Stitch Fix — a unique new online personal shopper/styling subscription service — is leveraging subscriber data to create clothing designs that sell out almost immediately. Before this, the success foundation of fashion brands has been creativity in design.
The question is: can a computer really do this alone?
The data is backed up with a team of about 2,800 stylists, and 80 data scientists, all humans. By using artificial intelligence (AI) to zero in on client preferences, Stitch Fix created three computer-generated design tops last year that sold out fast. Success was a breeze.
The Stitch Fix algorithms had sifted through subscriber purchase patterns and preferences to identify favorite fabrics, styles, colors, prints and cuts. We can expect to see more and more of this as Stitch Fix expands the scope of items for this same process.
Using AI computer tech for design is not exactly new. Stitch Fix’s developments are part of a larger overarching and rapidly growing trend towards algorithms that quantify subjective things. Adobe, Sony, Facebook and Microsoft all use AI to create film, graphics, video games, artwork, and music. AI+3D can create car parts, furniture, even human body parts.
With personal stylists that are passionate fashion experts, trendsetters and problem solvers, combined with data-driven tech and the latest algorithms, Stitch Fix makes shopping easier, fun and personalizes it. Broad price and style preferences are covered with over hundreds of brands like Trina Turk, Splendid, Ella Moss, and prices from $28 to $450.
How It Works
Accessing the StitchFix.com website, you enter your personal preferences and presto, via your choice of delivery method, receive 5 pieces of clothing, shoes and accessories chosen just for you, accompanied by your stylist’s personal written note with advice for pairing and wearing. A prepaid return envelope for shipping back anything you don’t want for free seals the deal.
Who Stitched the Fix?
Founder & CEO Katrina Lake has earned extensive accolades like: the San Francisco Business Times “40 Under 40” (top entrepreneurs), The National Retail Federation’s Disruptor category: 2016 List of People Shaping Retail’s Future, and Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business.
With fashion, retail and technology competence from Polyvore, and consulting with e-commerce and traditional retailers for The Parthenon Group, Ms Lake has a Stanford BS in economics and a Harvard MBA. Stitch Fix was actually conceived while she attended Harvard, and she shipped the first boxes out of her apartment.
To be sure, the future of data-driven design tech is amazing. With many fashion retailers closing stores, better forecasting of consumers’ needs and wants is critical. Stay tuned for Z’Scoop’s updates on the future of digital fashion design.
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