- Virtual dressing room for easy browsing
- AI provides limitless fashion choices
FOR many people, one of the first experiences of the intersection of technology and fashion would have been in the iconic 90s film Clueless, when Cher Horowitz chose her outfit using fancy futuristic computer technology that seemed to know exactly what was in her wardrobe.
In today’s tech-enabled world, having a stylist in your pocket – in your mobile phone – is neither fantastical nor futuristic. Mobile app SuitApp is just that – an app that combines artificial intelligence and data science to provide users with fashion advice and an easy shopping experience.
Co-founder and COO Jen Grebenshchikova explains that the idea for an app where you could find a complete look and buy it came about after conversations with friends about the shared frustrations about wasting the weekend walking around shopping malls not knowing what clothes to choose, how to match items or whether something fits properly, and wishing there was someone there to give good fashion advice and opinions.
“Everyone has the same problems when shopping, whether online or offline. There is a lot of choice but it’s still difficult to find the appropriate items for your needs,” adds Elena Chuiko, SuitApp’s co-founder and art director.
“We thought ‘Wouldn’t it be great if I could just press a button and see an outfit that fits my body?’ That’s how the idea for SuitApp was born,” reveals Grebenshchikova.
Chuiko, Grebenshchikova, and third co-founder and CTO Vladimir Sinitcin are all from Russia – Siberia to be exact – but made the decision to launch in Southeast Asia, starting with Malaysia, because of the bigger opportunities in this region afforded by the fact that the e-commerce market is much more mature here than in Russia.
“The few online shopping websites in Russia are still struggling to generate revenue. There is also a problem with delivery because the country is so big. It is still too early for an app like SuitApp that provides styling recommendations and an online fitting room,” says Chuiko.
Launched in June last year, SuitApp, which is free to download, helps users shop online by providing outfit ideas that match their physique, style, and where they are going. The app uses both a powerful artificial intelligence and a few human experts as stylists.
Users create an avatar by uploading their measurements, and are able to specify their needs such as budget, colours, type of clothing and even occasion, so that the app can choose the most appropriate outfits, which includes everything from clothes to shoes and accessories.
There are two screens in the user interface. Chuiko explains that the first is similar to an Instagram feed, where users receive and view personalised outfits on a daily basis. The second is the user profile page where users can customise their avatars by uploading a picture of their own face, change the avatars hairstyle, add a hijab, and make adjustments to body measurements, among others.
Though the app chooses clothes that flatter the body type, based on the measurements uploaded by the user, the avatar currently does not reflect the true body shape as per the measurements. Chuiko says that by the end of February, the app will be updated to enable the avatar to look like the user in terms of physique, so users can really see what the clothes will look like on them.
Users can try all recommended outfits on their avatars in a virtual ‘fitting room’. If the user likes an item, he or she can just click ‘buy’ and the app will direct them to one of SuitApp’s e-commerce partners.
SuitApp partners with Zalora.com.my, Lazada.com.my and Farfetch.com; while the first two are Malaysia-based, Farfetch is a London-based fashion e-commerce platform that is able to provide SuitApp users higher-end choices.
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