Skip to main content

Fashion Data Mining - Predictive or Prescriptive?




Our fashion world continues to embrace "big data" as salvation from "fickle" consumer preference and shopping behavior. As this obsession with "hard facts" tackles trend forecasting will trend data from point-of-sale analytics and social media engagement be predictive or prescriptive? The Science vs. Art debate continues: from computers that create music and fine art painting, to data analytics predicting tomorrow's "it" fashion. Caveat Venditor: Let the Seller Beware... 

- David J. Katz - August 17, 2104 - New York City
-------------------------------------
The “Bloomberg terminal for fashion” tells retailers exactly what consumers want in real-time - QUARTZ By Aimee Groth

In recent years, retailers have increasingly embraced big data, instead of simply relying on the intuitive sense of fashion designers and buyers. Stores that have leftover inventory or are out-of-stock on bestselling items, now look to real-time data and analytics to ensure that supply and demand are aligned.

“Fashion forecasting isn’t accurate anymore,” says Geoff Watts, co-founder of retail data and analytics provider Editd. Watts, a programmer with experience in financial modeling, describes the product he co-created in 2009 as a “Bloomberg terminal for fashion.”

Users, including brands like Gap, Target, Gilt Groupe and several UK High Street brands, pay upwards of $2,500 a month to access a suite of dashboards that show what products are currently on the market, how much they’re selling for, how quickly the items are selling out, etc.

“We crawl the web in the way that Google crawls the web,” says Watts. In addition to looking at retail websites, Editd’s software also monitors social media and fashion blogs to determine what’s trending. It can take into account local and regional dialects—that “jersey” has a different meaning in South Africa—and the data are refreshed every 24 hours.



The EDITD dashboard shows users how products industry-wide are selling in real time.

Retailers have always had business intelligence tools but most, from streetwear to luxury, don’t provide real-time information on the entire industry.

Many apparel companies use trend forecasting site WGSN, which tried and failed to acquire Editd in 2012, and just acquired another popular tool, StyleSight. Watts points out that both of those platforms take a more qualitative, editorial-driven approach, versus a quantitative, data-driven view.

“[Editd] is more about managing markdowns and understanding if the entire industry overbought on something and it’s a bomb,” Sucharita Mulpuru-Kodali, a retail analyst with Forrester Research told Quartz. “And this product doesn’t do as much to help you with your forward-looking buys.”

The London-based company currently has clients in Russia, South America, Indonesia and is using its most recent fundraising round of $4.4 million to focus on expansion and building out its presence in New York.

While big data has already had a dramatic impact on the bottom line for vertically-integrated retailers like J.Crew, there are still several fashion executives who aren’t entirely sold on cutting out the art.

“The danger is when data becomes prescriptive,” Emma Farrow, head of design for Topshop, told the NYT. “Because that fails to acknowledge what influences trends.”For an industry that generates $1 trillion annually, intuition still has its place.

http://qz.com/242846/the-bloomberg-terminal-for-fashion-wants-to-fix-the-industrys-supply-and-demand-problem/

Popular posts from this blog

Beware of Wombats & Other Vampires

You are surrounded by dangerous WOMBATS. They’re everywhere. Sometimes they hide in plain sight, easy to spot. Other times they are well camouflaged, requiring heightened awareness to identify them. You need to stay alert, it’s important to avoid them. WOMBATs resemble ordinary, productive tasks. However, they are vampires for time and resources, weapons of mass distraction.WOMBATs are seductive. Working on a WOMBAT feels productive.WOMBATs are bad for your career.WOMBATs are bad for your business.WOMBATs infiltrate your work day (and your personal time). Strike them down.WOMBATs may be be ingrained in your company culture: “We’ve always done it that way…” WOMBAT Metamorphosis Alert: A task or project that wasproductive in the pastcanevolve into a WOMBAT in today's environment.Your comfort zone is populated with WOMBATs.More on comfort zones, here.Some people are WOMBATs in disguise. Stay away from them, they are vampire WOMBATs.If you don’t control your WOMBATs, your WOMBATs will…

How Randa and the Fashion Industry are Adapting to DIY

The term 'Do It Yourself' has turned into a phenomenon over the past decade and is continuing to gain momentum, especially in the fashion industry. From interactive design stations at Topshop, to custom shoes at Jimmy Choo, every level of the fashion industry is dipping their toes into the pools of DIY.

"Many industry insiders think it is just the beginning. Ask about the future of fashion, and the answer that is likely to come back (along with the importance of Instagram and the transformation of shows into entertainment) is personalization," says Vanessa Friedman from the New York Times. 

Fendi Models Walk on Water

Sunset at the Trevi fountain in Rome, where Anita Ekberg once frolicked in Fellini's "La Dolce Vita;" the location was reimagined as an ethereal, transparent runway for Fendi's 90th anniversary fashion show.
According to legend, in 19 BC, Roman soldiers, driven by thirst and desire, were led to fresh water by a beautiful girl: At that location an aqueduct and great fountain were built. Two millennia later, not much has changed. 

Apropos of fan expectations, models including Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid appeared to walk on water, wearing gossamer garments evocative of the Fendi"Legends and Fairytales"  water nymph theme.