While AI is often associated with the tech industry, it’s important to recognize that AI is also playing a significant role in transforming other domains. Therefore, we’re about to explore how AI is reshaping non-technological industries, beginning with a closer look at AI in fashion industry.
The fashion industry is not just about fabrics and designs; it’s also about innovation and adaptation. This was perfectly proved by Balenciaga’s virtual reality runway show, which made headlines in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, and by the Humane Ai Pin made its debut on the runway at Paris Fashion Week in September 2023. For several years now, the fashion industry has been undergoing a significant transformation, with a greater focus on AI’s potential. According to McKinsey analysis, in the next three to five years, generative AI could add $150 billion, conservatively, and up to $275 billion to the apparel, fashion, and luxury sectors’ operating profits.
AI can now boost the productivity of fashion businesses, speed up their time-to-market, improve shopping experiences, and even contribute to the creation of designs. In our quest to understand how AI is reshaping fashion, we’ve kept track of some AI fashion startups to gain insights into these changes and anticipate the future of fashion. Here we present our observations and explore AI’s impact with real use cases.
Scouring Product Hunt for emerging players in the last 12 months, we’ve found 64 fashion startups utilizing AI and identified several key categories within the fashion industry where AI is making the most significant impact:
Designing with AI is a game-changer for the fashion industry. It allows fashion businesses to rapidly transform raw concepts, sketches, and mood boards into high-fidelity designs and 3D models. Designers now can enhance their product ideation by teaming up with AI, which can analyze past product lines, inspirational imagery, and desired details. This collaboration pushes the boundaries of creativity, allowing designers to explore a vast array of styles and looks.
As a vivid example of AI’s creative potential in collaboration with designers, let’s take a look at the works of the winners of Tommy Hilfiger’s AI design competition held during the first AI fashion week in March 2023. The goal was to create a piece of digital fashion in the classic Hilfiger style. The winning items were made into a digital wearable, available for purchase on the virtual fashion platform DressX.
Personalized Styling and Fit Assistance
AI may play a crucial role in offering personalized styling guidance and size recommendations in the near future. Conversational chatbots and virtual assistants are at the forefront of this effort, addressing advanced customer inquiries, enhancing sales, and elevating customer satisfaction through tailored styling services. These AI-driven tools assist customers with style choices, body types, color selections, and the latest fashion trends.
As an example, consider German e-tailer Zalando, which recently introduced a “fashion assistant” powered by ChatGPT on its app and website. The virtual assistant is designed to provide intuitive and natural shopping experiences. For instance, customers can ask questions like, “What should I wear to a wedding in Santorini in July?” The AI fashion assistant takes into account the formality of the event and the typical weather in Santorini during July to generate relevant, personalized recommendations.
Virtual Fitting Rooms
AI-powered virtual fitting rooms are transforming the fashion industry. These virtual try-ons may not only enhance the overall shopping experience but also boost sales and reduce return rates significantly.
As an example, Google has integrated a virtual try-on tool powered by generative AI into its search engine. Now, when users in the US search for women’s tops, they’ll spot a “try-on” icon in the search results. By clicking this icon, shoppers can access a product viewer, allowing them to visualize how the product would fit on various body types and skin tones. This feature simplifies the process of finding the perfect item while shopping online.
AI-powered search changes online shopping. With AI, we can now effortlessly find any clothing by describing what we want or uploading an image. No more endless scrolling.
A prime example is ASOS with its AI-driven visual search tool. This tool shows remarkable accuracy in matching a shopper’s query with ASOS’ product offerings. It may take a moment to spot the small camera icon on the app’s search bar, but it’s there to assist you.
Whether it’s a mass-market fashion retailer or a luxury brand, AI enables the analysis of large datasets of social media content, runway show images, online, and in-store sales data. With AI algorithms, brands can now identify emerging trends more accurately and quickly, even within specific regions, age groups, and subcultures. What’s more, AI doesn’t just detect new trends; it also forecasts their future demand, enabling businesses to stay ahead.
Take, for example, the AI model developed by Paris-based company Heuritech. This model analyzes millions of images posted on social media each day and categorizes them as “edgy,” “trendy,” or “mainstream.” These categories are further coded with specific attributes, such as clothing styles and colors, allowing AI to track the evolving popularity of particular looks in real time.
While our exploration on Product Hunt uncovered several AI applications in the fashion industry, we didn’t explore one noteworthy category — NFT clothing. NFTs offer fashion brands a range of benefits, including digital ownership, scarcity, additional revenue streams, enhanced brand engagement, intellectual property protection, collaboration opportunities, and contributions to sustainability efforts. NFT clothing remains an intriguing category within the fashion industry, especially from an investment perspective.
In our previous articles, we briefly discussed the role of the sticker and avatar industry in driving the growth of digital fashion. While Vogue declared 2022 as the year of NFTs, the initial hype has subsided, and now brands are seeking more practical applications for this transformative technology. One of the recent examples is Adidas x Moncler Unwrap NFT and AI-Integrated Fashion Line. The campaign combines “AI-generated adventurers” with mixed media sculptures, alongside an immersive digital experience and a limited edition collection of NFTs.
All these examples showcase AI’s potential to affect the entire fashion industry. Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 Product Hunt launches in the fashion AI category from the past 12 months, all of which we discovered during our research. It’s entirely possible that these AI-driven apps will soon become a part of our daily lives, or businesses may adopt them to create exceptional customer experiences:
- Yoit: A descriptive fashion discovery platform powered by AI search
- HopShop: SHAZAM for Fashion
- SnapDress: Dressing up portrait photos
- Outfits AI: AI-powered outfits
- AIO: AI-powered clothing design
- Peach: AI fashion assistant
- Mod AI: AI-powered personal stylist
- Darjee: AI for precise measurements
- Lykdat: AI-powered insights from fashion retail market analysis
- Styld: AI for personalized styling and shopping recommendations