Dressed by Data


We are all aware of the algorithms that monitor our online behavior and show banner ads for products and services that fit our individual profiles. This month however, Google has done one better. How does an algorithm that monitors your online activity and designs you a custom outfit sound?

The Data_Dress app uses Google’s Snapshot Awareness API that collects information on real-time activities such as location, weather and habits, as well as online activity such as planned events and product preferences. The information is gathered over a week and used to design personalized clothing. The user can even watch their clothing take shape over the course of the week as more activities are logged and data insights collected.


This is just the latest in bright ideas for algorithm data; from APIs that make grocery suggestions based on previous online purchases to music recommendations for playlists based on previous downloads. With features such as these in mind, is the possibility of a custom outfit designed by your phone really that strange?

Google suggests it isn’t. The Coded Couture project is the brainchild of Google’s partnership with Swedish online clothes store Ivyrevel, owned by global brand H&M. Ivyrevel, as with all online retailers, already employs algorithms to monitor customer’s purchase habits to suggest other items so this is simply taking things to the next level. Everything about the clothing, the material, shape, cut, color, detailing and sizing, will be specific to the ‘user’.

Ivyrevel co-founder Aleksandar Subosic commented: “To get a unique piece of clothing today you need to either buy a custom-made design piece or design it yourself, but that is generally not an affordable option. This clothing will be at an accessible price.” With the subject of pricing in mind, it’s no coincidence that the announcement was made at New York’s Fashion Week. Rather than expensive, couture items that reflect the personality of the designer or fashion house – these garments start from US$99 and promise to reflect the personality of the wearer.

If this sounds appealing, then you’ll be pleased to hear that Coded Couture will be available to the public by the end of 2017. By bringing “couture into the digital age”, Google is also showing retailers that they need to ‘think outside the box’ when it comes to data, algorithm applications and smart marketing. So the big question is: what’s next?

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