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The Hottest Trends Shaping Fashion

As one of the biggest industries in the world, projected to rack up to $3.3 trillion by 2030, it’s surprising to learn that the way fashion operates today hasn’t changed that much in the past twenty years.

This is, in part, because it’s still easy to source low-cost manual labor in many countries and to outsource any pricey production costs. However, the rising concerns about fair wages, pollution, as well as the need to satisfy the hyper-connected consumers of today, have given way to new exciting technologies.

We do, indeed, live in the “insta-age” of technology. Customers have been trained to expect instant access to the latest trends as soon as they hit the catwalks, thanks to social media. Simultaneously, younger generations seeking to stand out from the crowd seek products that can be tailored to their specific needs and preferences. Furthermore, ‘mass-produced’ or ‘fast-fashion’ clothing appears to be losing favor.

As this trend continues, it becomes increasingly difficult for companies and brands to continue producing large quantities of apparel months in advance, with no guarantee of how well it will sell. In this fast-changing modern environment, those brands that pick up the pace and become more responsive to market needs will be the likely winners.

As customers’ actual lives grow more entwined with the digital world, many designers and businesses must embrace cutting-edge technology to push the boundaries of manufacturing, production, marketing, and wearability. We’ve produced a list of the major tech breakthroughs in fashion today, ranging from artificial intelligence to the advent of mobile shopping, 3D printing, and blockchain.

Artificial intelligence

In recent years, brands have used AI to improve the shopping experience of their customers, analyze data, increase sales, forecast trends, and provide inventory-related guidance.

More use cases are emerging across the business following the breakout year of generative AI (gen AI) in 2023. Capturing value will require that fashion players move beyond automation and investigate the potential of gen AI to boost the job of human creatives.

Traditional fashion design methods are sometimes time-consuming: it might take anything from 3 to 8 months for a style to reach manufacturing. The usage of generative AI would speed up the creative process and save manual labor for designers, while also saving money on materials that would otherwise be utilized to create actual examples.Chatbots and touchscreens are being used in stores to improve customer experience and customized product suggestions. It’s almost impossible to head to a fashion brand’s website and not find some form of AI chat technology that’s being used to help enhance the customer experience. The technology behind AI includes algorithms that track customers’ journeys to match them with the right products.

Although these customer service technology tools are promising, trend forecasting and supply chain management are some of the most profitable avenues for AI. For instance, real-time inventory tracking has become key for brands as they save time and make for efficient warehouse management and operations.

Furthermore, if we combine inventory tracking with AI’s powerful data prediction tools for trend forecasting, brands could have a significant competitive advantage. Instead of solely relying on traditional ways of trend forecasting —which requires observation and data collection from fashion designers, trend spotters, and influencers— brands can instantly have access to data that allows for planning the right styles and quantities in a timely manner.

Take, for example, STITCH FIX. The British fashion label has come up with an automated wardrobe planning tool that, using analytics, records its female customers’ purchases and introduces them to a virtual wardrobe. The platform also allows women to create looks from their wardrobes and even choose from over 10,000 shops.

Meanwhile, the personalization platform TRUEFIT employs an online fit engine that helps users find an adequate fit with brands and new styles on the market.

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