The ever-growing digital world opens up new opportunities, both in the creative process and the way we interact with and discover fashion. Incredible products are growing out of interdisciplinary collaborations, using the skills of scientists, computer engineers, manufacturers and designers.
Technology changes the way we experience fashion
Technology is changing the way people shop, through social media apps, retail shops and augmented realities. Brands are adapting to changes to get their products in the forefront of the customer. Creating a new and different experience can set a retailer apart from the rest in an over-catered fashion world.
Reformation, an eco-focused fashion brand based in LA, has recently embarked on a restructuring of their in-store experience. With their brand new San Fran store that opened this February, founder Yael Aflalo plans to solve the problems recognised from the past. Due to high volume of foot traffic (which is great for retailers), the experience in-store has become unpleasant for the customer - bustling to get to the clothes, garments strewn around and the changing rooms less of a focus. Their latest store addresses a way to address issues - displaying only the top 20% selling garments in a minimalist way, touch screens for customers to browse, selcting only the garments they want to try on as they go. The brand sees this method evolving to the point where customers can pick the garments at home, then visit the store to try them on when they are ready.
Similarly, GAP looks into improving customer experience - an issue that contributes to declining sales across their portfolio. In collaboration with Google and Avametric, GAP launches DressingRoom by GAP - an app incorporating augmented reality for shoppers to experience what the garments would look like on their body shape. Here, the shopper inputs their measurements and "tries on" the garment via a personalised mannequin that pops up, mimicking their proportions wearing the garment to illustrate the fit.
Virtual reality is another technology that is becoming mainstream. Wearing a headset, consumers can be fully immersed in an alternate reality that adds a depth of experience to a brand or product. Tommy Hilfiger utilised this tech in 2015, adding VR headsets to his stores which enabled the consumer to "attend" a fashion show to experience the collection on the runway, and even going backstage. In an alternate reality version of the show, you can walk amongst the models and experience the garments up close. The consumer can then purchase from the collection in-store.
With technology being more considered with integrating into the fashion industry, we are seeing a real focus in the retail sector to create better shopping experiences for the consumer. Collaborations are leading to exciting new products by utilising the skills of different industries to create something inventive and fresh. However, it is just the beginning. These infinite possibilities have more space to evolve yet, with a continuous stream of the new and exciting pushing the fashion industry forward into the future.