Operations

How Zero10 plans to expand its fashion AR tech to independent retailers

The company works with established fashion brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Coach, and Nike.
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Zero10

· 3 min read

If you’ve walked into a Tommy Hilfiger or Macy’s store and had the chance to play dress-up with an interactive mirror recently, you have Zero10 to thank.

The fashion AR company that started in 2020 with just a digital and AR trial app on iOS today works with fashion retailers including Ugg, Coach, and JD Sport in the US and Europe.

Its primary product? The AR mirror, of course, which comes powered with body tracking and simulation tech that work together to build one really fun machine learning model, where curious consumers are able to envision themselves in a range of different products without actually having to try them on.

And while Zero10 is also working with companies like Warner Brothers and other entertainment brands, fashion retailers make up 70% of the brand’s business, co-founder and CEO George Yashin told Retail Brew.

AR you gonna go my way: “There is huge competition in…beauty, cosmetics, and accessories,” he said. “So we started with clothing, because there was zero competition there…because of its super difficult challenge to make this technology and product work.”

He added that he is also looking to expand his tech to sneaker companies, with one ultimate goal: to make his business stand out. 

“We are trying to build a strong brand in which Zero10 is a tool for businesses and marketing and as a tool, we want to help brands in a long-term perspective,” he said. “So, instead of making a one-time project, for example, a store window with an AR screen in it for one week, we are trying to integrate our solution in all of the store windows of the brand and make it like a one-year contract.”

Back to reality: While Yashin’s ambition is impressive, the technology’s reach is currently limited to big retailers and brands, which frankly just can’t afford the relatively high costs associated with it.

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Yashin, however, said he has owned a small clothing brand for the past 14 years and, therefore, wants to find a way to extend his tech to independent retailers. “Now, our solution is more like an offer for big companies, like enterprises,” he said. “But we will make a special offer for small brands. We wouldn’t like to have any profit in these contracts, but we want to work with them to listen to their ideas and just different hypotheses in their stores.”

He added that not only would this help smaller brands have access to his tech, but also aid Zero10 in being able to test its various features in actual stores to work out its kinks and determine audience response. “So we need partners,” he explained. “Small brands are cool. Their ideas are cool. [That’s the] next step for us.”

Currently, Zero10 is full of ideas but still a small startup employing 50 people, which makes things a bit slower paced than it would be for a larger company. And right now, Yashin said the biggest challenge for both his company and the industry is to make the technology scalable.

“The main challenge in AR is its utility for customers, and to find this utility you should make your products scalable, and scale it because you can get an answer if it works or doesn’t work,” he explained. “After one project in one store, you need like hundreds of stores one year to track all the metrics and tell if it works.”—JS

Retail news that keeps industry pros in the know

Retail Brew delivers the latest retail industry news and insights surrounding marketing, DTC, and e-commerce to keep leaders and decision-makers up to date.