To bot, or not.With consumers downloading fewer energy-draining apps to their mobile phones, fashion and beauty brands have been considering chatbots as another way of interacting with their audiences. H&M used an approach that was solely geared toward conversions, while Estée Lauder's London beauty store No. 6, Burberry, T.J. Maxx and Tommy Hilfiger have tested chat bots through Facebook Messenger to varying degrees.Now, online clothier Betabrand is partnering with Epytom, an artificial intelligence style assistant, to take the stress out of getting dressed in the morning while selling products along the way.Epytom makes recommendations based on what a consumer already has in her closet. Since most people's closets are cluttered with things they never wear, the Epytom bot makes suggestions about garments that can be discarded. Once the clutter is out of the way, Epytom builds a "high-efficiency," 40-piece wardrobe, starting with a customer's existing pieces and filling in with Betabrand garments where needed.New core pieces arrive in a box. "You want some freshness in your look," said Anastasia Sartan, chief executive officer of Epytom. "The way we approach that is, we show you five pieces that will work with everything you have."Those that sign on for the service get a message from the bot every morning with the temperature and a potential look for the day. "Why don't you mix these pants with this blouse," the bot says, for example. The bot keeps questions to a minimum by using image-recognition technology. "I just analyzed your Facebook user pic to learn more about you, like, your age," the bot said, which somehow feels like an invasion of privacy.In addition to getting style hacking tutorials twice a week, users can play interactive fashion games that highlight different Betabrand products. The San Francisco-based crowdfunding clothing company releases new designs daily and has launched innovations such as dress pant yoga pants, space jackets and the Suitsy, a business suit onesie. "When they get the right answer, they get a 20 percent off coupon," Sartan said."We show you how to increase the versatility of your wardrobe," Sartan added. "For items you’re missing, to complete your high-efficiency wardrobe, we send you a box." Sartan said the bot allows for a personalized, yet at the same time, scalable conversation with the consumer. The average purchase is between $250 and $500. Epytom gets a commission for every Betabrand garment that's purchased.Epytom technology was tested in Sartan's native Russia, where she worked in e-commerce before moving to the U.S. "We figured out that the industry doesn't care about the consumer as much as we'd like it to," said Marianna Milkis, Epytom's content editor in chief, who worked as an editor in Russia."I have a lot going on in my life," said Betabrand chief marketing officer Aaron Magness. "If I can get a weather report along with a recommendation of what to wear, it’s becoming quite useful. When you say, 'I’m going to a meeting and going out afterward,' there are different ways of serving up information. The end goal is that when you are thinking of buying pants, you buy them from Betabrand.""The world of bots is new. It's also crowded with people trying to figure out the way to use them," Magness said. "We have this slow play to see how this is developing. We don't have a hard end date for the test. We want to learn whether women are looking for a full outfit or a key piece? What is the click-through rate? Learning from this will help us determine where we put our resources in the future."
To celebrate Pride 2018, @themarcjacobs released the #GratefulNotHateful campaign, a social media initiative aimed at extending Pride beyond the parade. Inspired by Jacobs’ everyday outlook, the campaign features Jacobs along with a group of models and social media stars who are members and supporters of the LGBT community, all seen wearing @marcbeauty’s Highliner Gel Eye Crayons in colors of the rainbow. Head to our Instagram stories to see close-ups of the liner. #wwdbeauty
Virgil Abloh’s dad Nee and Don Crawley, cofounder of RSVP Gallery, were some of the hometown crew at the Chicago-born designer’s debut show for Louis Vuitton. (📸: @jdiderich ) #wwdmens #louisvuitton #virgilabloh
About last night: @marycharteris and @adwoaaboah hit up Hyde Park for the Serpentine Galleries’ annual summer party held in partnership with @chanelofficial. Head to WWD.com to see more photos. #wwdfashion
“This is Paris, my first show. I’m all about democracy. If some kid shows up, flew from New Jersey to just be around, let’s get him a seat.” — @virgilabloh tells WWD’s @jdiderich ahead of his first show for @louisvuitton men’s. (📸: @alfredo_piola ) #wwdmens #virgilabloh #louisvuitton
“Kate Spade was a true fashion icon who brought joy to the lives of women around the world, and inspired women to live life to the fullest. We are dedicated to carrying on her legacy,” said Anna Bakst, brand president and chief executive officer of @katespadeny. The Kate Spade Foundation announced that it will be donating $1 million to suicide prevention and mental health awareness in tribute to the recent death of Kate Spade. Read more on WWD.com. #wwdnews (📷: @chinseephoto)
A first look at @virgilabloh’s sneakers for @louisvuitton. Abloh spoke to WWD about his debut collection for Louis Vuitton, creating @kendalljenner’s #metgala outfit and redefining the heritage brand. Read the full story on WWD.com. #wwdfashion 📷: @alfredo_piola)
The world’s largest producer of denim @iskodenim is sharing the strategy behind its product development process. Read our full interview with ISKO’s product development manager Baris Ozden on the company’s extensive research practices, upcoming denim trends and the latest material innovations on WWD.com. #iskodenim