The RTFS (Real Time Fashion System) Saga, Episode 2

Why Predictive Matter?

First thing to understand for the fashion industry, is that it is no longer that much about “what” (in the meaning of styles of clothes), but more about “how”. How does the brand create an accurate process of production, distribution and supply chain for the product. The role of the creative director should move its focus from concept of form to concept of FORMING this form.

The Real Time Fashion System (RTFS) is a VISION FOR a new INNOVATIVE system for the FUTURE of FASHION.

In fashion, bringing styles, fabrics, colors and textures together, is what brings an outfit to life. ELSE Corp combines technology with traditional retail, using 3D and AI to bring a new way of interpreting this “life”.. The startup believes innovation might help consumers understand, follow and afford tomorrow’s fashion trends.

Because consumers don’t always interpret fashion trends as they should, and brands don’t always offer consumers the ‘right’ interpretation of the trends. That’s where the RTFS might help to digest what’s really in style.

To complete the Virtual Retail business model, ELSE Corp wants to provide as well, through their (yet at a concept stage) AI & CAD based B2B platform to  a Personal Style and Design Pattern Matching. Through Real-time Personal Style Recommendations, customers will find or co-design their ‘ideal’ products. Besides that, through Real-time Trend Analysis and Prediction services, brands will be able to improve their design process, to create better products for their new collections, or enhance the existed collections, just in real-time!

With the fast pace and obvious daily trend shifts in retail, it is evident that the continuous improvements, innovations, the rise of predictive analytics, and most importantly, the self-service business intelligence strategies do not just appear, but rather elevate the fashion retailer’s decision-making capabilities to the next level. As the fashion retail business needs to grow into other categories, shopping channels and potential cloud-based predictive analytics have to become flexible enough to meet the consumers’ needs.

Every retail brand or partner in the industry is confronted with the same question: “How can we be successful in a world in which supply and demand dynamics have changed so dynamically?” Consumption has changed so much in the past five years. There’s increased competition, from Amazon and Walmart, to up and coming direct-to-consumer brands. The ability to track and meet these ever-changing needs of your evolving consumer is truly the holy grail for all fashion retail companies.

Customers want to interact with brands in a new way. As they participate and provide feedback, there’s not only high engagement, but the marketing impact of the data collection data is also exciting.

This will require applying the personal characteristics of several designs to

  • understand the influence of design features on sales trends and
  • use this understanding to predict potential demand of the new designs, which may include a unique combination of the available features.

The model may be used to predict sales when input of customization.

ELSE Corp’s mission is helping brands successfully develop in this new environment. Speed and accuracy is of essence. The goal is to turn customer bases into an asset and capture structured insights from end-customers on future products and then apply predictive analytics to enable brand partners to more accurately forecast demand for expected sales.

Some people in the fashion industry still see analytics as a threat to the value of their experience, creativity and process, not as the complement it is intended to be. They may be concerned because they see fashion trends as art forms, and quantitatively analyzing data to predict styles could smack them as being inauthentic.

These concerns are understandable because people in the fashion industry have their own taste, culture and philosophy. However, quantitative evidence from research provides realistic insights, and there’s art and value behind such research. Fashion designers approach design in ways that are fundamentally similar to the approaches used to design modern information systems and that’s what fashion practitioners need to understand.

In the end, the fashion product is essentially the information and the message that the company is sending out, and people need to understand and appreciate it. It’s all about communicating that information so more people can appreciate the beauty of it. Systems are being designed so that people can understand better. Fashion should be viewed in a similar way. Fashion is a form of wearable art that can grow if customers have access to understand the information. The outcome of all this, is that everyone will have their individual style, formed on their individual size.

In conclusion, there will be not anymore divisions and barriers between technology, data, and style, thanks to innovation and most importantly, Artificial Intelligence. They are all synonymous now, and analytically cultured retail management frameworks, like ELSE Corp’s Real-Time-Fashion-System, will thrive in this ever complex, and evolving the fashion marketplace.

To know more about the REAL TIME FASHION SYSTEM:

The previous episodes of the Saga: Can Fashion be ever Sustainable?