WE/AR Blog Augmented Reality in Fashion: 13 Examples of Brands Using AR
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Augmented Reality in Fashion: 13 Examples of Brands Using AR

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By Oleg Boiko
13 min read
27.08.2021

Fashion revolves around creativity and brightness, and AR in fashion industry only brought these qualities closer to light. There is a reason why people who create clothing brands are called designers — design and the image of clothes matter to customers when they search for a new wardrobe upgrade. 

Research has shown that 80% of people pay more attention to what they see rather than Augmented reality in fashion industry immerses the items of industry brands into the real-life environment to allow customers to visualize better how they can be used in their reality. And the AR fashion use is not limited to that. Fashion brands use the technology so that customers can try products on virtually, discover more about their packaging and contents, and go through the experience of buying the item and wearing it with their favorite wardrobe items.

What Is Augmented Reality in Fashion

Augmented reality in fashion industry immerses the items of industry brands into the real-life environment to allow customers to visualize better how they can be used in their reality. And the AR fashion use is not limited to that. Fashion brands use the technology so that customers can try products on virtually, discover more about their packaging and contents, and go through the experience of buying the item and wearing it with their favorite wardrobe items.

The Difference Between AR and VR in Fashion

augmented reality
Image from augray.com and news.illinois.edu

The fashion industry uses both VR and AR technology to increase the sales and trust of the audience in their brand:

  • VR technology allows customers to immerse themselves into virtual reality using headsets. It was illustrated in Balenciaga’s 2021 autumn/winter fashion show. The visitors have to wear headsets and see the presentation of a new collection in the virtual settings.
  • On the contrary, AR technology puts real-life objects into the overlay of virtual settings. It is not limited to headsets, as AR can be used through phones, projectors, and even non-specialized hardware. Whereas VR technology allows immersing people into the virtual fantasy setting, augmented reality fashion is all about allowing buyers to try items in their real-time settings using technology. For instance, brands offer customers virtual try-ons of their clothing items.

Augmented Reality Market Share in Fashion Industry

augmented reality in fashion infographic
Image from centricdigital.com

According to Statista, the augmented reality market is valued at $30.7 billion, and this number is estimated to grow to $50 billion by 2024. In 2021, the company Deloitte Digital surveyed more than 15,000 consumers to find out that 76% want to use AR in their frequent shopping. Stats don’t end there — for instance, 100 million consumers used AR shopping in 2020, according to Gartner.

The augmented reality in fashion market share is expected to grow as more and more brands hear their customers’ desire to immerse into more technology-oriented shopping experiences.

Benefits of Using AR in Fashion

There is a reason why both consumers and fashion industry professionals want to use AR technology in their business.

Immersive Customer Experience

When it comes to fashion — customers want to have a whole experience of the clothing item before making it part of their wardrobe. Augmented reality trying-on of clothes makes consumers see how the design will fit their style, body type, and even hair color. They can combine the item with the clothes of their collection to see what winning outfits they could make with it.

Increasing Profits by Reduced Returns

Online shopping can be tricky, as you can easily mistake the size of the purchased item and feel that it doesn’t fit you as much as you thought it would, judging by the photo. That’s why 30-40% of items people purchase come back to the shop as the returns, affecting the brand’s profitability. 

AR clothes provide more understanding to the consumers on how they will look on their bodies and match their style, which is why the purchases are made with more confidence. As a result, it has already increased the brands’ profits using AR and is expected to grow them even more.

AR Distinguishes the Brand From Competitors

52% of retailers say that they are unsure of using AR technology in their businesses, despite the growing number of consumers expecting them to. That’s why the brands that use augmented reality clothing stand out amongst the competitors and, at the same time, fulfill the expectations of their audience.

AR Will Make Your Content Go Viral

There is hardly a person that didn’t use the social media filters. Without posting anything, you cannot fight the temptation to find out how you will look with red hair or which sunglasses shape will fit you best. Fashion brands had tried the filters already and other AR technology to make their content go viral. Among them are Gucci, Calving Klein, H&M, and Louis Vuitton.

Customer Confidence in the Brand

The AR technology aims to increase customer confidence in a particular brand. When the consumers see how much the brand wants them to feel the items they make, it helps them know that they care. Every social media post, virtual try-on, and augmented reality clothes makes customers closer to the brand.

More Data for Analytics

When AR makes brand creators happy by bringing customers closer to their ideas and adorable designs, it is an invaluable source of data for marketers and data analytics. AR proved to be that effective in analytics that grew into the separate flow — Augmented Analytics. It helps to understand how customers feel towards the new collections, gather their reactions, and make recommendations based on them.

AR Is Good for the Environment

Sustainable fashion brands went to new lengths with AR. Going against people using clothes as ‘one wear’ things, sustainable brands created digital clothes. Fashion influencers, bloggers, and everyone actually can try them on, take pictures, and put them out without having to cause any damage to the environment.

How Companies Are Using AR in Fashion

Even though some companies still doubt whether AR technology is a decent investment for their businesses, many have already created unique ways to integrate it into their sales techniques.

AR Clothing Try-on

ar clothing try-on
Image from forbes.com

Being able to try every piece of clothing in the online shop is every shopaholic’s dream. The augmented reality feature of trying on clothes makes it a magical reality, and shoppers can use their phone or tablet to try on the virtual clothes and see how much they fit them.

For instance, the luxury online shop FarFetch tried this feature out in collaboration with the brand Off White. The shop allowed customers to try jackets from the collection using the photo messaging app. The 3D and stimulation technologies made clothes cling to the body on display and move by their actions.

Virtual Tailors

virtual tailors
Image from news.nike.com

The most common reason the customers file for returns of their ordered items is the wrong size. For instance, it is tough to guess which pants size will suit you when many brands have different size charts. Many shops try to address this issue by creating detailed size descriptions, but some go for more thoughtful decisions. 

For example, the AR-powered virtual tailoring feature is used by brands Hugo Boss and Superdry. Based on various researches, it helped to tailor the items to practically anybody’s measurements.

Also, Nike managed to combine the tailoring and trying-on features. The brand allows visitors of the app to measure their feet to find the correct shoe size and then virtually try it on to see how it looks.

Color-Changing Apps

The creativity of the fashion industry was well-illustrated by the applications that allow changing colors and patterns of clothing items. The American brand American Apparel gave it a try by offering their customers to scan the clothes on display in the shops and change their appearance using the application.

AR Virtual Showrooms

ar virtual showrooms
Image from ardev.es/en.com

Virtual showrooms are a great way to show your collection to the world and make this display the least harmful to humanity. The AR technologies created a digital showroom feature to cut the carbon emissions fashion and retail industries let out into the world. 

With it, the brands can effectively showcase their creations to the customers without having a high need for the physical display. For example, Tommy Hilfiger did it with their digital display in Amsterdam, during which the audience could experience clothes by tapping the interactive touchscreen table and seeing every necessary detail on the screen.

Social Media AR Filters

social media ar filters
Image from wwd.com

Social media is a blooming marketing star, and any brand that wants to succeed makes efforts to be closer to its audience on the platforms. The fun way of doing that is creating a custom social media filter. 

Users of Instagram or TikTok love using filters while making videos, and if the brand pleases them with their filter, they will help in promotion. For instance, the Australian brand of the sportswear PE Nation lets users try one of the pieces of their collection and imagine themselves being in the midst of the snowy mountains.

Virtual Make Over

virtual make over
Image from voguebusiness.com

We all love makeovers in movies, and AR helps to make them as natural as possible. Many makeup brands already figured that their customers would like to see their products on themselves, and most of them can find it hard to go to the store with a consultant ready to help. Thus, brands like Bobbi Brown, L’oreal, and MAC launched try-on websites that allow their customers to try lipstick, blush, or contour sticks before ordering the perfect shade. 

New Product Launch

AR helps brands make the fully immersive product launches of their new items. For instance, sports shoe brand Asics decided to switch the physical launch of their new collection with the virtual one. The venue visitors could put on the AR headsets and see the shoes in the virtual environment inside the virtual innovation lab of the ASICS Institute of Sport Science.

AR Mirrors

When it comes to the clothing stores, we know that everything here revolves around how you look at the items on display. So, to see that we use mirrors and little time has passed since the AR technology improved them. 

In 2015, startup Oak Labs presented interactive smart mirrors that allow customers to see themselves in the reflection. Brands like Topshop and UNIQLO use similar technology. Even the makeup industry didn’t stand aside, with Saks Fifth Avenue’s beauty floor and Sephora launching the concept of magic mirrors. Visitors can try makeup products online.

In-Store Navigation

Apart from presenting products in better ways to the customers, AR succeeded at another demand they have — saving their time when shopping. For example, an in-store navigation feature that shows the shop visitors where to find the shoe department, glasses, swimming suits, or special price items is an excellent way to go. This feature is a perfect fit for big department stores, and some of them have already recognized the need — for instance, Lowe’s Vision.

Increase in Assortment in Physical Stores

trillion customer experience
Image from prnewswire.com

While there are environmental benefits of using virtual try-on and AR clothes, there are also practical. Sometimes physical stores cannot fit all the brand’s assortment so that companies can show some items digitally. A great example of it is the jewelry industry. Delicate and expensive jewelry can be hard to display in the physical placements, but customers can also try them on using AR. Trillion Jewelry makes its application for virtual try-on effortless and fun.

Expanded Advertising Media Options

expanded advertising media options
Image from mobilemarketingmagazine.com

Marketing is all about emotions, and AR can bring these emotions out better than anything. Advertisements with augmented technology are exciting and make customers want to know what more the brand can offer. 

For instance, men’s clothing brand Boohooman turned Black Friday into The Hack Friday. The digital character and hacker Robin appeared on all posters with QR codes placed below during the campaign. Everyone could scan the code and see the character come to life, talking about what the brand offers.

Digital Clothing as a Standalone Product

digital clothing as a standalone product
Image from theindustry.fashion

Virtual clothes and NFTs became so popular that brands could rely on them as the only selling item. In 2020, the research showed that customers started using fewer products than they bought. Digital clothing brands stood up to the issue. The Fabricant is an all-digital company that has created virtual clothing designs since 2018. The company became popular enough to collaborate with brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Puma. 

Not to mention the success of DressX, a company that uses AR to show that “some clothes can exist only in their digital versions.” DressX is an excellent example of how a startup embraces sustainability and a lean toward digital clothing. Check out the DressX app to find out what digital clothes suit you the most using smart AR filters.

Gamification

gamification
Image from reflectdigital.co.uk

Gamification in fashion is now a big hit when making the most of AR technologies. Using augmented reality, a brand can create a fun and engaging gaming experience to help customers understand what a company offers. In most cases, gamification in fashion involves creating mini-games.

One great example of integrating AR, fashion, and gamification under a single umbrella is Victoria’s Secret with its Pink line. By playing games and unlocking badges, customers will be able to learn more about the company’s products and gain exclusive perks. With gamification getting exceptional popularity, fashion and AR have great potential, with more famous brands adding such opportunities.

The Future of AR in the Fashion Industry

Even though AR technology occupied different industries within an impressive time, it was destined to settle down in the fashion world. Retailers have fought with the returns ever since online shopping bloomed, and AR technology offers innovative ways to change it. But, then, the expanded advertising options AR offered for the brands helped them stand out amongst the never-ending competitors.

According to the study made by Foresight Factory, 56% of shoppers nowadays admitted that AR technology made their shopping experience easier. Shopify revealed that 48% of shoppers hesitate to buy items from multiple brands because they cannot try them before purchase. All this research predicts that AR technology will rise even more.

The most recent win of AR occurred when the Iridescence virtual dress was sold for $9,500 during the Ethereal Summit in New York. That’s another bold proof that AR in fashion is here to stay.

Conclusion

Implementing AR technology into your fashion business is a solution that pays off in both the short and long runs. However, making it a part of your strategy can be tricky. If you hesitate to hire a team of in-house professionals who can make a dream reality, you can always refer to experienced companies to help out.

At WE/AR, we have vast experience in making AR implementation plans for companies from various businesses. So you can trust us with every stage of the process — from developing ideas to testing them out. Contact us at hello@wear-studio.com, and we will arrange a consultation with one of our experts. Our competent team will hear your thoughts and goals to make up the best possible solution tailored specifically for your fashion business.