UK online company ASOS has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Israeli startup Zeekit, which makes it possible to dress models with simulated images of the product, instead of using studio pictures. ASOS can use a picture of the original fashion item and “fit” them on different models in different positions with different body structures, even though the models have never actually worn the clothes.
Zeekit declined to comment on the value of the deal, but industry sources said that ASOS was likely pay to the Israeli company NIS 2.4 million yearly in an agreement that would be extended by consent between the parties.
ASOS markets and sells over 80,000 items to customers in most of the world's countries through distribution centers located in the UK, the US, China, and other countries in Europe. The company, founded in 2000, had a sales turnover of nearly £2 billion in 2017, and its market cap is £5.8 billion.
One of the challenges in fast fashion marketing is displaying as much clothing as possible on models in order to improve sales. Displaying a fashion item on models, however, is expensive, and there are also time and distance constraints.
The cooperation between ASOS and Zeekit is expected to substantially shorten the time needed to put a new fashion item on a website. Instead of “wasting” several days on expensive fashion photography, Zeekit's algorithm makes it possible to create an image that demonstrates how an item of clothing looks on a broader range of models and increase the speed of putting items online.
Zeekit founder and CEO Yael Vizel says, “The item doesn't even have to be sent to ASOS in order to make a fashion production. All the manufacturer has to do is sent a picture of the product, and we run the imaging on a bank of models photographed in advance, with no need for a studio production.”
Vizel, Nir Appleboim, and Alon Kristal founded Zeekit in 2013. The company has raised $12.5 million to date. Zeekit's technology was developed by Vizel, who applied the topographical analysis capabilities she had acquired during her military service and applied them to the topography of the human body.
Zeekit's development makes it possible to handle the challenges facing fashion retailers operating in the Internet theater. One of these is the number of items returned. The development is expected to reduce the number of items returned.
As of now, clothing can be placed through virtualization only on models from ASOS's database. Later, however, Zeekit believes that customers will also be able to use their own pictures for virtual measurement.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 3, 2018
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