We talked to Tony Pinville of Heuritech on how to predict analytics for fashion trends and products and to produce more sustainably and this is what he had to say.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Tony Pinville: We’re doing well, thanks for asking. I’m seeing my family soon for the holidays, and I’m just glad to be fortunate enough to spend time together during this uncertain time.
Tell us about you, your career, how you joined Heuritech.
Tony Pinville: My name is Tony, and I am the CEO of Heuritech. We’re in Paris, and we’ve been around since 2013 upon completing my thesis in Machine Learning at the Sorbonne University in Paris. My background is technical: I was head of research and development in the finance sector for ten years before my PhD, and I’m also a lecturer at Sciences Po Paris. In my free time, outside of the fashion-tech bubble, I enjoy sports, music, and computer science.
How does Heuritech innovate?
Tony Pinville: Heuritech is a fashion technology company that offers trend forecasting to a wide range of brands including Adidas, Louis Vuitton, and Moncler in the luxury, sportswear, and fashion industries. Our methodology sets us apart: we base our predictive analytics in artificial intelligence with image recognition technology, which scans millions of images shared on social media every day to pinpoint trends and behaviour. With our data, fashion brands can forecast up to one year in advance demand and trends more accurately, produce more sustainably and achieve competitive advantage.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Tony Pinville: In Short term, the impact was significant because all of our clients and prospects focus is on dealing with closed stores. But in mid-term, this crisis is a massive opportunity for us to accelerate our platform’s adoption. We help brands to reduce the uncertainty by taking decisions with a data-driven approach.
For fashion, the pandemic forced everyone within the industry to rethink their approach to virtually everything. We’ve seen digital collections become the norm, fashion has become “slower” by popular demand, and brand-consumer interaction has become much more intimate thanks to technology.
Our response at Heuritech has been, like everyone, to adapt. For instance, during the first wave in the spring of this year, we launched a New Data for Fashion program to help smaller, emerging brands stay afloat with the help of our trend forecasts. We were glad to be able to contribute to this kind of positive direction in the industry. For our existing clients, we’ve switched gears to listen more closely to our clients’ needs and working styles.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Heuritech in the future?
Tony Pinville: I’ve founded a start-up because I love the challenge and deal with difficult situations. But it’s critical to find ways to handle stress. For me, it’s key to do a lot of sports (running, biking, cross-fit)
Heuritech’s trend forecasts significantly impact avoiding overstock; for example, we know that waste is a big problem in the apparel industry: we want to continue rectifying this issue. Later, Heuritech might even venture into industries outside of fashion, like an interior design, for instance, because in the creative industries, trend forecasts can always be useful to plan launches more accurately and efficiently.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Tony Pinville: We have no direct competitors. Our specificity is to have a data-driven approach to trend forecasting. We give our partners actionable insights.
What sets Heuritech apart is our methodology and our diversity. The first aspect is our methodology: we use AI-based technology to predict trends. We provide data-driven insights on a range of details from market demand, consumer segmentation, geography, seasonality, and category breakdown. The second is our diversity: Heuritech has many different teams, each with their expertise. Our data scientists are responsible for Heuritech’s trend forecasting platform and its data. Our sales team interacts with our clients. Our marketing team manages our reach and content online and through events, and our fashion team provides their expertise in the industry. This diversity of specialities, coupled with our methodology, really makes the difference for Heuritech compared to others.