Most Innovative Companies

Clique Media Group

When former Elle magazine editor Katherine Power and Elle contributor Hillary Kerr started the blog Who What Wear in 2006, they sought to be a friendly voice in fashion. The blog, and the parent company that Power and Kerr founded in 2012, Clique Media Group, has grown to be much more than that—a new media empire that’s also shaking up the retail world.

Power and Kerr built up a variety of digital verticals under the Clique umbrella—MyDomaine for home decor, Byrdie for beauty—with the dream of one day expanding them into physical brands. That happened for Clique's fashion destination in 2016, when Who What Wear debuted a runway inspired, real-world-priced Target clothing collection. The line, which gets updated 12 times a year, is informed by data gleaned from Who What Wear’s site and social media accounts. (Kerr and Power might take to Snapchat to ask their followers whether they should make a skirt in one fabric or another.) The crowdsourcing has worked: The Target line has recently expanded into shoes, and it has paved the way for more Clique retail collaborations.

Power and Kerr are experimenting with “IRL”—in real life—meetups for readers of Obsessee, Clique's publication for Generation Z (Obsessee exists only on social media platforms, it has no web address). A 2016 Obsessee pop-up shop in Los Angeles, where Clique is based, processed more than 1,700 transactions, but an influx of cash wasn’t the goal. Everything in the store was sold for social currency: To purchase an item, consumers had to photograph it, put it on social media, and tag Obsessee. Look for Clique to continue to disrupt traditional shopping going forward.

staff: 217
users: Total audience of 25 million, including website visitors, social followers, and newsletter subscribers
headquarters: Los Angeles, California
Competition: Refinery29