Stitch Fix letting algorithm design clothes

Designing clothes usually involves coming up with a concept, finding some inspiration, deciding what kind of silhouettes should be done, etc. Most brands don't start their design process with a computer algorithm. However, Hybrid Designs isn't most brands. The company uses an algorithm to predict what clothes customer will want to wear.

Hybrid Designs is the in-house brand of subscription fashion startup Stitch Fix. Their algorithm formula identifies viable gaps in their inventory to look for clothes that people would buy but a designer hasn't made yet. If something is missing from the market, they fill that gap with their own designs.

The algorithm works in a three step process. Step one recommends pieces that could be combined or used as a template for a new piece, step two suggests three different attributes to compliment the parents style and step three throws in something random to make the suggested style more different.

The old-school creativity isn't taken out of the design process though. The final product is still put together by human fashion designers, because an algorithm can't predict current seasons trends or other human tastes in fashion.

Stitch Fix has been seeing impressive growth over the past several years, especially among millennials who are considered the hardest market to capture. They have captured three percent of online sales among millennials according to Slice Intelligence.

“We can represent, minimally, 30 trillion different blouses, so the space of possible blouses is gigantic,” said Stitch Fix's director of data science Daragh Sibley to Quartz. “I would posit that humanity has made less than a million blouses.”