It is easy to be concerned about how technology may overpower society. This is especially true for processes like fashion design, which were created entirely by humans. What if technology was viewed as a tool that enhances and facilitates our work? Innovations allow us to concentrate on the most important parts of our jobs by allowing us to do more difficult tasks and sometimes going beyond human abilities. Fashion designers should have creativity.
Is human creativity able to stand on its own in a fashion brand?
Fashion design has always been an art-based industry that requires creative direction. Many brands still base their creative process on the designer’s “gut feeling”, customer feedback, and past sales history. This is in contrast to data-driven decision-making. This model might work for some but is it sufficient to meet consumer expectations?
Technological disruptions, fast-changing consumer behavior and rapid change are constantly reshaping traditional fashion industries. Established brands must adapt to avoid being left behind by digitally savvy newcomers.
McKinsey’s recent report reveals how the top industry players use data analytics in the early stages of production. This includes when they are developing concepts and planning collections. It is at the core of the creative process. However, less-performing competitors use the technology later and miss the chance to add solutions that could enrich the creative process.
Fashion design is an intrinsically creative industry. However, data analytics is essential to stay relevant and modernize in today’s changing fashion climate. Fashion brands need to embrace new solutions in order to stay relevant. Even though existing design processes are important, they no longer suffice.
Brands are at risk if they don’t have the right data solutions.
- Insufficient familiarity with their audience can lead to the loss of their community
- Lagged behind emerging trends
- Overstocking due to lack of awareness about consumers’ needs
- Neglecting the benefits of creativity can be a problem for brands.
Too much data and innovation: The downsides
Digital transformation is a promising opportunity for growth in fashion. There is ample evidence: many large-scale fashion companies have grown without any roots in creative output. Because some brands are now driven less by design than the market, Luxury brands that have a long history of craftsmanship values have shifted their focus from high-fashion, exclusive design to mass-produced trends in order to reach a wider audience.
This approach is logical, and there are benefits to following the market through only data analytics. However, it is incomplete. Creativity should not be diminished by adapting to digital innovations. Brands that rely too heavily upon market data risk losing their creative foundation. This is what differentiates them from their competitors and constructs their image in both the market as well as consumers’ minds.
Brands sometimes try to produce collections faster in order to compete with fast-fashion giants. This could lead to brands renouncing their brand identity. Many brands rely on data, but don’t have the time or resources to transform them into relevant, tailored insights. This prevents brands from achieving a balance between consumers needs and brand DNA.
How can brands navigate the data-driven world of brand marketing without losing their creativity? Mixing both is a way to achieve the perfect balance.
Combining creativity and data innovation can make a brand perfect
The digital revolution has wrought a profound transformation in creative practices. But, too much data and not enough creativity can have their downsides. Digital innovations can be embraced without compromising the brand’s identity. This is possible only by including them in the very early stages of the creative process.
Designers and their teams need to be able to integrate digital capabilities and creativity in order to strike the right balance. This is crucial for rational and precise decision-making in the design process.
Designers can access insights through data-driven creativity.
- You can better understand the market and anticipate consumer needs.
- You can predict the future trends and make better timing decisions.
- For a more efficient collection planning process and better demand assortment, validate their intuitions with quantitative data.
- Identify weaknesses and opportunities in your collections.
Analytics can be used by creatives to help overcome one of the biggest challenges for brands that are distributed globally: creating an assortment that is seasonal depending on where it is located. The needs of consumers vary according to the season, weather, place, and even social climate. When retailers expand internationally, seasonality becomes more difficult in different markets.
Designers can make use of data to learn about customer preferences and monitor seasonality to create a range that caters to local trends.
Data can also act as a bridge between businesspeople and creatives, breaking down boundaries and promoting experimentation and creativity.
A designer might want to create a new textile for his collection. Unfortunately, the cost of the material is higher than the average production cost. How can the designer prove that the garment will have a higher investment return and justify their intuition? It is easier for business people to accept and implement ideas when there is quantitative data to support their intuitions. This allows creatives to try new things without having to take a financial and wasteful risk.
Technology allows designers to strike the right balance between data and creativity. Designers can gain valuable insights from the market as it develops. This boosts creativity and allows them to experiment with a clear understanding of their audience’s requirements.
The boundaries between digital and real are becoming more fluid. This means that human practices will increasingly merge with technological innovations. The industry will see a significant improvement in its ability to adapt to the changing retail environment.
Data analytics can help foster creativity and not discourage it. The digital transformation of fashion should not be feared by creatives. Instead, they should look for opportunities to make their work more valuable. It’s been shown that creativity and data can co-exist. They can even complement each other.