It’s like the story of The Beauty and the Beast, the most unpredictable, but surprisingly perfect match for each other. The “Beast” in reference here is the chaotic fashion industry. The “Beauty” here is the work of a powerful and clear data science model. It’s this Beauty that’ll drive the Beast forward.
The fashion industry is an extremely competitive market. In fashion, creative minds work together for endless hours to create global trends for ONE runway event. The impact of their designs is reduced to a simple Hot or Not verdict by fashion pundits. However, Data Science is here to help create trends that will always be HOT!
How data is shaping the fashion industry
Data Science is changing the fashion industry by collecting data, processing it and giving actionable insights that can potentially revolutionize it. But, there’s a lot of data – social media posts, trends on Instagram, what celebrities are wearing, what people are buying and much more! All of this data is mined with advanced models. Its output is converted into a form that’s easily understood, even by a layman.
Data science helps the fashion industry with various predictive algorithms that help them make wise business decisions. For example, fashion trend forecasts can tell you whether the latest Kanye West fashion line, Yeezy Season 2, will get a good response or not.
Let’s take a real-world example; a company such as Zara manufactures huge volumes of clothing for different demographics globally. As the company operates at a huge scale, something as simple as size, body shape, colour preference and quantity will vary greatly. So how does Data science help Zara produce the right quantity of products with minimize wastage? Data scientists gather purchase behaviour of consumers (in a specific region) and slice it up in different categories such as:
- Price range
- Popularity/Trending colours
- Other parameters specific to Zara
This, in turn, helps Zara predict the quantity and type of clothing that’ll get sold – in that specific region in the next season. This model can save Zara millions of dollars by reducing the number of overproduced products. In data science terms, this is nothing but basic data mining of large amounts of structured and unstructured data to identify patterns that can help an organization make informed decisions.
Various data models can be created to address specific problems in the fashion industry. Data scientists would have to cover topics ranging from predictive algorithms, visual search, capturing structured data from photographs, natural language processing and many more. The possibilities, and therefore the opportunities, are endless.
Remember, the very core of data science – Probability and Optimization – is creating huge waves in this glamorous field. Fashion has empowered people all over the world in its own way.
As Coco Chanel once said “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different”. And the fashion industry is doing just that by joining hands with the ‘beauty’ of data science.