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Yoox Taps Artificial Intelligence to Design its Own-Brand

Yoox is closing the gap between artificial intelligence and good, old-fashioned human fashion sense.

Launched in Milan last week, 8 by Yoox is the Italian retailer’s new own-brand label that’s now on sale throughout the typical Yoox Net-a-Porter channels, joining other YNAP own-brands like Mr. Porter’s Mr. P and The Outnet’s Iris and Ink.

Nothing surface-level suggests that anything other than a human was involved in creating the collection—it’s smartly curated to appeal to Yoox’s high-end customer base, colorways are muted or neutral for fall and winter, the looks are versatile and the selections are essentials for the season, including T-shirts, jackets, coats, dresses, trousers and sweaters.

However, the whole offering was designed with the assistance of a specially-trained artificial intelligence that helped gather and analyze data to create a collection designed to tap straight into the heart of the Yoox shopper.

“This collection is a big step for Yoox. Our own label is a natural evolution and the fruit of our 18 years’ experience as a multi-brand fashion e-tailer with enhanced customer interaction. I think it also anticipates our industry’s future, where technology and fashion will be increasingly interlinked,” Yoox president, Paolo Mascio said in a statement.

8 by Yoox’s design team started by using tools powered by artificial intelligence to review content from social media and online fashion galleries that would appeal to key markets. That insight was combined with “predictive indicators into emerging lifestyle and style trends” and the data Yoox collected from its own online sales to create a mood board that provided the final inspiration for designers.

Although artificial intelligence didn’t design the entire collection from the top-down, it does represent a unique twist on design, a moment where the artistic motives of human beings are brought into relief by the machinations of a computer. Yoox claims that the brand is the first of its kind.

“We are always exploring the frontier between Human and Machine; it’s been part of our DNA since I invented Yoox in 1999,” said Mascio. “Today we are combining the latest artificial intelligence with the human spirit and creative talent of our design team.”

The collection was soft launched prior to the official release, which Yoox said was received positively. Now that the public knows the collection was created with the use of artificial intelligence, it will be worth watching to see whether its origins prove boon or burden.

8 by Yoox expects to launch its first Spring/Summer collection in January 2019.