Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Big data may be fashion industry's next must-have accessory


Big data may be the next new thing to hit the fashion industry's runways, according to a team of researchers.

By analyzing relevant words and phrases from fashion reviews, researchers were able to identify a network of influence among major designers and track how those style trends moved through the industry, said Heng Xu, associate professor of information sciences and technology, Penn State.

"Data analytics, which is the idea that large amounts of data are becoming more available for finding patterns, establishing correlations and identifying emerging trends, is very hot these days and it is being applied to many industries and fields -- from health care to politics -- but what we wanted to see is if data analytics could be used in the fashion industry," said Xu. "We were drawn to the question of whether or not we could really trace a hidden network of influence in fashion design."

The researchers, who presented their findings today (December 18) at the Workshop of Information Technology and Systems in Auckland, Australia, analyzed 6,629 runway reviews of 816 designers from, formerly the online site for Vogue, one of the most influential fashion magazines. The reviews covered 30 fashion seasons from 2000 to 2014.

Xu said her team extracted keywords and phrases from these reviews that described silhouettes, colors, fabrics and other details from each designer's collections and added them to the dataset. The researchers then created an approach to rank the designers and map influences within the group.

To evaluate the accuracy of their model, the researchers compared their network against three industry-recognized lists of influential designers, including Times, Fashion Merchandising Degrees and A Celebration of the 20 Most Influential Designers, and found that it closely matched these lists.

"There is no one gold standard for the most influential designers, but we believe these are a good place to start a comparison," said Xu.

While professionals in many industries are welcoming data analytics, this type of analysis may meet some skepticism from fashion designers, who view their work as a form of art and more difficult to quantify, said Yilu Zhou, associate professor of information systems, Fordham University, who worked with Xu.

"But, what we are finding from the data is that we can find footprints -- there are clues -- that can be traced back to individual designers," said Zhou.

The researchers said the technology could one day help industry professionals to better predict fashion trends and identify up-and-coming designers.

"We all know the big designers now, but could we use this type of technology to find out who will be the next big fashion designer, the next Jason Wu, for example, and what the next big design trend is going to be?" said Zhou.

Xu said that the technology may also help consumers by helping them create wardrobes that are in their budget and are also in style.

"Buying from leading designers is expensive, but if you had information on what design elements were beginning to trend, it might help you buy the latest fashion more inexpensively," said Xu. "Also, designs do come back in style, so you could identify clothes that you may already have in your wardrobe to match the new styles."

Xu and Zhou, who also worked with Yusan Lin, their research assistant from the department of computer science and engineering, Penn State, said that they expect the technology to improve as data and data sources become more available.

Eventually, data scientists could analyze  real-time data from social media sites, such as Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram to predict fashion styles, Xu said.

Matt Swayne | EurekAlert!

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Next Generation Cryptography
20.03.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Sichere Informationstechnologie SIT

nachricht TIB’s Visual Analytics Research Group to develop methods for person detection and visualisation
19.03.2018 | Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB)

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Modular safety concept increases flexibility in plant conversion

22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News

New interactive map shows climate change everywhere in world

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>