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Comments ( 12 )
  1. lessgranola
    April 25, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    I’m NOT about the echo look, and I’ll admit to skimming this article, just wanted to posit something. Algorithms can be supervised or unsupervised, meaning you can tell an algorithm to look for something given constraints or a training dataset, or you can just let it find patterns within the dataset on its own. I am interested to know if amazon’s echo look pulls from supervised or unsupervised learning methods. If it’s supervised, it has to be given constraints or a training dataset. Something has to tell it what looks good and what doesn’t. So the algorithm is really only as good or as tasteful as the training it receives.

  2. [deleted]
    April 25, 2018 at 7:40 pm


  3. lending_ear
    April 25, 2018 at 8:07 pm

    I just can’t. I cannot trust Amazon when it comes to products like this.

  4. danceparty3000
    April 25, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    >Popping your collar is actually good.

    Incontrovertible proof that the algorithm is deeply flawed. Creativity lives.

  5. coffee_for_dinner
    April 25, 2018 at 9:30 pm

    That was a surprisingly good read, I didn’t expect the writer to go on as much detail as they did about the subject.

    I’ve loosely thought about the subject myself, having participated in fashion “knowingly” for the past couple of years. I consider myself to have a pretty well established personal style, but really, nothing about my style is personal or unique. Is it all pinned and mimicked from Pinterest, Instagram, FFA and other places. The only thing that makes my style “me”, I suppose, is the fact that I’m drawn to these particular clothes and colours for some reason.

    If nothing else, it’s interesting to ponder about in the context of the concept of free will.

  6. mostlybooksandplants
    April 25, 2018 at 9:35 pm

    I’m very intrigued by the author’s question about whether algorithms might upend the top-down dissemination of “style.” If the Echo Look is aggregating what users (actual real people) are wearing and communicates that to manufacturers and brands, would that be better for consumers than the top down model reflected in that scene in The Devil Wears Prada?

    Personally, I think that we have had, do have, and will continue to have a “flattening” of style, where one type of aesthetic dominates fashion for a period of time, whether it’s Anna Wintour or Amazon users making that happen.

    However, a possibility with machine-generated content, as the article calls it, where algorithms give us more and more of what we already like, has the potential to create echo chambers of style, the way that algorithms already give us echo chambers of news. The concept of this machine-generated content is slightly unsettling, and seems to be at odds with fashion consumers that are looking for a place-based product with a story, rather that something that just shows up on the doorstep.

    I think the consumer landscape, especially in fashion, is going to be very interesting to watch as machine learning, AI, algorithms, and the like become more present in the world.

    Great article, OP, thanks for sharing!

  7. Avimatic
    April 25, 2018 at 10:17 pm

    I’m still processing, so this may be a bit disjointed.

    It seems realistic for a significant number of people that algorithms driving style will be accepted. It makes achieving the goal of wearing socially acceptable clothing, and even being perceived as stylish/on-trend easier. In the same way that we still have artists who paint and sculpt along with those who use photography or digital mediums we will always have people who seek out unique fashion and dress themselves more organically, but they will probably decrease in number from the noticeably original style icons we have now.

  8. banana_guardno16
    April 26, 2018 at 8:55 am

    This article seems to clarify what for me was a vague feeling of ‘sameness’ of style among people of a like-minded group. For example the Etsy-folksy-artsy look that the article refers to. There appear to be ‘clumps’ of brands – hard to think of an American example but here in Australia you have the quirky-mumsy-Gorman-bold prints who likely own a lot of Australian-made art brands à la Gorman, Mister Zimi and the like. And the people in this group all have similar taste and will find the same things appealing. Although on the other hand, this just reminds me of the article about modern ‘tribes’ – the photographer that went around taking pictures of people who dressed the same and then grouping the photos together for visual effect. And people have been tribe-like/group-centric for millenia so I guess algorithms are just today’s way of grouping people who aren’t geologically close but are ideologically close?

  9. Paula_Polestark
    April 26, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    I’ll be honest, I still have no concept of good taste, but all I know is, when the robot is paying for my clothes, then the robot can decide what I wear.

    Yes, I’ve logged some hours on Pinterest, but I had to hunt for things I liked and sift through a lot of what I didn’t.

    April 26, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    This was fascinating and will take me three times as long to digest as it took for me to read (which was also long).

    It led me down multiple rabbit holes! I checked out the men’s campaign-based clothing retailers Taylor Stitch and the other one (clearly clever branding worked here). I would likely be interested in a female equivalent of these even though the author called them boring. Right now, I’m much more into the ethics of how my new clothing is made and purchasing more of it used than I am about looking boring.

    Lot 2046 was like a Black Mirror episode. I imagine the people who subscribe being characters in the show, or real life spies. What really heebied my jeebies was seeing the hair bleach kit (an army of bleach blonde, black clad spies coming for you in a Black Mirror algorithmic nightmare!) and then playing the spooky SoundCloud song for the rest of my browse. And the text at the bottom! I’m well aware my IP address gives my location away, but I’d ALSO just had my world turned around my this algorithms article and received an article of clothing from Poshmark that prompted me to look up Jeremiah 29:11…that was too much.

    Thankfully, the computer-written short film and triple waist jeans picked me back up.

  11. TamarindTextiles
    April 28, 2018 at 12:41 am

    Interesting. I don’t think using a product like Echo Look appeals to me. I like algorithms and recommendations for some things (Netflix, Spotify), but for other things I want more transparency in my choices. I don’t like how some new banking services chose an option for you based on a short questionnaire. I’d rather see a description of all the options and choose myself.

  12. Csai
    April 30, 2018 at 7:19 am

    This is such a great article. My guess is that the perception of serendipity is important and echo takes that away. Recommendations, if artfully woven into the discovery process, like with Netflix or maybe even Amazon on the site, can help.

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