Fashion 4.0, No. 16: The Lyst Index, Tech-Enabled Skincare & Bio-Nylon
The Lyst Index Q4 2019 was released today, revealing the Top 20 "Hottest Brands" as well as the Top 10 most searched for fashion items for men and women. To compile the results, the global fashion search platform analyzes the online shopping behavior of more than nine million shoppers a month searching, browsing and buying fashion across 12,000 designers and stores online. The formula behind The Lyst Index takes into account global Lyst and Google search data, conversion rates and sales, as well as brand and product social media mentions and engagement statistics worldwide over a three month period. In addition to Off-White and streetwear maintaining their popularity, insulated outwear, chunky footwear and knit accessories made the biggest upward moves. While Moncler's Maya jacket (pictured alongside Gucci's GG wool jacquard scarf) was #1 in the men's most-searched for category, a sustainable down coat, filled with recycled down and feathers, by H&M-owned brand Arket was ranked #10 for women.
DATA MEETS DERMATOLOGY
In other news, a new DTC skincare brand called Atolla, founded at MIT, received a patent for the process it uses to analyze customer's skin and create customized serums. Atolla leverages machine learning to deliver personalized skincare products using an individual's actual skin data. Launched in August 2019, it's a monthly $45 subscription service that includes a personalized serum, skin analysis kit and tracking via its mobile app. The personalizes serum combats a user's specific skin issues and concerns and as their skin changes over time, the serum will also adapt. The 10-minute skin analysis is done with strips that measure a customer's pH, oil and moisture levels. Customer's enter the data into the app to receive an instant analysis of their skin each month, no mail-in's required. The personalized products are then made fresh each month, using fewer preservatives and no parabens, phalates or sulfates.
A FUTURIST'S TAKE ON AI, AR & VR
One of our favorite fashion-tech writer, Vogue Business Innovation Editor Maghan McDowell, last week interviewed our friend and mentor, XPrize Foundation founder Peter Diamandis, who just released a new book, "The Future is Faster Than You Think." Among the insights he shared with Maghan, Diamandis predicts that the future of shopping will be “always on," thanks to ubiquitous augmented reality (AR). He also thinks that artificial intelligence (AI) is in position to streamline and personalize the process, while virtual reality (VR) shopping can be successful if it creates a more social experience. Variant's recent partnership with Intel to incubate interactive retail experiences at Las Vegas AREA15 mall is one part of that. In addition, Diamandis told Maghan that brands should prepare for far more data collection by asking the right questions and using AI to correlate more details. At Variant, we're putting that into practice by formulating a comprehensive questionnaire for prospective brand partners so we can find mutually beneficial ways to work together. Over time, the data gathered and analyzed by AI will also help us optimize our strengths and recognize where we can also improve upon our customers' experience .
BIO-NYLON MOVES CLOSER TO MARKET
Last but not least, exciting news in raw materials innovation: Genomatica, the San Diego-based clean manufacturing technology company, has produced the world's first renewably-sourced ton of the key ingredient for nylon-6. What does that mean exactly? Nylon is the world's first totally synthetic fiber to be made into consumer products such as apparel and carpet. It's a huge part of the manufacturing supply chain today (over 5 million tons of nylon-6 are produced each year), but its production is responsible for an estimated 60 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year, due in part to the fact that it's made with crude oil. Genomatica has developed a bio-based version of the chemical intermediate for nylon-6 by fermenting the sugars found in plants, and has partnered with European nylon giant Aquafil (makers of regenerative ECONYL®) to convert the intermediate into nylon-6 polymer chips and yarn for the commercial market.
“As proven by the success of ECONYL®, consumers and manufacturers look forward to opportunities to play an active role in the circular economy,” said Giulio Bonazzi, Chairman and CEO of Aquafil. “Visionary companies like Aquafil are delighting customers and gaining market share through more sustainable products,” said Christophe Schilling, CEO of Genomatica. “This is another example of Genomatica applying the power of biology to rethink how widely-used chemicals can be made a better way."
As always, thanks for reading and please keep following us to learn more about what innovators are doing to push fashion forward in the new decade.
The Variant Team
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