how brands are changing the consumer experience

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With fashion and technology intertwining in unstoppable ways, purely digital closets don’t seem like a distant reality, says our guest author.

Fashion is the manifestation of one’s personality. Each of us is so unique and distinct that technology, one might imagine, could never permeate this world. Yet when it comes to predicting the future of fashion, 32% (see below) said digital was the growth engine they would be heading towards.

Fashion Technology gears up to deliver sourcing, demand forecasting, supply chain and marketing solutions. Today’s innovations in artificial intelligence (AI) not only amass data, they also accelerate the creative process and aid in all aspects of manufacturing and distribution, from planning automated production and delivery capabilities.

The COVID pandemic led tech to step in and give a boost to the industry, which was on the verge of an existential crisis.

A fashion show without its sartorial theatrics and elaborate productions was an unborn idea, until now. Enter the likes of US-based Bigthinx. It offers AI for fashion and retail.

Italian fashion giant Prada’s Spring/Summer 2021 women’s show was one of the most anticipated on the Milan Fashion Week calendar. And while there was no physical runway show, the brand delivered one of the best virtual runway presentations yet.

Virtual try-ons during online purchases and mass customization

One of the biggest pain points for consumers, when shopping online, is buying clothes without having an idea of ​​how those pieces, which look aspirational on models, will look on normal mortals, which therefore results in higher return/exchange rates.

Today, AI can help bring the offline experience to the online world by helping to solve the two biggest problems in online fashion: size and appearance. Italian fashion giant Gucci, for example, uses augmented reality (AR) to let customers try on sneakers through its app or Snapchat. By pointing their smartphone at their feet, customers can see what a shoe would look like from different angles.

Mobile body scanning gives information beyond body measurements. Body type data can be broadly interpreted to enable apparel brands to offer mass customization, in-between sizing and production optimization, based on their audience.

AI style – virtual shopping assistant

We now live in a world where we can use a artificially intelligent stylist. One that can leverage image recognition technology to extract product and style information from images, feed it to its AI engine, and produce contextual and personalized results for fashion shopping.

With an understanding of natural language, images, voice, and fashion query context, the virtual assistant even knows the difference between “dress shirts” and “shirt dresses.” The virtual assistant is user-friendly and as efficient as a fashion salesperson.

AI can also help map and analyze, browse patterns to offer recommendations, preference of color pattern necklines, sleeve length, styles, and more. All mapped to perfection. Some companies even claim to have styling solutions based on body measurements/variations and skin tone, which would be available at the push of a button.

To begin with, while there is no holy grail algorithm capable of forecasting demand in all phases of the life cycle (pre-post-season), there are certainly ways to produce closer results. . Bengaluru-based Stylumia is one such company that collects and analyzes publicly available global data to rank product trends, giving fashion designers, retail buyers and merchants a much deeper understanding of signals. real-time consumer demand. Pre-season planning, as well as unexpected in-season events, such as the pandemic.

AI mode – no creators

But can there be fashion without designers? Today, the AI ​​race is on to deliver computer-generated apparel solutions, ranging from jeans and shirts to shoes, that help reduce design and time to market. Armed with insights from fashion portals, social media and more, machine learning is able to reduce time to market from 180 to 45 days.

Undeniably, fashion brands face stiffer competition than ever from their fashion-forward counterparts. But with fashion and technology intertwining unstoppably, purely digital closets don’t seem like a distant reality. Fashion has been at the forefront of the digital revolution and with technology now entering the full life cycle, the future really is here!

(The author is senior vice president marketing at DaMENSCH.)

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