Written by Ksenia Rundin

    Do you remember the enchanting plot and exuberant intrigues of the American television soap opera ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’, taking place around the Forrester family and their fashion business? At the beginning of the 1990s, when I just became a teenager, I could not help but admire the geometric elegance of the opulent suits and accessories, exquisitely worn by treacherous Stephanie Douglas and diligent Brooke Logan. The chic boldness of meticulously organised scenography interior designs that bestowed the intimate feeling of glamour, created a true moment of experience with each new scene. Nevertheless, my avid curiosity about those peculiar details, which practically held the dramatic and cultural frame of the whole story, had never been satisfied.

    Today, twenty years later, Tagflix comes with a revolutionary solution, enabling people to find things they desire in any video through a simple touch of the digital screen. Being sincere visionaries of their time, the Tagflix team, - similar to da Vinci, once carefully sketching out his flying machine, modelled after the anatomy of birds and bats, - by following the spiritual anatomy of the human desire and curiosity, bring people and knowledge together in a video format. While, in an unobtrusive way, serving a consumer with the information on details presented in a video, the company simultaneously creates a vitally important analytical data for the brands engaged. Thus Tagflix conceives a bilateral communication tool with immediate intellectual effect. Providing the consumer with knowledge and thus enabling one to keep the freedom of choice in place, Tagflix’s invention helps different brands to uphold the democracy of consumption and to discover new markets. The company makes the future happen today by bringing the past ahead, visualizing the knowledge and marrying the latter to the moment of creative experience.

    Discovering new potential of the video as a source of information and communication, the Californian team create a totally new ecosystem, which brings the consumer onto the intellectual arena of the marketing communication and turns her into an equal player. It is a silent way to market the goods and services, where the consumer bases the decision on an intellectual experience. Hence, leading our discussion back to the cult series of the early 1990s, we would today be able to learn about screenwriting, fashion and design, art and film history by simply putting our index finger towards the item we are curious about on the screen. Furthermore, the discovered knowledge can also be shared with friends through social media channels, what also opens up for new interactions such as communities, where consumers can exchange their interests and passions, learning from each other and creating new discourses.

    This summer, Odalisque Magazine met one of the co-founders of Tagflix, Marcus Ehrenblad in Stockholm and talked with him about the company, sustainability, luxury and their plans for the future. Seemingly, the time for creating a new type of consumer, who makes own decisions and takes responsibility for those, has come.

    The concept of Tagflix derives from the avid consumers of online video, who created a certain consumer-for-consumer product. Could you describe the main stages of your establishing process from the moment you first came up with the idea of creating Tagflix till the day you could present a complete product for the market?
    My co-founder Tim and I initially started another company that did crowd equity funding that we did not pursue due to very restrictive US license laws. That same week Tim and I were having a drink and watching TV at my place trying to work out what to do next. It was then, when I saw a really cool shirt on TV and pointed this out to Tim and he picked up the remote, pointed it at the screen and said as a joke, ‘I just bought it for you!’ That is how it all started. As two tech nerds, we asked ourselves, ‘How could you actually make that work?’ We thought it was going to be simple, but it was not, yet five years on we are now sitting here with you having this exact discussion.

    We realised that we had to put the video content and audience first by making the experience unobtrusive and remove annoying ads or gamification that seemed to be happening in the industry.  Therefore we had to take a completely new approach that would enable a better, more natural user experience that focused on discovering the things people loved in video, and also give brands and publishers the deep insights they needed to be successful and improve their content.

    How will you accomplish to stay unique with your invention and protect yourself against IP-infringement?
    We are fortunate to have some of the most passionate designers and engineers I've ever worked with on our team. Aside from being very easy to work with, their drive to exceed expectations pushes us to solve problems in unique ways. Pairing that with a reputable Intellectual Property Rights firm, we were able to patent our flagship user experience as well as the Video Graph backend technology.

    Behind the scenes is where it gets really interesting. We connect all many stakeholders in the value chain and combine the data (from viewers, publishers, advertisers, agencies, brands, product placement companies and ecommerce providers and content creators). This not only creates never before available insights to brands, it also allows us to form a complete ecosystem. We want others to build on top of our core technology, so that we become the industry standard. We believe this will provide a good barrier to entry and build a very interesting business.

    What impact do you think the Tagflix program will have on the brand equity of the luxury segment companies within the fashion industry?
    That is a great question and the answer is twofold. Firstly, we have created the ability to measure the impact of products and brands in video content, so that it can then be managed and improved over time. Secondly, we see a future where normal TV ads are disappearing as well as pre-rolls and mid-roll ads (interstitials) in favour of more Netflix style viewing. In essence, obtrusive video ads will decline overtime as a percentage of views. This means brands need to expose themselves elsewhere and through Tagflix they can do this while also being able to measure such exposure more accurately than ever before. With access to such data, brands are able to make better content decisions at creation stage. For fashion, it means we can better tailor clothing for the content being produced. No pun intended.

    We also believe it has a positive impact as larger brands have all told us that mono branded content as well as conventional advertising mediums are really struggling to reach their target audience. We provide deep consumer insights that tell brands which demographics are actively engaged in terms of brand uplift as well as social shares and whom are selling their products in which categories of videos.  The net effect is that brands can now measure the competitor landscape including share of voice inside videos.

    Do you think that by offering Tagflix – an omni-channel marketing strategy tool for your customers, you might create a challenge for such intermediators as influencers/bloggers by making their services redundant?
    On the contrary, Tagflix provides an additional revenue stream for influencers and bloggers. I would like to believe we are adding to their toolset and already see some vloggers as early adopters. Through Tagflix insights, they can demonstrate to brands the value they bring. The platform tools and metrics also help them optimise their campaign performance - all delivering more value to their brand clients, and differentiating from the competition. The Tagflix toolset only compliments bloggers and influencers as they publish smart videos across social platforms consumed by a more targeted audience.

    Influencers are also under huge pressure to prove their value is authentic, as brands become increasingly sophisticated and aware of ‘fake followers’. Given Tagflix measures all video interactions, it makes this much more difficult to fake, similar to how a capture code requires interaction by a real human user to proceed. The platform can detect patterns of usage which are more robotic verses those that are more authentic, and only the authentic interactions are considered.

    Does Tagflix contribute to the circular economy and the field of sustainability?
    Sustainability is actually one of our core values at Tagflix. We are in this for the long term as indicated by our persistence over the last five years. For a marketing industry worth $550B, there are inefficiencies we have identified and working on optimising as part of our strategy.

    How do you store all the data collected on customer behaviour and audience interactions? Who is responsible for that data?
    At a high level and like most tech start-ups these days we leverage the full benefits of the cloud. We take a best of breed approach favouring the right tools for the right job, so our data does not necessarily sit in the same place all the time. All our partners are GDPR certified and we take extra precautions to pseudo anonymise our data and have strict controls for reporting. We ensure our reporting data can never be tied back to specific users.

    Are you considering to enter new markets, for instance the art field or the educational field?
    Yes, eventually. Our value proposition is to allow users to discover anything within video whether it's a commercial product in a music video or information about something they have seen like a piece of art or an animal in a documentary. This however needs to be rolled out in stages and managed very carefully. If we claim to be able to document everything in every video on day one, then it is very difficult to keep that promise to our users. Given we are a big data company, data drives our strategy and we intend to do the same when considering new markets, partners and audiences as they become available. The ultimate goal is to become the de facto standard for video metadata, and so far we are on the right track. We happen to be focused on fashion, music and the arts at the moment.

    Are you engaged into any charity projects?
    Not yet but are very excited about any prospects of getting engaged with such projects. Another core value we embody is persistent problem solving and are definitely keen to work out other ways our technology and data can help, be it charitable or major world problems.

    We can also add our clients desired charities to Smart Video to help drive audience engagement and donations. This will really help charities raise their profile, and build stronger associations with the brand and business partners. This is a great way for business to build loyalty with their audiences.

    Could you name any interesting projects you are engaged into within fashion field?
    Real-time product tracking of livecast catwalks is something we are exploring and considering as an exciting prospect. The introduction of the Smart Video dashboards, and the audience insights that accompany them, will have a massive impact on how fashion brands understand what products work within video and with who. Allowing them over time to make video content better, and even help them understand what designs their audiences are interested in - this may even impact what makes it to shelves. 

    Artificial intelligence (AI) and the digital field as such are constantly evolving and changing areas. Do you practice foresight and trend spotting in your company in order to stay relevant on the market? For example future- and customer-oriented prioritisation of innovative ideas, product innovations or process innovations?
    In general, we are highly customer focused. AI is a fantastic tool to give our customers a better experience, and when something better comes along, you can bet our team is exploring it. As it turns out, when you aim to best serve your customer, the side effect is that you remain relevant. Looking outwards at the competition and trend spotting has its merits, however coming back to sustainability discussed earlier, we know there will always be times we are ahead of the competition and at other times they will be ahead of us. That is the game every business plays with each other everyday. What is in our control, is our team's ability to hire the right talent that share our value of exceeding expectations and delivering the best outcomes for our customers.

    How in such a case do you engage in foresight on the managerial level?
    In this very new space we have created, it is very difficult to predict what will happen or be needed in the future. We rely on our data to give us hints as to what market shifts are taking place and explore options as a management team from there. For example, the insights we provide about what products and designs are resonating most with viewers of fashion shows may have a significant influence on what designs make it off the catwalks and onto high street shelves, but until we try it, no one can predict the impact. The good news is, our platform is designed just for measuring such cases and has the ability to tie every engagement back to the original investment.

    Do you have any managerial strategy for it?
    This is part of our DNA as a data driven tech company and see this process as part of a continuous feedback loop from users, clients and our people within the company.

    How do you communicate results?
    We provide real time dashboards to our clients and they are able to see the performance and insights from a video nearly immediately.

    How do you evaluate efforts?
    It highly depends on the situation and what it is we are evaluating. For a product, we typically we use a/b testing approaches whereby some of our customers chosen at random will see one design and the remaining another. If feedback for the second design is more positive, we go with the second implementation. Sometimes you get a mix of good and bad from both datasets, and then we take the best bits and trial a third revised option. We also like Simon Sinek’s method of always starting with the Why, then How and lastly What. In our customer centric model, we typically pursue a project or task if the why makes sense first.


    Written by Ksenia Rundin

    In the heart of Stockholm's heritage neighbourhood, Östermalm sits the young and bold fragrance service brand, Sniph who has dropped its entrepreneurial anchor on the fragrance scene. Sniph’s courageous and resolute innovators Lisa Kjellqvist and Tara Derakshan, have turned consumers’ perception of the perfume world upside down, creating their own digital rules based on an intellectual approach and passionate curiosity. The word ‘perfume’ comes from the Latin pro fumum, ‘through smoke’, and was originally reserved for the Gods. Today you can turn into your own connoisseur in your personally and uniquely tailored fragrance wardrobe. By choosing Sniph, you also become a member of a community, where you both develop you scent taste and build up your personal exclusive knowledge of fragrances, navigated by two tactful and sharp consultants.

    Essentially, the brand is a fragrance discovery service, assisting its customers to choose a suitable scent to wear. Sniph’s vision is to bring magnificent fragrances to peoples’ lives and help them to find a personal exploration into their own unique fragrances. When it concerns clothes, there are a few established concepts how to adapt your wardrobe to your lifestyle and to create a mood. Meanwhile, the expression “perfume wardrobe” sounds unfamiliar to the majority of us. Accordingly, Tara and Lisa want to simplify the whole process and help their customers find a wide range of incredible fragrances, which they otherwise would probably not have been able to discover on their own.

    The service costs SEK 159 (15€) per month, which includes an 8 mL perfume that is delivered in a sleek black case, which is easy to carry around in your handbag. One month is a time period considered reasonable for a person to discover whether they like a particular fragrance or not. Consequently, one needs to spend a bit more time with a fragrance than just to try it once in a store or as a tiny take home sample, before one can make up their mind. Lisa and Tara have chosen an optimal way to create suitable preconditions for making a valuable choice, at the same time liberating their customer from the time-consuming and painstaking decision making process. The fascination with fragrance is located in our senses, which are connected to the memory and feelings. Sniph’s aim is to create an experience connected to positive emotions whereby making their customers happier. They democratize fragrance as a service, creating a prefect matchmaking for the customers, whom are both men and women, constituting approximately 30/70.

    Do you think fashion of fragrance exists?
    Tara: Niche perfumes is a hot issue today. That could be considered fashion, where distinction – when you do not smell like anyone else – is the key.
    Lisa: Due to their special nature and function, fashion magazines such as Elle and Harper’s BAZAAR through their editors have to talk trends to their readers. It conceives a certain constructed perfume trend responding the readers’ consumer needs. At the end of the day it is about what you as a customer appreciate.

    Paris has always been considered as the capital of fashion. What is the capital of fragrance?
    Lisa: It is also definitely Paris. However, some people have historical and cultural connections to Grasse as a capital of perfume. Paris is where all the perfume business activities are taking place today.

    How do you stay update with latest fragrance trends? Are there any trend reports? Do you spot your own trends?
    Lisa: Fragrance trends are not that fast as, for example, fashion trends. There are no clear tendencies such as striped or spotted. It is about reading a lot, reading different blogs and national and international forums. You should also keep an eye on what is going on with the big brands, such as Gucci and Saint Laurent and such conglomerates as L’Óreal. Some big important trends can really be spotted there as a result of their expensive marketing campaigns. Nevertheless, we are more concerned with interpreting the current mood of our community members and how to create a good experience for them by choosing a right fragrance for the moment. Hence, we are not that trend-sensitive, seeing from the customer-oriented point of view. We prioritize the fragrance as such in relation to the concrete customer, putting the trends on the second place.
    Tara: We choose fragrances which are unique and peculiar aiming at the clientele, who are looking for a certain niche, desiring to smell different, avoiding Tax Free stores and daring to be different. They are searching to create a curated selection for a structured life. We ask for reviews on every fragrance we choose for our consumers in order to structure our products mainly based on their preferences and what they like and what they don’t like. This is also how we constantly improve our choices.
    Lisa: We definitely keep our finger on the pulse when it comes to the perfume trends by for instance looking at the top lists of the popular shopping malls and by participating in different fragrance fairs.
    Tara: The format the fragrance is presented by is a no-logo format, where the fragrance as such is the core part. Our aim is to introduce a perfume you really like and can experience without being affected by the logo or any market trends.
    Lisa: The format makes that you might have some scent left by the end of the month, what creates an opportunity for you to build up a fragrance wardrobe. It might also minimize the importance of the trends, giving you an opportunity to use your scent when you find it suitably based on occasions or emotions.

    What fragrance would you today recommend to Winston Churchill? To Wallis Simpson?
    Lisa: For Winston Churchill I would recommend a fragrance called ‘Fortis’ – a completely black liquid, telling a story of reincarnation, when you have lived a significant part of your life in one way and suddenly decide to radically change it. It turns sweet after a while, what would be a perfect match with the cigar smoke. It would fit his character, I think. Concerning Wallis Simpson, I would recommend ‘Remarkable People’ by Etat Libre d’Orange.

    Your concept reminds me of wine tasting concept based on the sensory examination and evaluation of the product as such.
    Lisa: Exactly! And we have empirical evidence that supports that, as we have performed quite a few fragrance testing occasions, especially in the beginning of our business activity. We were very interested in the perception as such, behind the brand affection. Before the brand of a tested scent was disclosed, one out of ten participants would probably like the smell, while others would compare the latter to an air freshener. After they discovered that the fragrance actually was from a well-known brand, the perception would evidently start changing for the better. Apparently, the brand has a great effect on your choice of scent.

    Do you consider SNIPH to be an influencer in the fragrance market? Why yes/no?
    Tara: Absolutely. An influencer is a source of inspiration for others or people might simply rely on his/her choice. This is what we constantly work with in order to make our members see us as experts within the perfume field and consequently, let us make a choice for them. We want our customers to trust us and our expertise.
    Lisa: The utmost goal is to offer an incredible service concept, offering a club-member feeling for our customers. Nevertheless, we are also a distribution channel for the perfume manufacturers, what also turns us into influencers in relation to them. We tell them what sells and what des not for our customers in Sweden or in England.
    Tara: Yes, it becomes a marketing distribution channel for the perfume brands as we choose them, similar to influencers picking a clothing brand and telling others that it was good. The products we have in our shelf are considered by us to be the best and we share that consideration with our members, who rely on our choice asking “What’s the latest?”
    Lisa: We always send ratings and feedback to the brands we collaborate with, sharing our experience and thoughts concerning their products. We find it very exciting!

    Do you think there are any bigger differences in marketing of fashion and marketing of scent fashion?
    Lisa: Big brands invest a lot of money, marketing their fragrances and putting big billboards on buildings and similar. Meanwhile, you would never see an YSL tuxedo suit being exposed to marketing in the same way – it would never be hanging on a billboard outside but rather connected to a luxury area surrounded by a concrete storytelling. So, there is a big difference.
    Tara: All those traditional roles are changing now, what might affect perfume and fashion advertising as well.

    Do you sell fragrances or a service concept?
    Lisa: We would say, it divided equally – 50 percent is the product and 50 percent is the service.
    Tara: We want to offer the same quality of service as you were attending a physical store. Therefore everything is carefully curated to make you choice as natural as possible.
    Lisa: At the same time you avoid the personal contact with a seller that usually makes you feel slightly obliged to purchase a product. Everything is according to your own rules. You set up the conditions for your purchase. No stress at all.

    As a fragrance retailer you are a middleman between consumers and fragrance brands/ producers, shouldering two different roles and solving two different problems from the marketing point of view, aren’t you?
    Tara: Yes. We introduce perfume brands to a new audience, while keeping a direct contact with our members, looking for new exciting fragrances. Hence, we send new scent samples to our members with fragrances they otherwise would never have discovered by themselves. Simply said, we market the perfume brands by introducing those to new potential consumers. On the other side, we have consumers, who might not have time and/or money to engage themselves into the perfume issue. So, we bring new exciting brands to them.
    Lisa: We match consumer with a right fragrance. Matchmakers!

    Could you describe your logistic chain from a consumer clicking its choice till the black box arrives at the door?
    Lisa: Leaving some parts of our logistic chain aside, we could note that the size of the box is well-calculated to fit your mail drop. We have personal contact with all the brands prior to collaboration, what is quite unique. We visit them while we are in Paris or during different perfume fairs. We look at their values and visions, wear their products on skin, make our choice and categorize it in accordance with our six collections based on lifestyle preferences, such as trendy or classic. The month you have subscribed for our service, we pick a fragrance for you, which we have already bought in a bigger bottle. We decant it for you into a little glass bottle placing the latter into a smart case. And the whole packaging process takes place at our office in Stockholm. We post it usually the same day you have placed the order, so you can have it the day after. Two weeks later you are given the opportunity to rate the perfume and let us know what you think. All the information is saved in your digital fragrance wardrobe, what also gives you an opportunity to get to know yourself a bit more.

    Do you keep an eye on the scientific part of the fragrance issue?
    Lisa: There is a rather narrow scientific data around olfaction (chemoreception that forms the sense of smell) specifically connected to fragrances. There are still unexplored corners because the connection to the cognitive aspect is very strong making it difficult to separate this particular field. I have interviewed both neuroscientists and researchers at the Stockholm School of Economics and they all consider this field to be very complicated in many aspects. Some experiments concerning the ability to perceive different smells have been performed in Great Britain.
    Tara: Back in the days when as a rule no fragrances were available, you paired yourself based on compatible body scents. Today, we cover our natural smell with a lot of synthetic scents. When you want to buy a perfume, you may opt for a Tax Free shop while travelling. While in the shop, you see different perfumes without having any idea what they contain. You smell those, staying otherwise quite passive in your purchase. Meanwhile, we, after having looked through those aspects, want to educate our consumers in fragrance.
    Lisa: As linguistic nerds, speaking a few languages, we understand that the ability to express yourself within a certain area is directly proportional to your vocabulary in the field. If one cannot describe a taste of wine in established terms, it might feel quite awkward for both oneself and for the audience. We want to supply our consumer with the right linguistic tool as well, to make the experience feel complete.
    Tara: Our consumers start reading the texts the perfume bottles are supplied with; they might buy a whole bottle of fragrance they liked but the curiosity never dies. They become a kind of their own connoisseurs in their own world, like a sub-culture on its own.

    How does your business model fit in the circular economy model?
    Lisa: Our product dimensions make it easy to transport the boxes, what is a precondition of the shared economy. Our members have themselves created a Facebook group, where they share their experiences and exchanging the products with each other. In such a way, they are building a circular service on their own, what is amazing. Our sample-sized bottles give our customers opportunity to try a perfume without committing to the full cost of the product.


    Written by Ksenia Rundin

    Fashion, digitalization and sustainability are connecting people more frequently today than ever before. Everyone is concerned about how the future will look like and where our consumption will carry us. Amanda Parkes has her scientific and industrial meanings around sustainability, high-tech textiles, artificial intelligence and future of fashion as such. In May 2017 she stepped into the role of chief innovation officer at Fashion Tech Lab, founded by Miroslava Duma as a new hybrid venture that is part investment fund, accelerator and laboratory. In June Fashion Tech Talks invited Amanda Parkes to Stockholm as one of the speakers, where she shared her ideas about building a sustainable material culture and producing smart fibres. While attending the conference, Odalisque Magazine could have a thought-provoking interview with Amanda, asking her a few questions concerning different aspects of the future of fashion.

    Could you please tell whether Future Tech Lab is a profit or non-profit organisation and what is your role in it?
    It is a for-profit organisation. The company is designed to be kind of disruptive to the industry and to move it forward. One of the pillars is the investment fund which is a start-up within sustainable and innovative textiles and broad section of that moving interactively. The second pillar is the agency, where we work with clients, helping them with sustainable innovation strategy, as well as connecting them to start-ups. Thus, we are a bridge builder in that way. And we are also building a brand through our experimental labs, working on creating showcasing fashion products by using alternative and interesting sustainable textiles. My role is chief innovation officer, steering innovation processes across those three pillars, trying actually to be quite fluent with that, and I also do a lot of public speaking.

    Do you think, we can reach the “zero-waste” goal by continuing to consume in the same way as we are doing now?
    It is such a complicated question starting with asking what the definition of “zero waste” is and how you measure and analyse zero ability in general. It is kind of a part of the industry having to work together in order to really define those metrics and try to understand those, because what might be good and sustainable in one place is not the best solution in another place. In terms of the consumption aspects, I think, it is quite interesting to hear arguments on different sides. First of all, if we stay at the same level of consumption, while the population of the world is increasing, is that sustainable or not? The ideas behind justifying our levels of consumption and growth are about if everything is circular, and it is going back in, then you can sort of justify fast fashion. Personally, I do not think that this is a fantastic justification, and I think that it is really more about the value system. The very nature of fast fashion and how cheap it is, is what really drives the mass consumption, because people can afford it. It is based on not a sustainable premise, meaning that someone is paying the price, whether it would be the environment for using harmful materials or humanistic ideas. Great part of it is not directly about consumption. The idea of the close meaning between what costs more is also to be valued more, would potentially hurt the environment.

    Isn’t that also a matter of ideology?
    Exactly. One thing is that we will never get rid of the fact that people want to use fashion as a language for personal expression and as a way to create identity. We are not going to change the idea that people want newness in their lives. That is really the fact of the fashion and sort of a point of the latter. I think, from that angle we should not be trying to get rid of it. What we should do is different battles, where you can have newness that is not just a value of clothing, things like rental systems, sharing systems, reclaim. Just all those kinds of notions that look different to the models.

    How do you think the notion of luxury might change due to the presence of artificial intelligence (AI). In particular, I am concerned about the aspect of heritage, when we today producing new things and later reproducing those, basing our references on them? Do you think the element of heritage can lose its actuality as a component of the luxury concept?
    It is definitely not going to disappear. And even in the short term, AI is going to have very little effect on luxury, because there is a lot of AI predictive analyses saying that the latter is transitioning very rapidly, what is closely tight to fast fashion. Meanwhile, luxury has always been a kind of classic and scarce, when a brand for example makes a certain number of a particular bag model and people are hunting them. Hence, you are not really fighting access in this case. In an interesting way, luxury is actually quite sustainable, because the goods are certainly pretty expensive due to their good quality including arts and crafts. Thus, people can use them in a longer period of time. In this sense, luxury is very satisfying for the sustainability goals. However, potentially new materials might bring change into the concept of luxury also changing our way to view things like fur and leather. In the context of sustainability, it makes us reconsider the ecosystems around productions and materials. Is silk thread created of synthetic piles considered less valuable than the thread coming from a real spider? Where is a value system inside of that? What do people really care about in luxury? What is luxury with those new material? These things I find really interesting to discuss.

    It is pretty clear today that we need AI to handle all that huge amount of data we are producing and collecting on daily basis. How do you think we can avoid a kind of Blade-Runner society and who should have control over all the information?
    First of all, we need to differentiate between AI and algorithms that create the meaning among the data, because AI is really based on the supposition that it is trying to predict or know something. Whereas, if you are just talking about algorithms and the analyses of the data, what you want to be is neutral and unbiased. In the sense of having a data and analysis of what it means is of massive value. It is really a question with any new technology, when you have something, what you might call a “Wild West period”, before governments or any kind of legislator try to create any kind of policy. You can either have go-for-it attitude and see what people do and then create some laws in the back-end, what is much more destructive, or you can have a community itself with people, who are developing technology and be self-governing, saying, “Here is what we think we should be doing.” And, I think, the second alternative is something that is going a lot more in biotech in general, not just in the context of fashion and materials. I think, the people who are developing the technology are the best suited to create their own guiding rules. When decisions are to be made, I hope this is what will come in the place together with ethics, questioning not only the technical part but also asking why.

    What do you personally think will happen to the industry of trendspotting in future and will the gut-feeling still matter?
    Nevertheless, trendspotting is probably more about what people seeing on the streets. All the technology is actually about questioning what the humans are good at, what is very hard for machines to do. You can walk around the city and kind of scope the style of the city and get a feel for it. Would robots be able to do that? Even if it is a collection of photographs, there is something to be said about first of all physical attractiveness and trendspotting has a piece of that. And also an eye for style is one of the things that AI has not done right. When you look at two identical suits but one of them is luxury and one of them is very low quality, and you are able to see it. It could be about tiny tricks and cuts, what would be very hard to get for AI. You might get 95 percent with AI but the last five percent is the human eye and the essence of things. And also the creativity aspect is important here, because the influence trends have on us is not merely about science.