Create the Future. Today

London Fashion Week runs through 17 September | Photo source Brunel Johnson on Unsplash

7 innovative ideas changing the fashion industry

Fashion & Beauty

Some of our favourite fashion innovations from recent months, focusing on marketing, emerging technologies and design

We’re in the midst of the fall Fashion Week season. Besides showcasing the latest fashion trends and designs, these events also feature some of the industry’s most exciting innovations, such as Superpersonal’s virtual fitting app, which was showcased during London Fashion Week in February. 

We thought this would be a good time to resurface some of our favourite fashion innovations from the last several months. Having recently shared 10 of our top innovations in sustainable clothing, the following innovations focus on the industry in a broader sense — including breakthroughs in marketing, emerging technologies and design.

Photo source: Joerg Zuber

1. A VIRTUAL INFLUENCER WITH VERY REAL IMPACT

Munich-based designer and creative director Joerg Zuber is the human behind one of the internet’s most influential virtual personas: Noonoouri. The digital persona has become a major player in the fashion world, closing in on 300,000 Instagram followers and having already worked with major brands like Dior, Versace and Swarovski. 

Her Instagram posts sometimes feature product placement, like posing with a bottle of Calvin Klein’s Eternity perfume in a recent sponsored post. The post has received nearly 10,000 likes. Other times, she’ll appear in images or videos alongside notable humans from the fashion industry. 

Each still image that gets posted takes about three days to create, to “find the right concept, getting her rendered in the pose in 3D, tailor making the clothes to her body and then compositing the whole,” Zuber told Springwise. Animations can take between two and six weeks, Zuber said. 

Read more about the virtual influencer Noonoouri. 

Photo source: Superpersonal

2. APP TURNS SHOPPERS INTO FASHION MODELS

UK-based startup Superpersonal is developing an app that allows users to try on clothes virtually. Users feed the app basic information including gender, height and weight. The app then records the user’s head movements. From this limited data, the app will create a virtual version of the user modelling clothes proposed daily by Superpersonal.

The app was piloted at the London Fashion Show in February and the beta version is currently available to download. The company also has a commercial version of Superpersonal for retail outlets. It allows retailers to create personalised shopping experiences for their customers.

“We developed the technology because we think there is an incredible need for personalisation. The app itself is what we think the future of fashion is going to look like,” Superpersonal CEO Yannis Konstantinidis told Springwise. 

Read more about the Superpersonal app. 

Photo source: Moschino

3. A SIMS-INSPIRED FASHION LINE

Moschino’s creative director Jeremy Scott developed a fashion line based on The Sims, the Electronic Arts’ PC game popular with the millennial generation. The designs feature graphical elements straight from the game, including a bathing suit covered in green diamonds, which players will recognise as the same ones that appear above The Sims characters’ heads. 

A marketing campaign for “Moschino x The Sims Capsule Collection” featured the models Stella Maxwell, Aiden and Denek K in a Sims-like virtual-world, attempting to replicate the idea of “Avatar Realness,” as Scott describes it.

“I love the idea of being able to imagine, design and bring to life a world of individual personas with The Simsuniverse,” Scott said. “That concept emulates what I get to do for each collection at Moschino as I create a fantasy universe of spectacular storylines and characters.”

Read more about this Sims-inspired fashion line. 

Photo source: PrettyLittleThing

4. RETAILER RECREATES CUSTOMER’S WINE-STAIN OUTFIT

British online retailer PrettyLittleThing was able to turn a viral social media post into a new dress design. It started when 19-year-old Eleanor Walton accidentally spilt red wine on her white jumpsuit whilst at the Ripon races. Her friend, Mia, salvaged the situation by masking the spill using even more wine, creating a tie-dye effect. A before-and-after photograph was posted on Twitter, which quickly went viral.

Aware of the traction Eleanor’s new outfit had gained, PrettyLittleThing decided to recreate the design. The retailer now sells an identical white and burgundy tie-dye jumpsuit on its website. The garment costs €40. PrettyLittleThing also credited the design by including Eleanor’s photograph on the product page.

Read more about PrettyLittleThing’s wine-stain dress.

5. A CAMPAIGN TO IMPROVE DIVERSITY IN UK’S DESIGN INDUSTRY

Design Can is an online resource and campaign tool aimed at increasing diversity in the design industry. Not Flat 3, a multi-disciplinary design collective, launched the website last month.

The rationale behind the campaign is that the ethnic and gender stratification of the UK’s design industry is not representative of its customers. According to the company, only 22 per cent of the design industry is female, and only 13 per cent of employees are from BAME backgrounds. 

Design Can provides practical resources to support diversity, such as the Mayor of London’s handbook to support diversity and monthly meet-ups for emerging designers. 

Read more about Design Can.

Photo source: Intelistyle

6. AN AI CHATBOT STYLIST

London-based Intelistyle’s artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot stylist works with both retailers and customers. For retailers, the algorithm can “complete the look” by generating multiple outfits based around a single product and can recommend appropriate alternatives for out-of-stock items. With the app, the personal styling service can be accessed on any device, allowing customers a seamless move between online and offline shopping.

For shoppers, the chatbot recommends styles and outfits based on personal preference, body type and hair, eye colour and skin tone. Based on what is already in a shopper’s closet, it can recommend new buys as well as suggestions of combinations of items already owned. 

Read more about this chatbot stylist. 

Photo source: Ben Weber on Unsplash

7. A REWARDS PROGRAM FOR WEARING CLOTHES

A  line released by Tommy Hilfiger last summer, Tommy Jeans Xplore, featured a smart-chip technology that rewarded customers every time they wore the product. All 23 items were embedded Awear Solutions’ Bluetooth smart tag, which connects to the iOS Tommy Hilfiger Xplore app. Direct communication between the app and the clothing allows users to collect points in real-time. 

The points themselves were redeemable for experiences like concert tickets, fashion shows, brand events, or even as product discounts and charitable donations.

Read more about Tommy Jeans Xplore.