‘Digical’ shop set to blend fashion with technology

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A ‘digical’ shop that blends cutting-edge retail technology with physical retailing is set to open this summer in London’s Spitalfields.

The Dandy Lab will use smart mannequins, a virtual showroom, an interactive styling wall and a café with wireless charging points to showcase British clothing brands including Smyth & Gibson, Alfie Douglas, London Terrariums, Coeur and Foxhunt Menswear.

The two-floor store opens on August 14 for a seven-month beta trial. If all goes well it will open permanently next year. It is the brainchild of two postgraduate students from University College London and UAL, supported by a team of specialists who include academics, designers, creative technologists, experience architects, app developers and data scientists.

Co-founder, Julija Bainiaksina said: “Technology is a major element of the store, but the main vision is to create a personalised shopping experience for customers that translates into tangible sales for brands.”

The Dandy Lab founders, who include Peter Jeun Ho Tsang as well as Bainiaksina, are working with technology companies including Iconome, behind the VMBeacon that enables customers to see on their mobile device the details of clothes displayed on smart mannequins, and Hoxton Analytics, whose technology analyses the footwear and other clothing people are wearing to determine their demographic category. Snap Fashion lets shoppers search for an item of clothing or shoes from a photo, while Universal Display makes mannequins and other display products and My Order supplies point of sale and mobile ordering for the coffee shop.

Dr. Alastair Moore, deputy director at UCL said: “It’s inspiring to see two young entrepreneurs bring their collective skills together to redefine retail in one of the world’s most vibrant cities.”

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