TURIN, Italy; March 23, 2021— The “AI 4 Fashion Trends” Challenge@PoliTo, hosted by Evo, an AI company with headquarters in London and Turin, Italy, and the Connection Lab and Innovation Kitchen (CLIK), an experimental learning lab for students at the Politecnico di Torino hosted within the Laboratorio Interdipartimentale di Trasferimento Tecnologico, has just concluded. Despite the closures and interruptions caused by Covid-19, teams successfully prototyped unique data-driven solutions to predict trends in the fashion industry—a goal made even more relevant by the turbulence in the industry caused by the pandemic.
Every semester, CLIK partners with companies to create opportunities for students to solve real problems from their industry alongside mentors from the company and the university. The “AI 4 Fashion Trends” Challenge@PoliTo was created out of a need for more accurate trend forecasting to increase sustainability and aid in planning and production processes at fashion companies.
“Forecasting fashion trends may seem like a superficial task, but it is a critical business need in the industry. Poor forecasts lead to inefficient use of resources, waste and financial losses in an industry that was hit particularly hard by the pandemic. We already have great tools in place to minimize waste in the supply chain, but our clients also need innovative tools to help predict demand during planning and development.” said Evo Founder and CEO Fabrizio Fantini.
This Challenge@PoliTo program started in October 2020 and, for the first time, was conducted almost entirely remotely. Students faced the unique challenge of solving a business problem while using new digital collaboration tools.
Even the final presentation of the students’ solutions in front of a panel of leaders in the fashion industry happened remotely. Students delivered their final proposals during a video conference in front of a professional jury comprised of representatives from Benetton, Boggi, Doppelganger, Efeso, Fashion Technology Accelerator, Max Mara, Miroglio, and Pittarosso. This jury assessed the proposed solutions for feasibility, practical use, and presentation quality. The jury found both teams that elected to participate in the final stage of the competition to exceed expectations.
“I was impressed by the professionalism of the CLIK participants. They delivered their Challenge presentations and fielded questions with a confidence and polish I rarely see among students. I am glad I was able to give my feedback and look forward to seeing what these students accomplish next.” said Christian D’Antoni, jury representative from Miroglio Fashion.
The jury ultimately chose a project by Daniele Plutino, Giusy Iaria, Leonardo Iannicella, Roberta Monna, and Alessia Suma, known collectively as the “Mind the Gap” team. Their project leveraged information from customer surveys to develop innovative forecasts based on previously unavailable data. However, all participating teams developed unique solutions to the “AI 4 Fashion Trends” Challenge that could be developed further into practical solutions to this persistent business issue.
“Evo has long served the fashion industry, so I’ve seen the difficulties they face in this area first-hand. Trend forecasting in fashion is not a problem with an easy solution, yet the Challenge teams did an impressive job of developing creative approaches and sourcing new data. We look forward to hopefully working with any of these bright students in the future.” said Fantini.
Evo is a leading London and Turin-based tech company that uses rapid-response Prescriptive AI for optimal daily supply chain and pricing decisions.
Since 2013, Evo has helped clients leverage Big Data to reduce waste, improve market efficiency, increase margin and deliver optimal decision-making. The system is based on the PhD of the Founder, Fabrizio Fantini, who introduced a new way to address the limits of traditional forecasting.
Evo Pricing has been featured by the Harvard Business School, won several prestigious awards, attracted scientific coverage and secured patents. Every day, their tools collect data on billions of people, commercial transactions, products and locations to build a unique data asset that enables accelerated learning and sustainable impact.