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

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

Shocking last words of young vape addict before he went into coma

By Charlie Sawyer

Quiet on Set documentary: Nickelodeon star Drake Bell details extensive sexual assault at 15 by Brian Peck

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Female students fear harassment after all-male committee form pro-life society in Manchester

By Charlie Sawyer

Azealia Banks is cancelled once again after calling Troye Sivan an expired Twink

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

North West’s performance with Kanye proves that 2024 is going to be her big year

By Abby Amoakuh

Watch this video of pro-Palestinian protesters raiding an airport in search of Israelis

By Charlie Sawyer

What is the Electoral College? What is the popular vote? And how is the US president elected?

By Abby Amoakuh

Trump’s gag order paused as Biden secures more pandas from China

By Abby Amoakuh

McDonald’s addresses impact of boycott related to Israel-Hamas war in new statement

By Abby Amoakuh

Man convicted of cyberflashing after sending picture of penis to 15-year-old girl on WhatsApp

By Charlie Sawyer

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

By Charlie Sawyer

Women in Gaza are using parts of tents as period products

By Charlie Sawyer

You are shaming me: Nancy Mace calls news presenter disgusting for rape-shaming her over Trump

By Abby Amoakuh

Griselda Blanco’s son Michael reveals new Netflix series is inaccurate and files lawsuit

By Alma Fabiani

Congratulations Wonka, you’ve officially snapped me out of my Timothée Chalamet obsession

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Are Drake and Camila Cabello dating or is a collaboration on the horizon? Let’s look at the facts

By Abby Amoakuh

Muslim Germans feel censored and alienated as the country continues to ignore its Islamophobia problem

By Abby Amoakuh

Kanye West to build a kingdom in the Middle East as part of his plans for a Yeezyverse

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

What is legal cocaine? And how is it now being incorporated into our food and drinks?

By Bianca Borissova

What role did Mormons, momfluencers and pre-teen girls play in the current Stanley Cup craze?