14/07/2022 – Artificial Intelligence

Status quo in the Fashion Arena

textile network’s correspondent Yvonne Heinen-Foudeh shades some light on where the fashion and apparel segments stands to adopt A.I. related technologies.


Multi-channel sales via analog and virtual worlds – The Adidas flagship store Shanghai opened in November 2018. With launch date of December 17, 2021, Adidas is also operating in the metaverse. © Adidas


Hiring patterns within the apparel sector as a whole are pointing towards an increase in the level of attention being shown to roles related to the development and/or application of artificial intelligence. “There was a monthly average of 7,435 actively advertised-for open AI-related roles within the industry in April this year [remark by NE editor: 2021], up from a monthly average of 5,703 in December 2020,” states the summary of the GlobalData methodical analysis. As a company-related result of the “Just Style" feature the following excerpts may be quoted here: “According to GlobalData methodical analyses, LVMH, Nike, Foot Locker are classed as dominant players in AI in the sector, with an additional eight companies classified as leaders...”.

From an inter-sectoral perspective the clear edge in Artificial Intelligence seems to be kept by the U.S. since with today’s largest talent pools is evidenced by a survey by LinkedIn from 2018. India accordingly occupies rank 2, with the worldwide second highest number of AI professionals. Talented workforce playing a key role in technology advancement Europe as a whole certainly facing the challenge to catch-up promptly.

Fashion business: Early adopters

Although still far from market penetration, the range of the first AI applications extends from buyer behavior and thus intelligent forecasting for demand on fabric/trims or the already mentioned works towards truly predictive machine/system maintenance.

Asos and Bohoo, Calvin Klein, H&M, Jelmoli do it, The North Face, Patagonia, Puma are on board, Tommy Hilfiger and Zara have jumped on the band wagon fashion/retail brands receiving profound support to solve sizing. Collaborating with start-up type of companies like ZyseMe out of Berlin/Germany a realistic narrowing down of the standard size with the expected best fit result becomes possible: Five to twelve questions responded via their platforms to figure out the look she or he adores, to narrow to the size they need or better prefer – as judgment to a good portion follows subjective criteria. No measuring, no body scanning, no 360° photo shoots for that approach. Just smart algorithms plus data, data, data.

Welcome In the “Extended Fashion Reality”

The elusive world of augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality makes use of artificial intelligence methods. Options for the distant future? Not at all. Adidas is already present in the Metaverse. The “Into the Metaverse” collection grants buyers access to an exclusive fan club. The adidas Confirmed app provides an up-to-date overview of the respective product offerings, the “hype drops”. Nike follows the call of virtual worlds. New Balance just recently announced to be joining its competitors Nike and Adidas in the metaverse with three pending trademark applications.

Ralph Lauren and Prada are flirting with the platform of the US tech company formerly known as Facebook. The Italian luxury brand connects thereby straight with the Sportswear giant from Herzogenaurach, Germany.

Read the full article in textile network 2/2022 issue. Get your subscription now.