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Back To The Future: 3 Innovative Technologies That Are Re-shaping The Fashion Industry

Gina Gulberti

Fashion and technology get more closely linked every single day. Designing and production processes are being totally revamped thanks to technology. Interacting among a series of equipment within a production line is made much quicker by applying a sample or outfit management tool.  Events have become a show that merges the finest aspects of both music and technology,  wearable outfits in some cases and provides real-time digital coverage both through the traditional and social media.

As if we were in Michael J. Fox’s hit movieBack to the Future from the 80’s, we are constantly being surprised by the latest innovative project linking fashion and technology that invariably pop up year after year. This is the winning formula that creates a  perfect team that speeds up brands’ internal processes while also being able to offer a unique and customized experiences to their consumers.

Nowadays there is a wide range of on-going projects related to fashion and technology. We will highlight three of them that are rapidly changing the whole industry and paving the way for brands to be able to apply the enormous upsides provided by Big Data. So let’s get going!

Data for designing customized outfits

A couple of weeks ago we heard that  Google is partnering with H&M  to work together on a joint intelligent fashion project to be known as “Data_Dress”, an Android app that by using an algorithm, learns from the user’s data and is able to design customized outfits specifically adapted to that user’s own personal tastes.

We are about to change the fashion industry, by bringing the wearer’s personality into the design process through technology” states  Aleksandar Subosic, co-founder of  Ivyrevel, the digital design laboratory within the H&M Group.

The way it works is rather simple really:  firstly, you register and download an app that through some perception tools are able to monitor your daily activity over a period of  7 days ( your daily schedules, the type of places you tend to go to, your eating habits, the weather in the city you live in, and so on and so forth). All of this data is then used to digitally design the personalized outfit that matches your specific needs and will cost around  $100.

This app is still in the testing stage although they have publicly announced that it will be rolled out and they will be able to actually provide the first “customized designs” by the end of this year. H&M is clearly breaking away from their  ‘Fast fashion’ approach working on a totally new concept. Over the next few months we will be closely following up on this project and how it is linking fashion and technology.

QR and RFID Invitations leading the way to an efficient fashion show

If there is any point that could be cited as being the “key” within the collection and fashion product launch cycle, this would be the official presentation or event. This may have a wide range of formats, a Grand Opening of a shop, a fashion show on a catwalk, exclusive events or even a show presenting new trends at an international Fashion Week.

These events tend to be the starting point for a full-blown marketing and communication campaign that will cover several weeks. Hence, they have to well-planned and executed, offering its target group a unique, personalized experience and solely aimed at giving them the chance to thoroughly enjoy the product and/or collection that’s being presented.

Using QR or RFID technology to generate the invitations to this sort of events offer a perfect opportunity to speed up this key process and create a wonderful first impression, that all brands are aiming for, with the specialized journalists, Influencers and other exclusive guests. This is precisely the technology that we here at  Launchmetrics are using with our own Events tool.

By having QR placed on the digital  invitations or printed ones for all guests, the entire check-In  process to an event may be carried out quite quickly and easily, by using an Iphone or an Ipad, being fully aware at all times who is going into the event and providing the PR team real-time information regarding event attendance.

In the case of RFID  codes it is even more agile. One case that comes to mind is Fendi that places an invisible RFID label on their printed invitations that enable the Karl Lagerfeld-led firm to install antennas in the invitations to their fashion shows that identify the codes associated with each person that they had invited.

What are the upsides? They not only facilitate the entry process, making it faster for the attendees but also is beneficial for the brand itself as this system provides a fail-proof synchronization with the event organizers’ whole team as they are receiving full information, in real-time,  about who is going through the check-in process and who is not, even in those cases where there may be more than  one point of access.

Intelligent dressing rooms for ‘ad-hoc’ buying

Shopping in brick and mortar shops (the final link in the whole production chain) is more and more becoming what we call a “customer experience”. The leading retail brands are fighting to retain their customers in the store itself, entertain them and, above all, offer a unique and personalized “purchasing experience”. It is at this key point in the purchasing cycle that technology once again is playing a major role as a critical resource as well as being a crucial tool in storing consumer data.

Memomi, based in Palo Alto was a pioneer in transforming the dressing rooms at Neiman Marcus with high-tech experiences in 2015. Their Memory Mirror provide clients with the possibility to record the outfits they are trying on, view them in the mirror and check out how that same outfit would look in various colors, compare one outfit to another and share them wth their friends through social media or texting.

 

Meanwhile, some companies such as  Jogotech  that is working  with Mango or Oak Labs partnering in Ralph Lauren’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, have been developing what they call the “intelligent dressing rooms” where through  touch screens installed on the mirrors in those dressing rooms, clients are able to scan an outfit and consult information about such things as sizes, colors, availability and other clothes that it matches with, as well as ask for help and/or advice from in-shop sales assistants without having to leave the dressing room.

They claim that this technology greatly speeds up the purchasing processes, and that while  36% of those who go into a brick and mortar shop actually buy an item there,  71% of those who try an outfit on in the dressing rooms involved in this test purchase an item, according to Paco Underhill, author of  The Science of Shopping.

Yet there is even more, all of the information that has been gathered in respect to the client’s purchasing decision will also be of vital importance for brands when the time comes to identify consumer trends and make strategic decisions regarding upcoming collections.

Even though there are very few brands that have launched this type of initiative capable of competing head to head with online businesses and their capability to gather their users’ data, it is beginning to look like the future for ‘ad-hoc’ buying in “brick and mortar” stores will depend on applying this type of  technology.

 

Do you know about other innovative technologies that combine fashion and technology that you’ve read about lately? Leave us a comment!

Gina GulbertiMARKETING OPERATIONS DIRECTOR

Gina is passionate about storytelling, creativity and digital strategies. As Marketing Operations Director she leads the digital shared services team from the sunny city of Madrid! She loves cats, enjoys practicing yoga and feels a great addiction to constantly travel!

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