Amsterdam - “I’d like to make a prediction,” said Yoox Net-a-Porter CEO Federico Marchetti on Tuesday at the World Retail Congress. “Today we see labels like ‘British made’ or ‘Swiss watches.’ I think that one day we will see another label: 'made by humans'.” According to Marchetti, despite continual advancements in technology, the human touch will remain important to customers in the fashion industry.
Marchetti predicts that in the future people will likely be happy to pay more to know a garment has been made by a human - especially in the luxury sector. “I believe the success of luxury depends on striking the right balance between human and machine,” he said.
Since launching Yoox 20 years ago, Marchetti has pioneered online luxury and has made a name for himself as a disrupter within the fashion industry - a reputation he continues to uphold. In November, Yoox launched its AI-powered own-brand, 8 by Yoox, while in December, it introduced a new AI-powered virtual styling suite designed to help customers explore the Yoox catalogue with a 3D avatar.
So what’s next? Yoox Net-a-Porter is now launching direct shopping via Instagram on its platforms, Marchetti announced at World Retail Congress, and its future website will be completely personalized: each of its more than three million customers will one day see their own website with information, events, weather forecasts and calendars tailored to their needs.
’Nurturing human talent is a choice’
Despite the brand’s ongoing innovations, however - all of which are made possible with the help of technology - the human attention to detail in fashion is something that must be preserved, Marchetti said. “We have to make a choice to make a balance between human and machine, and this choice will only get harder as technology advances.” He concluded: “Luxury cannot be exclusively AI-created, drone delivered or 3D-printed. Nurturing human talent is a choice we all can make.”
World Retail Congress 2019 takes place in Amsterdam between 14-16 May and brings together some 1,400 attendees from 55 countries. Keep an eye on further coverage of the event from FashionUnited.
Photo credit: FashionUnited