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The Smart Retailer’s Guide to Success: Harnessing Gen AI in the Fashion Industry

This year, generative AI platforms like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard have gained popularity for their ability to create new content using algorithms that analyze and mirror existing data structures. However, other industries are beginning to leverage gen AI capabilities to reduce operational costs, optimize customer experience, and improve marketing efficiency.

With a current market size of $910M, the global fashion AI industry is projected to reach nearly $4B in revenue by 2027, at a CAGR of 42%. Despite its nascency, fashion retailers are already beginning to leverage generative AI to improve their businesses, and prospective AI users can learn from four fashion retailers who are on the cutting edge of AI use:

  1. ASOS – Virtual Influencers
  2. H&M – Supply Chain Optimization
  3. Zara – Business Optimization
  4. UNIQLO – Personalization

Mastering generative AI for your company is a difficult task. McMillanDoolittle is equipped with experts and strategists to help retailers and brands identify where to use AI and how to win with cutting edge technology. Contact Us if you would like to talk more about your growth opportunities.


In efforts to seamlessly blend virtual and physical realms, ASOS changed online shopping by implementing augmented reality. Developed in partnership with Israeli AR company Zeekit, The “See My Fit” technology allows customers to view a simulation of a product on different types of virtual models. Stemming from problems that arose related to the COVID-19 virus, this technology eliminates the need for models to shoot at physical studios.

The models can be customized by size and height so that customers can see exactly what the clothing would look like on a person of their stature. According to Zeekit CEO Yael Vizel, the outcome is that the dots are connected between “what you see when shopping and what you receive at home, giving customers more confidence in purchasing the products they love.”


To remain a leader in fashion, H&M employed AI algorithms to obtain data on fashion trends, make predictions to optimize the supply chain, and minimize unsold inventory. This technology captures information from search engines to analyze what customers are purchasing, store returns, and stylistic choices to adjust their inventory and cater to shoppers. Using these insights, the company modified its model to buy either more or less of certain items. Companies using AI to carry out a data driven approach are able to maintain a competitive edge and create more customer value, remaining a Hot-EST retailer.

By effectively leveraging insights on consumer preferences, H&M not only creates an elevated shopping experience, but also actively tackles greater concerns. With a keen focus on sustainability, the brand works to reduce waste and promotes responsible consumption.


Zara revolutionized the retail experience by introducing a new store concept, integrating augmented reality for shoppers. This innovative approach introduced AI mirrors equipped with radio frequency identification, which provided customers with personalized recommendations based on the products they are holding. Then, it allowed for them to virtually try on outfits, enabling a preview of how the garments would look before buying.

Chairman Pablo Isa states, “Our business model combines stores and digital seamlessly, and we are ready for the opportunities that this brings with current and new customers.” As other retailers follow suit, an evolution is anticipated in the way customers interact with brands and inform their purchasing decisions.


In 2022, Uniqlo created the UMOOD machine, a software that analyzes customers’ moods by tracking their brainwave reactions through a Neuro headset and recommending a t-shirt. To receive their recommendation, customers take a seat in the ‘UMOOD machine’ and watch a series of ten images and videos while their brainwave reaction to each stimulus is tracked. At the end, the responses are analyzed and the algorithm recommends a shirt that fits the customer’s mood.

Not only did the experience drive incremental store traffic and engagement, but UMOOD’s ingenuity captured worldwide media attention from authorities like CNET and Huffington Post. The additional 20+ million media impressions is valued at $1.1m and has solidified UNIQLO as a fashion retail innovator.

UMOOD machine

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The fashion retail industry is experiencing a paradigm shift with evolving technology and the integration of Artificial Intelligence. Machine learning algorithms work to assist customers, interact with shoppers, create virtual models, and predict consumer preferences. By harnessing the usage of AI in fashion, retailers have the chance to rise as leaders and stay ahead of the competition.

In this dynamic world with rapid advancements, it’s important to harness the movement to stay ahead of the game. At McMillanDoolittle, we have decades of experience leveraging the latest technologies to help retailers win. If your business is looking to succeed in the retail game, Contact Us for more information.

Carson Kotecki and Erin Suh

Carson Kotecki is a Rising Junior at Cornell University’s SC Johnson College of Business majoring in Applied Economics and Management. He is passionate about using business to assist underserved communities. He is a summer intern at McMillanDoolittle, providing support on internal digital strategy and external retail client work. Erin Suh is a sophomore at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. She's passionate about creating strategic plans to help businesses grow. She is a summer intern at McMillanDoolittle, and provides support on internal research analysis and external retail client work.

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