Artificial intelligence (AI) in the fashion industry is evolving exponentially. The advancement of technology creates an environment of sustainability, waste elimination and accessibility; made-to-order garments are made at a click of a button. Statista reported that the global artificial intelligence in the fashion market amounted to $270 million and is expected to amount to $4.4 billion by 2027. Early adopters of the 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, created an AI technology company that is accelerating the advent of personalized and sustainable inclusivity in the apparel industry; it utilizes body scanning technology that fuels customers’ ambitions through perfect-fitting apparel made with zero waste. Also, the company empowers other brands and creators to offer personalized apparel at scale. Launched in 2019, Laws of Motion generated its first $40 million in revenue after raising only $2 million in pre-seed, scaling operations 10X year-over-year.
“We launched as a direct-to-consumer brand, which incubates all of our technology,” Bigi shares. “We’ve got an AI body scanning tech, a fit quiz technology; they’re all underpinned by deep learning and computer vision, proprietary algorithms that we’ve developed and refined over time. We have 1,260 shape sizes, height, weight, inclusive sizes that are engineered using over a billion data points and refined over time as we’ve grown. Then we have an on-demand zero-waste production system in the United States… We’ve since packaged our technologies to be able to license that to other brands. The integration is so seamless because we developed it knowing what brands need and have been able to refine it from there.”
Bigi grew up in Texas surrounded by NASA engineers, which ultimately sparked her curiosity; she credits that as her springboard for asking questions and envisioning a possible future. After graduation, she worked at Deloitte, focusing on healthcare. She worked with different providers on cost-saving initiatives to post-merger acquisitions.
She left the management consulting firm to pursue her MBA at Columbia University. Her goal going into graduate school was to find a way to use data science to make perfect-fitting clothing for women at scale. The idea stemmed from an experience she had with a former colleague. He needed a new suit, so they went into a menswear shop. Her colleague sipped whisky while the tailor measured him. In roughly 30-minutes, he walked out of the store with a tailored made suit in progress for him to pick up in a few days.
During the two years of business classes, Bigi hosted weekly soup tastings inviting her classmates and their friends. The caveat was they had to bring an article of clothing. During these tastings, people would share what they liked about the fitting and their biggest pain points. By the time she graduated, she had thousands of data points.
“Many classmates were like, ‘You’ve got this massive data set. How have you not sat down with Charlie?’” she explains. “So I ask Charlie to grab a cup of coffee. I’m describing what I believe Laws of Motion will be in its form as an entity. And I asked, ‘Charlie, can I even build what I’m telling investors and potential hires? Is this even possible?’”
Bigi shared with him how she bootstrapped the company up to this point, along with her operating model. The gentleman was so impressed he offered to build out the technology and invest $50,000.
During Covid, the company was just nine-months old. Bigi pivoted the company’s entire supply chain to launch the Hero Initiative. Since Laws of Motion is an on-demand company, it had the necessary material to create supplies for frontline workers. She began servicing government contracts and produced 2.4 million medical gowns for the state of New York. She hired 1000s of workers across the country and Central America. As a result, Bigi became the fastest-growing female-owned defense contractor during its Covid response efforts for the U.S.
“We don’t think outside the box,” she expresses. “I think there is no box. I’m very big on challenging the team to imagine what it would be like if we removed all obstacles. What if there were no constraints on resources? No constraints on time? No constraints on anything? What if we removed those? What would the ideal solution be?”
As Bigi continues to pivot her leadership style and expand the company, she focuses on the following essential steps:
“I’ve always said that rules are suggestions on a good day,” Bigi concludes. “If something was easy or obvious, it would already be done. Instead, it takes ingenuity and having 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 change the world.”
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