It won't be long before the globe's biggest fashionistas are back in town to hit the catwalks of London Fashion Week. With over 5,000 industry press and buyers likely to attend, and hundreds of luxury labels showing their wares, it's a major event not only for industry insiders, but for shoppers and fashion lovers alike. Orders placed during the week alone often exceed £100 million as consumers get inspired to experiment with fresh new looks which emerge during the shows. This offers a massive opportunity for both luxury and fast-fashion retailers when it comes to increasing sales. But making the most of it demands a carefully executed strategy which combines the best of both technological innovation and creative control.
Whereas it used to be that only ecommerce giants such as Amazon and Walmart used machine learning algorithms to figure out sales trends, now small retailers are also leveraging machine learning to understand this dynamic fashion market, which may provide them a better chance to succeed. Intelligent, AI-enabled systems can also help provide greater intelligence for fashion brands by identifying patterns and predictive analytics that can provide insight into fashion trends, purchase patterns, and inventory-related guidance. One company at the forefront in innovation with AI applied to fashion is Stitch Fix, an online personal styling service. The company is using machine learning algorithms to provide better customer experiences for customers and make their supply chain more efficient.
Many will be flocking to the UK capital this week – all in the name of fashion. London Fashion Week is making a return on Friday, with fashionistas from all around the world gathering in celebration of fashion, community, diversity and creativity. In light of this, I wanted to take a look at the evolution of the fashion industry and how technology is transforming the sector at a pace faster than ever before. Wearable tech has been on the market for some time now, from the earliest days of the Fitbit to the latest iterations of the Apple Watch and Google Glass. Today, fashion leaders are merging form and function to make wearables more stylish and, well, wearable.
New York Fashion Week, now underway, is a celebration of creativity, crafts, imagination, and human ingenuity. But of course in the year 2019 one aspect of creation is integrating technology, so perhaps it's little wonder that some designers are relying on data collected by the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba to inform their looks. "We used big data to help these designers hone in on a few trends and have their collections built around these trends," James Lin, head of fashion at Alibaba North America, told the Nikkei Asian Review. "Based on what our consumers are wanting to buy, are looking for, are searching, we can help these designers create collections that appeal to a very big group." The company is investing a lot of resources and effort in lifestyle products--beauty and fashion items--which appear to maintain steady popularity and are exceptionally able to withstand the pressures of the US-China trade war.
Data, as marketers are keen to tell us, is everything. But as AI is quietly transforming the fashion industry, the end consumer doesn't necessarily fathom how online behaviour is being monitored, recorded and analysed. For example, H&M uses AI to keep popular items well-stocked by analysing receipts and returns to gauge which stores need what. In marketing mode, many brands are analysing social media data to monitor fashion conversations, allowing social data to inform the latest trends, which markets to prioritise and which segment is most interesting for the brand. One such company, MakerSights, uses data analytics that combines factors such as search queries, social media activity, e-commerce sell-throughs and consumer feedback to provide clues into what is most likely to become a trend.
The T-shirts sold by Cross & Freckle, a New York–based fashion upstart, don't look revolutionary at first glance. They come in black or white, they're cut for a unisex fit, and they sell for $25. Each of them has a little design embroidered into the cotton that references staples of New York City life: pigeons, dollar pizza slices, subway rats. They were designed instead by a neural network, which crunched doodle data from millions of people and spit out the original art that makes up the embroidery. Cross & Freckle isn't the first company to use AI to generate art--people have been doing that for years.
Defined as a technology that has the ability of computers or machines to perform tasks that are typically human, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a technology that is developing rapidly. As it continues to advance, now is the perfect time for fashion brands to adopt AI. Those who do not get on board now will probably realise the value of AI too late, and fashion brands using Artificial Intelligence would have already taken the technology to another level. In this article, I will be making several recommendations that can contribute to the successful implementation of artificial intelligence in the fashion retail business, and I will also be discussing the pitfalls. I have asked Jelle Stienstra, Digital Strategy Director at PTTRNS.ai, about AI in the fashion industry today, he shared:"AI is an integral part of different industries these days, more and more companies are using the fast-developing applications of AI, and many first movers have embraced AI technology and are applying it for different purposes".
The magic of artificial intelligence began with realistic images of human faces, food, and Airbnb home stays but now it seems to be reaching new heights as a Kyoto-based firm, Data Grid has developed complete human bodies based on the images of thousand other Japanese celebrities and models. Every model that you can see in the picture and video was generated from scratch with the help of DataGrid's neural network. Although the company didn't reveal much details about the process in their demo but the idea indeed has a lot of potential. These virtual models can be considered as an ideal alternative for brands and online stores who currently spend a hefty amount on photo shoots every now and then, in order to showcase their products in the best way possible. Also read: This Is How You Can Make Yourself Invisible for AI Surveillance Systems This all wasn't achieved at first attempt as previously DataGrid started off by developing images that looked like the Japanese celebrities.
Like many one-note fashion brands before it, luxury lingerie brand Cosabella wants to become a lifestyle brand. Cosabella is using artificial intelligence and machine learning to track customer behavior, high- and low-performing products, and popular silhouettes and color patterns to predict what new categories and pieces will sell. "The smarter we get with AI, the longer our customer stays with us. The longer a customer stays with us, the better we get at improving product, fit, fabric and silhouette," said Cosabella CEO Guido Campello. Cosabella, which sells its items globally through its own channels as well as through wholesale partners like Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's, operates a 100-person team.