There’s a lot of hype around AI. Everyone’s talking about it, playing with it and investing in it. This year at TechCrunch Disrupt one of the statistics presented was that one in four dollars are being invested in AI.
It’s not surprising given the power AI has to supercharge businesses and transform industries, and with the speed of adoption, we are all still learning about the potential applications that exist.
When you consider the fashion industry, it’s ripe for disruption. It’s one of the largest industries worth over $2 trillion, yet it is hugely inefficient. Upwards of 30% of the 100 billion garments produced each year are not sold, of those sold nearly 40% are discounted, and 40% of those sold are returned.
There is a huge amount of waste that is costly to retailers, damaging to the environment and demoralising for consumers. For the retail and fashion industry, the introduction of AI can help to personalise and streamline the customer purchase journey so it’s more efficient than ever. Retailers should be thinking about what type of customer data is available to them and how they can utilise this data to give the best buying experience possible to consumers.
From a Mys Tyler perspective, we believe the root cause is simply that the industry is showing us and selling us clothes that don’t fit.
Since our launch in 2020 we have combined the power of creators with our proprietary FIT Algorithm to match consumers with like-bodied creators who can recommend clothes that do fit, showing how they are styled and where they can be purchased.
Mys Tyler’s AI stylist is our first big generative AI launch. We are using Vertex AI, Google’s generative AI platform to bring our users personalised styling and shopping advice on demand. Users can ask a question such as “what should I wear to a black tie wedding in Hawaii?” or “What shoes pair well with flares”, and they will receive an instant response.
We use prompt engineering to add into the question the data we know about the user, to make the response more personalised and relevant. For instance, we know their location so will know what season they are in, we are also feeding in colouring, age, and fit data, and over time will continue to optimise with more data such as what brands the user tends to shop with, their style, and their budget.
With this release, we have also added in some personalisation to our new user onboarding, asking a series of questions such as “how would you describe your style” or “how easy do you find it to choose an outfit in the morning” so we can identify a users persona, offering them a more customised experience.
Next we are focused on image tagging that will power enhanced search of all 50,000 outfit posts on our site, so that it becomes much easier for users to find relevant content, and this will also allow us to serve up our proprietary images along with the AI Stylist responses.
The more we dive into AI, the more use cases we discover and there are so many things we want to introduce. One example is that with the data we have about our user’s hair, eyes and skin colours we can determine their colour season – a framework used commonly in styling to determine the most complimentary colours. We can now ask “Given my colours, what colour season would I be” on behalf of each user, and we’ll soon be adding that to their profile. That then allows us to match them with others so they can get relevant inspiration from a colour perspective.
We are excited as a company about the potential opportunities that AI brings, and we know that the use cases that drive our business will be things that we are not even thinking about today. But our hope is that AI can be the disruption that the fashion industry needs to lead to make it more sustainable and inclusive for everyone.
Sarah Neill is CEO and founder of Mys Tyler.