Artificial intelligence (AI) in the fashion industry is developing exponentially. Technological advances create an environment of sustainability, waste elimination and accessibility; Bespoke garments are made at the push of a button. Statista reported that the global artificial intelligence in fashion market is worth US$270 million and is expected to grow to US$4.4 billion by 2027. Early adopters of technology in the industry are expanding their brands while carving out a niche in the market.
Carly Bigi, Founder and CEO of Laws of Motion, has created an AI technology company accelerating the emergence of personalized and sustainable inclusion in the apparel industry; It uses body scanning technology that fuels customers’ ambitions with perfectly fitting clothes that are made with zero waste. The company also enables other brands and designers to offer personalized clothing at scale. Founded in 2019, Laws of Motion generated its first $40 million in revenue after raising just $2 million in pre-seed and scaling operations 10x year over year.
“We started as a direct-to-consumer brand that incubates all of our technology,” shares Bigi. “We have AI body scanning technology, fit quiz technology; They are all based on deep learning and computer vision, proprietary algorithms that we have developed and refined over time. We’ve included 1,260 sizes in shape, height and weight that are developed based on over a billion data points and refined over time as we grow. Then in the United States we have an on-demand zero-waste production system… Since then we’ve packaged our technologies so that we can license them to other brands. The integration is so seamless because we built it with knowledge of what brands need and were able to refine it from there.”
Bigi grew up in Texas surrounded by NASA engineers, which ultimately piqued her curiosity; She credits this as her stepping stone to asking questions and imagining a possible future. After graduating, she worked at Deloitte with a focus on healthcare. She has worked with various vendors on cost saving initiatives for post-merger acquisitions.
She left management consulting to pursue her MBA at Columbia University. Her goal for grad school was to find a way to use data science to make perfectly fitting clothes for women at scale. The idea came from an experience she had with a former colleague. He needed a new suit, so they went to a men’s outfitter. Her colleague sipped whiskey while the tailor measured him. After about 30 minutes, he left the store with a tailored suit that he was due to pick up in a couple of days.
During the two years of business class, Bigi hosted weekly suit tastings, to which she invited her classmates and their friends. The restriction was that they had to bring a piece of clothing. During these tastings, people shared what they liked about the fit and their biggest pain points. By the time she graduated, she had thousands of data points.
“A lot of classmates said, ‘You have this huge data set. Why didn’t you sit down with Charlie?’” she explains. “So I’m going to ask Charlie to get himself a cup of coffee. I am describing what I believe Laws of Motion will be in its form as a unit.”
Bigi shared with him how she built the company to this point, along with her operating model. The gentleman was so impressed that he offered to expand and invest in the technology.
During Covid, the company was just nine months old. Bigi flipped the company’s entire supply chain to launch the Hero Initiative. Because Laws of Motion is an on-demand company, it had the necessary supply chain to create supplies for frontline workers. She began servicing government contracts and produced 2.4 million doctor’s coats for upstate New York. She hired thousands of workers across the country and Central America. As a result, Bigi became the fastest growing female-owned defense company during its Covid response efforts for the US
“We don’t think outside the box,” she says. “I don’t think there is a box. I make a point of challenging the team to imagine what it would be like if we removed all the obstacles. What if there were no resource limitations? No time restrictions? No restrictions on anything? What if we removed these? What would be the ideal solution?”
As Bigi continues to align her leadership style and expand the company, she is focused on the following key steps:
- Understand the purpose behind the pivot. This will help you focus on your goals.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need or the help you need. This fear of asking for help will hurt your success rate.
- Imagine what should actually happen for you. If you can’t imagine your success, what are you working towards?
“I’ve always said that on a good day, rules are suggestions,” concludes Bigi. “If something were easy or obvious, it would already be done. Instead, it takes ingenuity and a differentiated perspective, tied to your purpose and reason for being, that allows you to position yourself to create something new and innovative that will transform the world.”
Updated: Soup; suit, cloth; Supply Chain, $50 million; 40 million dollars