The future/ How technology will rule fashion

Analyzing real-time data from social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram could one day help predict fashion trends and possibly identify next celebrity designers, researchers say. “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 University.

Her team analyzed 6,629 runway reviews of 816 designers from From all these reports which covered 30 fashion seasons from 2000 to 2014 the researchers extracted keywords and phrases that described silhouettes, colors, fabrics and other details from each designer’s collections creating a rather amazing database. Then they created an approach to rank the designers and map influences within the group.

When they compared their network against three industry-recognized lists of influential designers and found that it closely matched these lists it was a hit. Their model to predict who is in and and out, what is old and what is new, worked.

Of course, while many 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. “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 and what the next big design trend is going to be?” he added. Welcome to the future where everything is predictable.

All images by Steven Klein, The Final Frontier for Vogue USA via here