The end of summer is approaching more rapidly than I’d like some days, but it’s not quite here yet. Before we hit the Labour Day weekend and all the end-of-summer-y things that come with it, we have time for one more instalment of our beach read blog posts. The subject this week: data and fashion.
Data and fashion? Those don’t go together at all.
Oh, but they do. The global fashion industry uses data all over the place. Whether it’s to build better business models or assess the impact from the outside, data and fashion fit together in more ways than you’d expect. Let’s take a look.
Data and Fashion Designers
Some might argue that relying on statistics and technology detracts from the creative element of fashion design. But buyer Steve Brown argues just the opposite. By leveraging data to improve the efficiency of production cycles, designers can free themselves from the more mundane aspects of design and focus on what they love: creating fantastic new styles.
Liza Kindred, founder of Third Wave Fashion, is considered the authority on fashion and technology. She entered the fashion world with a plan to introduce fashion and tech, but now she’s examining how technology (and data) are shaping the commercial world.
Data and Fashion Retailers
The world’s largest clothing brand is embracing data. Someone at H&M realized that all the data amassed in sales, returns and loyalty card data could be leveraged to improve the company’s bottom line. The company is combining data and fashion to:
- Identify trends – what’s being talked about on social media or blogs vs. what’s not
- Stock stores – with stores around the world, it’s important to know what sells where
- Set prices – measure up the competition, receipts and returns to price for profit
Preet Gandhi at KD Nuggets has examined a number of ways data science can be applied to the fashion world. Like H&M, she argues that data and fashion can be combined to gain a competitive edge, and she analyzes everything from supply chains to runway styles.
Data and Fashion Ethics
Maryam Khezrzadeh got curious about fashion and its global impact after watching a documentary on the subject. As a computer scientist and data journalist, Maryam started probing data on fashion and beauty ingredients and their sourcing.
She compared “fast fashion” (cheap and often disposable) brands to “slow fashion” (environmentally and fashionably sustainable) organizations to see how different they really are in terms of their effect on our world and the people in it.
Data and Fashion Everything!
Data collection and analysis is becoming increasingly integrated into every part of our lives — including fashion. And as awareness of the impact of fashion on our world and culture grows, data on the industry will only prove more valuable.
Do you have an idea for a project combining data and fashion? We’d love to hear about it. Get in touch with us today.