Intelligent fashion: Alibaba and GUESS join forces for New Retail

Alibaba Group and GUESS Inc have collaborated to bring together artificial intelligence (AI) and fashion retail.

GUESS’ retail knowledge and latest collections will come together with Alibaba’s AI and other technology developments to form a New Retail venture, with the FashionAI project described as ‘an initiative to give shoppers a glimpse of what the future of fashion retail will look like’.

On 5th July, the pilot FashionAI concept store will be launched on the campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The store aims to provide a better retail experience for shoppers and will use analytics to help brands be smarter in ordering and maintaining inventory.

The store is to feature smart racks and mirrors as well as technology-infused fitting rooms. Alibaba’s FashionAI system will underpin all the new stores as part of the concept, allowing users to mix and match outfits and obtain accessory suggestions from the GUESS line as well as other items included on the Tmall and Taobao websites.

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Luxury fashion brand GUESS is already a partner of Alibaba, having launched its Tmall store in 2013 and achieved more than 100% growth over the past three years on the platform. Since 2016, GUESS is said to have been a close collaborator with the Alibaba New Retail concept, implementing O2O concepts in its stores.

GUESS’ CEO for Greater China, José Blanco, has said: “By partnering with Alibaba, a dominant technology leader, we are changing the retail experience as our customers always evolve. It is important that we continuously invest in new technologies and platforms.”

He added: “This entire project came together in just five months thanks to a strong partnership between our two companies. At GUESS, we believe in the need to innovate in real time. We plan to extend this project in the region as the future of retail.”

Alibaba Group’s Vice President Zhuoran Zhuang was equally enthusiastic about the new venture. “GUESS and Alibaba share the same vision to understand customer behaviours through technologies,” he said. “With GUESS’ retail expertise, we are able to train and refine our FashionAI system, and marry technology with fashion in a way that’s never been done before. We are looking forward to deepening our partnership to innovate personalised services offered in retail.”

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