In March of this year, the website, Glossy, reported that an intersection between fashion brands and generative artificial intelligence (AI) was on the way. The website said AI would take production personalization to the next level for shoppers while also elevating visual merchandising capabilities for brands. According to Glossy, “Its uses are already valuable and vast, spanning marketing, engineering, and immersive experiences.”
AI and Fashion – Meet the Clothing Brand Aiming to be in the Lead of AI Usage
Finesse is a clothing brand that was founded back in 2019. The company also plans to be in the lead when to the evolution of AI in the fashion world. In 2021, the founder of Finesse, Ramin Ahmari, told a reporter, “I call it Zara meets Netflix. Finesse is all about using data to reduce the tons of waste in fashion.”
The company promotes itself as “the first AI-driven fashion house” that uses weekly votes from website visitors to “determine what to produce and exactly how much to produce of that style.’ Finesse stated that its goal is to avoid product overproduction as well as eliminate waste by “hyper-optimizing the fashion supply chain.”
The voting process takes place on their website and their social media accounts. During another interview, a Finesse representative said, “During those votes, consumers decide what makes it into the final production pipeline and also give us additional feedback on what they would like us to change about the garments presented. We only produce what our customers have voted for.”
There have been some fashion fans who question whether or not Finesse can actually make these clothing designs after the voting process since the creation of clothing needs a sample. Finesse responded to this criticism by saying they create samples using 3D rendering as a way to be sustainable. “Traditional fashion houses create a myriad of physical samples at each step and, by doing so, create tons of fabric waste. Our 3D process is not only more sustainable but also more time-efficient.”
AI and Fashion – How Does Finesse Produce Their Garments?
Finesse says that each of their garments is produced by manufacturers “with whom we have long-standing relationships.” These Chinese and Turkish manufacturers “report to us on ethical working conditions [and] ensuring fair wages.” The company added that their practice of leveraging “proprietary machine learning models coupled with consumer voting data to predict both trends and demanded quantities” means their garment production saves money by being “hyper-accurate” and not overproducing any clothing.
They also referenced accusations against their company by saying, “The claims that these garments cannot cost $46 or otherwise have to leverage child labor or come at a sacrifice are categorically false.”
There have also been accusations of Finesse being nothing more than a “drop-ship” company that also “steals” the latest fashion trends. One Twitter user mentioned that she viewed several videos that featured influencers being disappointed with the fit of their garments from Finesse. Some of these influencers even claimed the products did not match the photos they originally viewed on the Finesse website.
The tweet read, “The reviews when I looked it up, it’s just a drop shipping company posing as a futuristic fashion haus. All they do is use “what you vote for” to determine which trend they’ll steal, buy it from AliExpress and up the price to give the allusion of a luxury experience.”
AI and Fashion – What is Drop Shipping?
In general, drop shipping is when a brand or store does not keep their products in stock. Instead, the store or brand buys them from a third party and then sends them out. This allows the overhead costs to be lower for the store or brand while also allowing them to offer customers a wider range of products without having to experience any type of financial risk.
Finesse has been accused of buying items from a fast-fashion online retail service that is based in China. They are also suspected of increasing the prices of these items and then shipping the merchandise to their customers.
As of the writing of this article, Finesse has denied they are a drop shipping company. “We think a reason why people might confuse us with a drop shipping company is that some of our packages are sent directly from our warehouse in China.”
In addition, Finesse was asked about the perceived similarities between dresses that are advertised on their website and dresses that are sold by other clothing and fashion brands. According to Finesse, the company is “driven by consumer tastes, consumer votes and widespread public trends and interests that, at times, converge. Finesse’s prints and patterns are owned by Finesse and developed by Finesse in conjunction with our data.”
It remains to be seen if their publicized use of AI in their design process will be enough to help Finesse avoid any additional comparisons and controversies in the future.