Meet the fashion AI that predicts what people will want to buy and wear in the future

By Alma Fabiani

Published Jul 7, 2021 at 12:13 PM

Reading time: 2 minutes

20252

As the world shut down, many of us turned to online shopping in hopes of not only finding the perfect pair of tracksuits but also to fill the gigantic void left by both a lack of social interactions and dreadful boredom. Coming out of the UK’s latest lockdown with four new tracksuits that I didn’t need in the first place, along with more unnecessary crap, I can assure you that although it didn’t make everything better, it did help slightly.

That being said, my pandemic-induced compulsive online shopping taught me more than how important it is to not give in to the sirens of Klarna—it introduced me to a whole new wave of fashion apps using AI to personalise how people shop online.

One of those companies is THE YES, “shopping made genius” as its website reads. Launched by Julie Bornstein in March 2020, the AI shopping app pulls items of clothing from brands and retailers’ websites and shows them in a perfectly curated feed. Think of it as a fashion version of Tinder: if users like the dress being shown, they tap ‘yes’. If they’re not interested, they tap ‘no’. The only main difference here is that, unlike Tinder, it can improve the items it shows over time by using artificial intelligence and machine learning.

All likes and dislikes are then fed back to the underlying machine learning models to inform each personalised feed of items users can then buy, and of course, no two people’s recommendations are the same. “AI is simply the ability to understand consumer behaviour and act on it,” said Bornstein, the former chief operating officer of clothing subscription service Stitch Fix when speaking to Wired. “The problem with e-commerce is that the infrastructure doesn’t exist to do that today. You need to rebuild the tech stack.”

Voir cette publication sur Instagram

Une publication partagée par The Yes (@theyes)

In order to give its customers the most accurate recommendations possible, THE YES starts learning from them as soon as they download the app. Each time someone installs the app, they’re prompted with a series of questions about what they like and dislike. Their recommendations are then refined as they ‘yes’ or ‘no’ the products they’re shown. “We factor in hundreds of data points,” Bornstein explained. These include preferred brands, price range, size and item silhouettes.

And so far, so good for THE YES—since its launch, there have been more than seven million ‘yes’ and ‘no’ entries, and Bornstein shared with Wired that the firm is already on the tenth version of its algorithm. “Really, what we’re doing is ranking the web according to each user.” Google, who?

Aside from THE YES, which is currently only available in the US but is planning to expand to the UK soon, a wave of firms are deploying AI in a bid to transform the fashion industry. Research published by Google’s Cloud business in November 2020 revealed that retailers were looking to use AI within ten different areas of their business, from demand prediction to customer loyalty schemes and product personalisation.

Furthermore, Meticulous Research predicts AI in retail to be worth $19 billion by 2027 and companies have made the best of the pandemic to speed up their adoption. Meanwhile, the startup FINESSE is using AI to search the web and predict what the next trend may be, then using algorithmic design to quickly produce small runs of clothing within 25 days. The firm also uses 3D modelling software for all of its gender-neutral clothing to reduce costs and cut down on the amount of waste that’s created during the process of creating samples.

Speaking to Hypebae, FINESSE queer and non-binary CEO Ramin Ahmari explained their vision, “Most of fashion today has been told from a specifically white male gaze. True equality and diversity has to start from the very root of an organisation […] Mainstream fashion has absolutely no idea about what will sell, so they play it safe and produce everything under the sun. Our focus at FINESSE is to eliminate this outrageous inefficiency.”

In a world where consumerism and artificial intelligence are demonised while still making the world go ‘round, it certainly looks like the fashion industry has found ways to get the best of both worlds. The real question is, are consumers fully ready to give away their power of decision making? If that means swapping out four okay-ish buys for a single flawless one, I’m in.

Keep On Reading

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Why was Melania Trump not at the Manhattan courthouse with her husband?

By Abby Amoakuh

Khloe Kardashian spreads conspiracy theory that Kris Jenner’s boyfriend Corey Gamble is an alien

By Charlie Sawyer

Doritos faces boycott over new trans brand ambassador’s alleged tweet about 12-year-old

By Abby Amoakuh

Lesbian couple told by GP to sleep with a man if they want to have a baby

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Release date, cast list, and more: everything you need to know about The Last of Us season 2

By Abby Amoakuh

US election Nostradamus predicts formidable odds for Biden as Trump’s lead narrows

By Jack Ramage

We spoke to the viral Oompa Loompa girl about the Glasgow Willy Wonka experience

By Abby Amoakuh

Videos circulate of CEO Sanjay Shah dying in freak accident in front of 700 people at company party

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

White West Virginia couple arrested for allegedly using adopted Black children as slaves

By Abby Amoakuh

Piers Morgan’s shocking interview reveals Fiona Harvey set on suing Netflix and Baby Reindeer creator Richard Gadd

By Abby Amoakuh

Donald Trump’s mental fitness comes into question as Joe Biden focuses on abortion

By Abby Amoakuh

Gen Zers are locked into career echo chambers. Here’s how to get out of them

By Abby Amoakuh

UK cracks down on boycott protests with controversial new bill, but is the BDS movement to blame?

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Biden remains in US presidential race despite NATO blunders and growing Democrat pressure

By Abby Amoakuh

New Alabama bill to add rape exception to abortion ban and punish rapists with castration

By Emma O'Regan-Reidy

Do you watch or listen to content at 1.5x speed? Here’s what it actually does to you

By Abby Amoakuh

Watch gun-toting Republican politician Valentina Gomez rap about Trump’s criminal conviction

By Charlie Sawyer

What is JoJo Siwa’s net worth? Unpacking the Karma singer’s business empire

By Charlie Sawyer

Woman who claimed to be Madeleine McCann breaks silence months after DNA test

By Abby Amoakuh

Reese Witherspoon reveals upcoming Legally Blonde prequel series