A new initiative in Italy is a project between Yoox Net-à-Porter Group and the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
Revolutionizing the user buying experience. Relying on artificial intelligence and avant-garde technology such as visual recognition, virtual try-on and visual search. The world of fashion, and luxury in particular, is preparing for one of the biggest challenges of the coming years.
The Coronavirus emergency has had a significant impact on the fashion industry and digital transformation, already underway, becomes critical if it is to reinforce the benefits of e-commerce and explore new business opportunities.
Italy, the land of fashion, is banking on playing an important hand: in recent days, it inaugurated one of the most innovative projects in the world. The players are Yoox Net-a-Porter (purchased in 2018 by Richemont) – a global leader in the field of luxury and online fashion with over 3.5 million top-spending customers in 180 countries – and AlmageLab, the Artificial Intelligence research centre at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia: they have chosen to join forces to create a laboratory dedicated to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Computer Vision in the field of fashion.
The scientific direction of the programme, which will last three years, was assigned to one of the major experts and director of the National laboratory for Artificial Intelligence, Professor Rita Cucchiara. The research focused initially on the development of solutions for Visual Search and Visual Try-On which will make it possible to identify, in the images of the Yoox database – which will lend the research programme the calculation capacity of its data centres – not just the items of clothing themselves, but their materials and colours as well. This will make it possible on the one hand to anticipate market trends and on the other hand to offer customers completely personalized buying experiences.
For the world of fashion and luxury, the real challenge will be to conquer Gen Z and Millennials, , young people between the ages of 18 and 34 who in 2025, according to recent estimates by the Boston Consulting Group and Altagamma, will represent between 50% and 60% of luxury buyers.
It was during the Coronavirus emergency that the first collective “in-game” fashion show took place: the models were the avatars from ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’, the Nintendo videogame that since its debut on March 22nd, right in the middle of the lockdown, has sold over 13 million copies. The virtual fashion show organized by the Reference Festival in Berlin – photography director Kara Chung, who manages the Instagram account @animalcrossingfashionarchive – served as a catwalk for the presentation of the Spring-Summer 2020 looks of houses such as Bottega Veneta, Chanel and Craig Green.Valentino, Marc Jacobs and Gcds have also decided to lay their bets on the power of online gaming, recreating a series of looks in the gaming format based on the Spring-Summer 2020 and pre-Fall 2021 collections.
Available starting on June 18th will be the capsule collection by Gucci “worn” by the protagonists of Tennis Clash, the videogame by Wildlife: for the two virtual characters Diana and Jonah, a wardrobe of four outfits was created including shoes, socks, headware and rackets. Uniqlo has also designed three special edition T-shirts for the avatars of the Pokémon Go videogame by Nintendo, which are available for purchase on the Japanese brand’s website.
But other fine luxury brands have inaugurated gaming collections since 2019: 5 digital looks were created by Louis Vuitton for ‘League of Legends’, the videogame by Riot Games. Moschino made a capsule collection for the characters of ‘Sims 4’ by EA Sports. Burberry put up as a prize a jacket from the Fall-Winter 2019/2020 collection worn by the main character of the online game conceived by the fashion house itself. And Fendi has offered a trip Rome-Shanghai as a prize for WeChat Mini Games.
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translation by Olga Barmine