The promise of digital wardrobes: lessons from a digital stylist

Anna Roos van Wijngaarden
November 15, 2023

Have you heard of the 'digirobe' yet? Digital wardrobe apps are like virtual closets. You upload your real clothes, organize them, and plan outfits digitally. Some even let you try on outfits virtually. From a fashion brand angle, it's not just about seeing consumers happy; it's a data goldmine.

The benefits of digital wardrobes for fashion brands Many digital wardrobing apps are working on business models that give access to digital closets, which would mean you cannot just guess (cookies, algorithms), but see exactly what people like, what's trending and so on! It's a smart move for brands to get involved and start helping them with outfits, fashion advice, and new conscious purchases that fit their style - to keep forever. Digital wardrobe apps provide brands with valuable insights into consumer preferences and behavior, helping them understand trends and refine their product offerings. The potential ability to integrate virtual fitting rooms into these apps could reduce the number of product returns, improving the overall efficiency of the supply chain. Additionally, by engaging consumers in a digital space where they curate and share outfits, brands can enhance customer loyalty and brand awareness. And so on. It's a new way of consumption that is more accurate within the consciously minded, digital fashion world.

We asked a frequent user of digital apps to tell us how she feels about them. Anna Ruiz is a 'digital stylist' specializing in commercial and advertising, celebrity, and fashion styling. She also helps women and men to find their unique style that fits their goals and lifestyle. She swapped the traditional way of styling to working with apps and has tried over 30 of them to make collages for her clients and advise on looks working with their existing pieces and new ones.

Did changing from 'normal' styling to using apps change the way you work?

It definitely did. It allows me to handle more clients and stay on top of their schedules, wardrobe needs, and upcoming events simultaneously. I can take on more personal clients since I don't need to physically dress them for events; we do it virtually.

Which digital apps did you try, and which one was the best choice for you?

Over the years, I've tried more than 30 different apps, but they come and go. Some feel outdated, while others are just for creating pretty collages. What I like about Whering is that it allows each client to have every piece of their current wardrobe photographed and added to the library. For example, I can create specific looks by pulling items from a folder of photos, and it also allows me to add items they need to purchase into a collage. The best part is that I can assign looks to the calendar for my clients, making my job much easier.

Why haven't all stylists and magazines adopted the functions of these apps?

Stylists often stick to regular presentations and slides because it's what they're used to. It comes down to educating clients about using a new app, and not everyone is ready for that. It seems to work better for regular clientele who trust and rely on you daily, rather than for those trying styling services for the first time or needing just a couple of outfit options.

Do you see digital wardrobes becoming the new norm or remaining niche in the future?

I believe it will become the norm. Life is getting faster, and people don't always have time to meet in person. Everything is becoming digitalized, and it's more affordable and sustainable for clients when using their current wardrobe for looks instead of buying new items. Virtual sessions are also cost-effective for both parties.

Follow Anna Ruiz' work:

Instagram @annaruiz.mia

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