Drobe Social Shopping Platform Win’s First Hearst Fashion Hackathon

By Michelle Manafy

The first-ever Hearst Fashion Hackathon, held during New York Fashion Week, saw more than 150 developers who hailed from all over the country working for 24 hours straight to create innovative fashion-focused apps and programs on API platforms from sponsors including Hearst brands (Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire), Amazon, Facebook, Google, Klout, Microsoft, Singly, Spotify and more.

The winning app, dubbed “Drobe,” a platform for creating, sharing and shopping for fashionable looks with the input of peers and editors alike, was awarded $10,000 and the chance of a mentorship with Hearst Digital Media. Created by the team of designer Melissa Feudi with developers Alan Garcia and Robby Abaya—who met through the Hackathon website for the first time the day before the event—Drobe leverages mobile technology, while connecting readers and editors in real time. Helping you mix and match outfits from the grand world of fashion. Arrange your looks, get inspired, suggest outfit changes for your friends, share & shop with drobe around the world!

Prototypes were presented on Sunday, February 10 at Hearst Tower in New York City, to a panel of judges that included Hearst Magazines President David Carey; Hearst Chief Technology Officer Phil Wiser; Kenneth Bronfin, senior managing director, Hearst Ventures; Melanie Schnuriger, general manager of fashion and beauty, Hearst Digital Media, Joyann King, site director of Harper’s BAZAAR, James Welsh, digital technology director of Hearst Magazines UK and media, Darren Hull, general manager MyHabit at Amazon.com, Jordan Crook of TechCrunch and commerce and technology-focused venture capitalist Nikhil Kalghatgi.

In addition to the grand prize winner, Hearst recognized five teams with honorable mentions and the chance to meet with Hearst Digital Media executives to discuss their prototypes. An additional $10,000 in cash and prizes was awarded by sponsors for teams that made the best use of their APIs.The Hearst Fashion Hackathon competition was produced by AngelHack. The prototypes submitted ranged from social shopping and styling to content curation.

Hearst isn’t the only magazine showing tech interest during New York Fashion Week. Condé Nast is hosting "Decoded Fashion," a hackathon that puts tech teams on the runway to present their best apps. Finalists were announced on February 8th.