Stylinity: Cool Technology, New Fashion Logistics Challenges and Benefits

Here's a nifty new aspect of the shopping experience you might find waiting for you the next time you head out to the stores: Stylinity, an idea launched in October in New York City, makes it easy to get instant feedback online while trying on outfits.

 Does this outfit really look good on me? Or is it just the lighting? Or my questionable taste? Or my complete lack of awareness of what's hip these days? Does it even fit?

With its "Style Stages" — basically, fancy photo booths featuring portrait-quality lights in each corner, a touchscreen, a display screen, and instant uploads — Stylinity is here to make shopping a little easier when having a trusted shopping buddy with you (or group of friends willing to respond to a flurry of smartphone shots) isn't quite possible. You just try on an outfit, step into the Style Stage, and see what fellow fashionistas online think of your possible new look.

The company described itself as the place "where fashion meets social media," and indeed, it bridges the brick-and-mortar shopping experience with the high-tech efficiency of e-commerce. It also harnesses RFID technology to let shoppers to search photographs that others have shared. Here's how Stylinity explains its usefulness:

"Let's say a customer tries on a red dress at Nordstrom that is tagged with RFID, has her photos taken on the Style Stage, uploaded to, and opts-in for sharing and searching her images. If you search on for a red dress using the same criteria, her images will come up in your search, you can read all about the item of clothing and click a button that will take you directly to the Nordstrom site where it can be purchased online," says Capriola. "You, the consumer, can now search real clothes worn by real people that are similar to your size and style so you'll be a more informed shopper and know better whether the item of clothing will look good on you because you can see it on people with similar body types to your own."

As we discussed previously here on The Apparel Logistics Group blog when we looked at The Hunt, a new online community that "tracks down the items you covet but don't know where to find," technology can have profound impacts on the apparel industry, highlighting the importance of top-flight fashion logistics. These sorts of technological innovations, while very cool at times, are inherently destabilizing of the status quo and often challenging for apparel companies. They accelerate shifts in customer tastes, demands and behaviors, placing an even heavier importance on speed-to-market and expert apparel supply chain management.

Still, for apparel companies that emphasize agility, embrace technology and have the apparel logistics capabilities to handle changes in the industry, the benefits of new technologies can be abundant. Take Stylinity, for example: In theory, the idea should reduce the number or returns made by customers. It will also provide considerable amounts of data, allowing retailers to, say, compare how often something is tried on to how often it's actually purchased. It could also slow the decline of brick-and-mortar retail and give customers another reason to actually go to the store (where they're more likely to pull the trigger on a purchase than online). 

Posted: 3/11/2013 11:32:27 AM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

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