cash on delivery so we don’t have anything to do with it we only provide the space and the stores handle the rest.
So how do you benefit?
There are two kinds of stores; basic and premium stores. The premium stores pay a yearly fee in exchange for the space and a premium newly innovated technology called Parallax, which makes interaction on their store’s page very attractive and hip. They enjoy premium posts with depth and layers that basic stores do not have.
So what’s the story behind the yellow arrow we’ve been seeing everywhere?
I can’t tell you yet what the meaning of the arrow is, but we came up with the name Slickr because the website is very smooth and slick. What we’ve been doing with the arrow is the campaign. Slickr now comes with 60 ambassadors, or influential people in the Egyptian fashion scene, who promote the whole machinery behind Slickr, and those are the people you’ve been seeing with the arrow.
Moe, it’s always refreshing when a male figure takes the lead in the fashion industry, what are you responsible for?
Moe: laughs. I’m only in charge of the technology and business sides.
Maria: no actually the idea was his!
Moe: not the whole idea! just the one about how we should create a social network. My job is to find opportunities and fashion is a big catch, it’s full of problems and always needs new ideas. Retail stores were the first fashion revolution and ever since then the industry stopped evolving.
What do you think about the fashion industry in Egypt?
Over the past two years, fashion in Egypt has improved thanks to all the designers getting exposure over social networks like instagram, but it’s still not a mature industry.
Maria, you are also a co-founder of the NGO Dignity Without Borders, a very different movement, how do you balance both?
Im the kind of person who needs to feel socially committed, when I started Dignity Without Borders two years ago, I picked that fight. The movement involves women’s rights in Egypt and I think the situation is terrible in Egypt. We have a couple of meetings weekly, we are going very well but the progress is slow and I wish it was moving faster but I cannot invest more time right now.
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