New champions in Beauty and Fashion are coming from CALIFORNIA. #D2C

Odile Roujol
7 min readSep 29, 2018


BeautyTech. Why Direct-to-Consumer new Champions will come from California.

I’ve got the feeling that we are at the beginning of a new period in the Beauty/Fashion and Luxury industry. It’s not just customers changing their behaviors and being more aware of what they put on their face/lashes/hair/body, eager to have their customized prescription answering their needs, or using shared platform for accessories or clothes.

It’s also a new generation of Founders, purpose-driven and data-driven.

I’m grateful that now 550+ founders and investors have joined the @BeautyTechSF community on the MeetUp app. I learn from them with each conversation and meeting. On Tuesday, we were 90+ hosted by Docusign in their beautiful venue with a stunning view on the Bay, talking about impacting people’s life and shaping a new world.

Let’s come back to 5 Top learnings listening to energizing entrepreneurs moderated by famous investors taking the time to be with us. Their new business model may inspire early-stage founders, but also companies managing global brands (and “orphan” ones!), struggling to continue to grow but also to appeal to the Millennials and Gen Z.


Whether Calgary Avansino Glamcam (live stream platform), Devon Bergman Social Standards (influence and social media data analytics platform) or Joel Palix CEO Feelunique (retail), it’s all about helping people to discover new products, learn how to have a perfect make-up or hairstyling, and at the end have a new way to browse and shop. Powerful solutions can now help founders and brands to better know their customers with their user generated content on social media. They deliver meaningful insights by age, ethnicity, location and interests. They also read, not only the reach and engagement, but the virality of influencers, says Devon.

With Glamcam, Calgary helps influencers to be connected to their communities. It shows on their split smartphone screen not only what they were doing (curl their hair or apply a mascara) but the face of the user replicating the same ritual. It’s a blast! She puts forwards that being connected in real time with thousands of people creates something unique. The feeling of living an exceptional experience. Sharing it with other people with the same passion. It may be the new luxury.


For Nicolas Zylberstein, Pinterest is about high quality visuals for sure. It’s also a powerful visual search tool empowered by AI. They have a lot of top tech talents working at the Platform based in their design office, downtown San Francisco. The success of entrepreneurs and new brands really seems to matter to them. It’s not about paid media but first and foremost organic growth. All my beauty journalist friends spend a lot of time sharing compelling stories on Instagram, the contact point could change, but sharing ideas and content will stay…

Brands need first GREAT products. Then grow efficiently. For an early stage startup, high customer acquisition cost and low retention rate would be the recipe for a disaster.

In this period of fast emerging brands and permanent conversation, we can wonder what is the future.

I’m convinced that the new global champions will have a unique voice, a clear purpose.

Tech is just a enabler to scale faster. Machine learning, Computer vision are here to help to adapt the content and message to the clusters of customers. Listening to their behavior and interests, creating an amazing experience.

We need both legs:

-Great brands (or a unique voice) and products.

-Knowing how to better understand customers, leveraging the data.

That’s why I believe the future of D2C is in California: here founders all have a purpose, they’re life style connects them to what matters, ready to change the world for the better; they also have a passion for tech.


Listening to Nicole Quinn Lightspeedventures, Zack Parker LUK-network (platform disrupting the model booking) and Gabrielle Chou Alluresystems (platform for virtual models), the augmented reality and platforms could enable us to be more inclusive in fashion.

Having models different by ethnicity, size, and look, enables people to feel more confident.

“She looks like me”. Brands could be perceived more at reach and trustworthy.

It could be a revolution in the retail, showing new inspiring role models, and encouraging brands to show more faces on their e-commerce site or on social media networks.

It’s not technology creating barriers and building a virtual world, it could be the reverse. Making us more relevant in a fast-changing world.


Remember, Millennials and Gen Z are shaping our world. As Astrid Taupin French journalist reminds us, now most people check ingredient list before eating and drinking, and the same for beauty. Customers are well aware and informed.

Listening to Lily Xu who welcomes every year founders from all over the world at their accelerator Program , Clean Beauty is everywhere: Hokkaran with hemp oil, BeautyMix DIY in France, but also a natural brand with local ingredients from Mexico, or ProvenBeauty with simplified formulas customized based on your own data.

Chloe Takahashi founder Cosmehunt a JBeauty plaforms, has founded her company when she was not finding any product for her sensitive skin, coming back to Japan products she trusted. She has created a community while sharing advice and reviews helping people to find the right product for them in the thousands of “vegan” “organic” brands in the US.

Jett Fein E-Ventures reminds us with the panelists that the European regulation is far more rigorous than the FDA with nearly the double of forbidden ingredients.

We could learn from Europe and Asia! And also what means having a GREAT product.

It’s a great transition to inform you that the next BeautyTech meeting in San Francisco will take place Jan 29thhosted by Silicon Valley Bank, downtown San Francisco (thank you for hosting us!).

NEXT MEETINGS WORLWIDE: In London Oct 2nd, Paris Oct 4th. Sao Paulo Oct 24. And soon a new one confirmed in Tokyo. Then Berlin, LA.

I was lucky enough to travel a lot while working at L’Oreal, I’ve learnt that listening to people from different backgrounds and cultures helps you to be smarter, faster, and stronger.

Stay tune to listen the voices of different ecosystems with rising stars ready to change our world.

Odile 💄🤳👡🙌🌎🚀

Join the community, it’s free and the tickets are at 30 $ to cover food and bev 👉 Check out San Francisco Beauty&Tech meet up. Data&Mission driven

Great photos by in San Francisco. Thank you Mialy Ravelo for helping to organize.



Odile Roujol

Founder Fab Ventures and Fab Fashion & BeautyTech community - Conscious Living -Women. BA, Board member, ex CEO Lancôme @loreal /CDO @Orange - L.A. / SF