Clothes that grow on the skin and dresses that only exist on the screen

Clothes that grow on the skin, digital fashion shows made exclusively with augmented reality shoes and metaverse: you would be wrong to think that this is an invented madness or that it is part of a science fiction movie script. They are, however, some of the crucial and real elements responsible for catapulting the fashion industry into the next century, today.

The pandemic disrupted the fashion industry to its core and forced brands to find new ways to connect with customers, especially in digital-only environments. While the result of this rupture has been cataclysmic for many, those who had the means to connect online or adapt smart, advanced technologies have thrived.

As the first digital fashion brand to be unveiled at a major World Fashion Week in London later this year, Auroboros is entering the mainstream. The Science-Meet-Fashion label creates hyperfuturistic, real-life sewing pieces and digital-only garments that crystallize and transform over time.

The brand says one in ten people admit to buying clothes “exclusively for social media” and that these dresses can now be digital only, which “produce 97% less emissions than physical items.”

The strengths of the digital fashion brand Auroboros lie in its ability to marry nature with technological tools and programs to create attractive designs

Founded by Paula Sello and Alissa Aulbekova (designers resident in Sarabande, the charity founded by Lee Alexander McQueen), Auroboros ’strengths lie in its ability to marry nature with technological tools and programs to create attractive designs for the modern life. “Our ideas were so aligned in terms of creating a positive outlook for the future,” Aulbekova says of the duo’s mission to use technology to create a “powerful, utopian, and accessible” future. In the midst of the pandemic, designers expanded into ready-to-wear clothing with a Biomimicry collection of just 14 pieces, which was shown at London Fashion Week in June, with a physical model wearing the clothes digital, with style of the famous stylist Sita Abellán.

“With this business model of the physical and digital, as with the fashionable digital retailer, we are completely altering the way the industry works and we do it in a much more sustainable way, both ecologically and in a way. this really enhances creativity, ”says Sello, who is responsible for creating the physical sewing and digital prêt-à-porter together with Aulbekova.

Auroboros was founded by Paula Sello and Alissa Aulbekova

Auroboros was founded by Paula Sello and Alissa Aulbekova

How does buying digital clothes work in real life? “These are three simple steps,” Aulbekova says. “Choose the piece you like best, buy it and send it [us] an image or video of yours. And this part is really exciting because people tend to really explore their identities and creativity. ” The process of making digital garments usually takes three to five days and a full set starts at £ 475 (€ 550).

The couple has also partnered with luxury fashion gaming platform Drest, along with high-fashion brands such as Louboutin, Cartier and Stella McCartney. If you think the gaming industry is still dominated by pale young men in dark rooms, keep this in mind: 60% of mobile gamers are now women. “There are 2.7 billion players in the world,” says Sello, “and 69% of them are more likely to spend their money on games on skins and cosmetics. Digital fashion is already widespread. It’s just that fashion is now he adapts to it and understands its scope and creativity ”.

With a global gaming market valued at $ 167.9 billion (€ 141.6 billion) in 2020 and projected to reach $ 295.63 million (€ 249.3 billion) in 2026, there is ample scope for fashion brands to integrate into the play space. In fact, most luxury retailers have already begun experimenting with gaming technology as a means of connecting with a wider audience: just this year, Burberry and Farfetch have introduced a 3D world to promote new bags; in May, Gucci introduced a new virtual world to Roblox, a gaming and metaverse platform, with a two-week virtual art installation where the label’s iconic Dionysus Bag sold for $ 4,115 (€ 3,470) – $ 750 (632 euros) more than the cost of the physical version; IMVU, another fashion e-commerce site and metaverse social media with 7 million monthly active users, held a virtual-only fashion show in May with seven emerging designers, including Collina Strada, Mowalola and Mimi Wade.

In the case of e-commerce, a key feature of the pandemic is that brands need to be able to make critical decisions quickly, which requires access to data on existing and anticipated consumer behavior.

Learning algorithm

A crucial solution to this is the use of artificial intelligence (AI), which has rapidly accelerated investment in new tools and technology. Answering questions like whether or not to avoid philosophical or theoretical debates and your opinions about marriage may not seem like a normal part of your shopping experience, but it is a key part of Psykhe’s unique approach to buying clothes in 2021.

The smart e-commerce platform, founded by fashion journalist-neuropsychologist Anabel Maldonado in 2019, is the first such shopping platform that applies a smart learning algorithm based on the science of psychological data for help make recommendations to buyers based on personality traits. By exercising artificial intelligence and taxonomy to help influence personalization, the result is an elegant shopping platform that is based on traits like openness or neurotism, as well as traditional details such as prefer or not the polka dots, without human contributions.

“The mission is to promote self-knowledge among consumers and allow technology to understand consumers and change the way we think about clothing,” says Maldonado of Psykhe’s approach to online shopping. It works using the Big Five model (a psychology model to measure the basics of your personality) to make product recommendations based on the user’s personality profile and is the only platform of its kind that uses psychological data. to inform your machine. learning abilities.

Anabel Maldonado created Psykhe, the first e-commerce shopping platform that applied a science-based learning algorithm to psychological data to help shoppers make recommendations based on personality traits.

Anabel Maldonado created Psykhe, the first e-commerce shopping platform that applied a science-based learning algorithm to psychological data to help shoppers make recommendations based on personality traits.

The advantage of using machines to help you find your perfect outfit? They provide an improved approach to product filtering, which means you’re less likely to see articles that don’t interest you. But what if AI was too predictable? Could it limit the evolution of personal style? According to Maldonado, which depends on the degree of sophistication of the algorithm, which has worked to develop a less “heavy” but more humane algorithm and which takes into account your aptitude for surprises: “Another characteristic of Psykhe is that if you don’t like a recommendation, you can stop it and that will teach us about your aversions, which I actually think is as important as trying to see the things you like. “

Body recognition technology

Not only international players take advantage of smart technology. For the Louis Copeland & Sons heritage brand, investing in its digital infrastructure was key to ensuring survival, according to David O’Connor, CEO of the group and lead buyer. The close proximity between the customer and the tailor to obtain accurate body measurements meant that their bespoke service was affected by the closure of stores. To counter this, the brand introduced smart body recognition technology, the same that Apple deployed for the iPhone’s facial recognition feature, to adapt to new customers. The investment, therefore, allows the customer to be measured securely and will allow Louis Copeland & Sons to reach a new global audience.

It works by sending a front and side photo (with tight-fitting sportswear or, ideally, underwear) to the data center of the technology company in the United States. From there a life-like hyper avatar is created which is then used to create accurate measurements for bespoke and bespoke dresses.

“I think this year was the best year we’ve had in terms of growth and learning,” O’Connor says. “Not only have we survived, we have improved. And I think it made us analyze all aspects of the business that we probably wouldn’t have had time to do beforehand. The end result is that we have a stronger, leading business [and] this is more creative and progressive. “

How does an avatar compare to the skill of a master seamstress? It’s surprisingly authentic, O’Connor points out, adding that the team conducted rigorous testing of staff and long-standing customers before opening the service to a wider audience. What will follow for the retailer? A smartphone filter that materializes your new outfit at the touch of a button? May be.

Auroboros says one in ten people admit to buying clothes

Auroboros says one in ten people admit to buying clothes “exclusively for social media” and that these dresses can now only be digital

In fact, the fashion and beauty giants are already taking advantage of augmented reality, which became ubiquitous through the social networking platforms Snapchat and Instagram, as a powerful testing tool before buying.

With the click of a button, the Garnier Virtual Shade Picker will allow you to try on your favorite makeup shade before committing to a purchase. Mac Cosmetics makeup filters provide 100% accuracy close to reality, Sally Hansen will provide you with a digital manicure and Benefit Cosmetics Brow Try-On allows users to try 15 eyebrow shapes in 12 shades. Following the success of Gucci’s historic partnership with Snapchat in 2020, which allowed users to virtually try on Gucci sneakers (nearly 19 million Snapchat users have tried Gucci products with the filter so far), now the users will be able to try on clothes, glasses, bags and bracelets practically from Farfetch, Prada and Piaget with improved technology that detects and responds to body movements and facial dimensions.

Whether virtual clothing can surpass the real-life brick-and-mortar experience depends on personal preferences, but it’s hard to argue with the efficiency and comfort of trying new-season Prada from the comfort of home. If the figital shoe fits. . .

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