New “feature finding” technology from MODE30 aims to dramatically cut the time taken to search for fashion models. Company president Obinna Izeogu tells Futurespace Magazine how he thinks this innovation could change the industry forever…
New York-based fashion technology company MODE30 (mode three zero) claims to be pushing the boundaries of software and the creative industry of fashion through two new innovative products: the “digital fashion assistant” and the “digital fashion card”, designed for talent suppliers and talent consumers.
Obinna Izeogu told Futurespace Magazine MODE30 is the first company in the fashion business that is designing and engineering a platform for managing the image economy of fashion production.
The digital fashion assistant is a facial feature search engine that allows the discovery of models based on their physical traits, such as eye shape, cheekbones, hair colour, shoe and dress size.
Izeogu says the new method will drastically slash the time it takes for talent consumers to find a model, claiming the technology is over 20 times faster than a traditional search through talent agencies.
“MODE30’s product is equivalent to the Ford Model T replacing the horse-drawn carriage”
“The most precious commodity in any business is time. This is especially true in the fashion business. The industry is continually on the go. Events in time are critical. Although there is a desire to manage time, it always seems like there still isn’t enough.”
“What would have taken more than an hour to get feedback from a booker at an agency is now simply entered in a search field and results appear like magic instantly,” says the former art director.
This is how the digital fashion assistant works: Computer vision algorithms are used to mathematically define and then search for the facial features of models that have been input by agencies. Once the model’s face has been transformed into mathematical data (which, Izeogu says, happens instantly), the model can be discovered when a computer vision search is employed. A model can also be found through a search without using the mathematical data, for example, when the talent consumer is looking for a model they have in mind and already know the name of. “But discovery can come only through browsing and computer vision search,” says Izeogu.
The model’s comp card will be replaced by the digital fashion card, which can be created by a talent agency and integrates into the digital fashion assistant.
The agency can upload portfolio images and digital polaroids of a talent, along with specific information such as name, ethnicity, measurements and location, with the ability to change the data continuously, with very little effort. It is these digital fashion cards that provide the information for the digital fashion assistant database.
The digital fashion assistant and digital fashion card are currently in private beta and invite only stages. MODE30 has a few targets in the industry but is currently still looking for more, in order to gather more data to develop the new system.
Izeogu claims MODE30’s technology will standardise the business-to-business digital practices currently fragmented and neglected from a design and engineering perspective, which he says has led to a lack of innovation.
“When we look at our competition, they have designed products without a systematic way of integrating the client and agency sides of the fashion business. They are positioned too heavily on the agency side with products that don’t have a tremendous success rate, meanwhile neglecting the client’s workflow,” he says.
Izeogu says MODE30 will not stop just at the digital fashion assistant. “This is just the beginning, we plan to continually find areas that are ripe for innovation in the enterprise software application space for fashion businesses.”
“MODE30 will bring a new standard of love for the people who work really hard in the fashion business, to create desire within the image economy fueling the traditional brick and mortar fashion businesses and the emerging e-commerce space amongst other avenues for media.”
Izeogu believes it is a new and exciting time in the fashion world, which, he says, is being transformed on a daily basis by technological innovation.
“When we think of the way model agencies and their clients work, the MODE30 product is equivalent to the Ford Model T replacing the horse-drawn carriage – it’s about time,” he says.