Startup of the month: How ZERO10 is revolutionising the retail experience in the fashion industry with AR 

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In the ever-evolving fashion world, technology has emerged as a transformative force, reshaping the industry in unprecedented ways. 

Gone are the days when fashion was solely about fabrics and stitches. Today, it’s a fusion of innovation and aesthetics. 

This technological revolution has made fashion more accessible, sustainable, and immersive than ever before.

One of the most exciting developments is the implementation of Augmented Reality (AR). 

Various startups at the forefront of this trend are pushing the boundaries of what fashion can be. 

AR has allowed consumers to go past traditional shopping experiences by offering virtual try-ons, allowing them to visualise how garments will look and fit before purchase. 

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Additionally, it increases convenience and reduces environmental impact by minimising returns.

AR is also enhancing the storytelling aspect of fashion. Through interactive AR experiences, brands can engage their audience on a whole new level, telling captivating narratives about their collections. 

One company making efforts to conquer the intricate science of creating an advanced AR try-on for fashion is ZERO10. 

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Image credits: ZERO10

ZERO10: Fashion AR try-on company

Based out of Limassol, Cyprus, ZERO10 is an AR-fashion company providing innovative tech solutions for brands entering the digital world.

The company was founded in 2020 by George Yashin, who has experience in fashion and tech, and Anton Timashev, who has a background in IT business development. 

Yashin’s extensive experience in the fashion industry and retail, accumulated over 15 years of active involvement, coupled with Timashev’s expertise in technology and digital product development has been a major driving force behind the success of ZERO10.

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Image credits: ZERO10

ZERO10’s mission: Why fashion needs AR

ZERO10‘s mission centres around the necessity of AR in the fashion industry. 

In the early 2010s, Yashin launched his fashion brand as he ventured into an industry that was as vibrant as it was complex. However, by 2020, he had already witnessed the fashion industry’s pain points. 

“When the pandemic locked us all inside our homes, I got more time to think about the industry’s future. I quickly realised that technology could be the key to optimising processes in it. I researched and decided to work on the virtual clothing try-on,” Yashin tells Silicon Canals. 

Several crucial challenges came to light when considering the potential impact of VTO (Virtual try-on) on the industry’s future, recalls Yashin. It includes reducing costs for brands, such as rental expenses, and addressing the issue of overproduction. 

However, ZERO10 plans to focus on introducing this technology and highlighting its advantages to businesses and audiences. 

“Progressive brands already understand the importance of using AR tools to address their issues. For instance, drawing customers to a brick-and-mortar store can be challenging. Incorporating an AR try-on technology within a store or a display window can be a point of attraction and bring customer experience to another level. It could even become a selling point by itself,” Yashin adds.

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Image credits: ZERO10

Breakthrough in developing VTO products

Since shifting to B2B in May 2022, ZERO10 has quickly developed and iterated its signature VTO products like AR Mirror and AR Storefront to bring breakthrough solutions to the fashion industry. 

The company’s dedicated teams are developing core technologies, including 3D body tracking, real-time multi-class segmentation, and cloth simulation, to build their proprietary VTO technology powered by the recent innovations in computer vision and computer graphics. 

“Having created the most lifelike AR try-on on the market, we’ve realised that several factors still stopped people from fully embracing AR through the app. During the NYFW in October 2022, we unveiled the AR Mirror prototype and noticed that people were excited to try digital clothes on a larger screen with an easy process. They interacted with the AR Mirror for longer because it was simple, new, and fun,” Yashin says. 

“Now, businesses are realising how valuable AR technology can be. Some aim for unique experiences to attract more customers, while others want to boost in-store time and increase purchases. Some are keen on bridging the gap between physical shopping and online commerce through an omnichannel approach using the AR Mirror,” says Timashev. 

“Objectives vary, but our main aim is to assist brands in reaching them with our cutting-edge technology. We offer the most realistic clothing and bag try-ons, highly valued by fashion brands and extra features for the tool. Each solution is tailored to suit the specific needs of the brands we collaborate with,” Timashev explains. 

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Image credits: ZERO10

Besides being an in-store interactive mirror, AR Mirror can be used as an AR Storefront when installed as a display window and an AR Store when it’s a stand-alone selling point with no ties to a brick-and-mortar store. 

Eventually, AR Mirror can replace traditional fitting rooms or even stores and save rent money for business and time for consumers, claims Yashin.  

Milestones

ZERO10 has already provided over 40 AR Mirrors to reputable fashion brands and retailers like Coach, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, PVH, Nike, JD Sports, etc. 

By the end of 2023, with its constantly growing network of partnerships, the company expects to install more than 100 AR Mirrors. 

“Right from the start, our goal was to partner with well-known fashion brands. This strategy gave us the best chance to gain visibility and earn trust,” Yashin explains.

The growing popularity of AR retail solutions has provided ZERO10 with the ability to gather enough feedback to evaluate their efficiency. 

The Storefront has proven attractive, surpassing traditional window displays by 93 per cent. It also led to an impressive increase in in-store visitors, with up to 1.6 times rise in foot traffic. In general, 98 per cent of customers expressed positive feedback, claims the founders. 

ZERO10 has raised $7.3M from strategic angel investors from the fashion and tech industries during Pre-Seed and Seed rounds.

The Roadmap

“Building the ZERO10 ecosystem, our objective revolves around offering our technological solutions to address the challenges and concerns within the fashion industry. It spans from the model creation process to customer attraction and more. We strongly claim our top position in this field due to the combination of fashion and tech skills within our team, along with our extensive experience in a rapidly evolving sector and proprietary technological advancements,” Yashin says.

The Cyprus company is on a mission to cement its position in the virtual mirror market, projected to grow from $9.4B in 2023 to $20.99B by 2027. 

“We intend to become the leading provider of AR mirrors for retail so that in 15 years, every brick-and-mortar store will have a ZERO10 AR solution. The year 2023 and our recent partnerships with top fashion brands have already shown that our retail-focused AR tools are fully prepared for widespread use. Looking ahead to 2028, we foresee securing a 5% market share. It will be achieved through collaborations with over 500 clients, offering a variety of more than 10 AR products and solutions, and placing more than 10,000 AR Mirrors across the globe,” Yashin says. 

Additionally, ZERO10 is working on finding new applications for their VTO solutions and developing new products.

“Besides, we have other projects that we are working on. For instance, we want to expand into the gaming world or entertainment field with our VTO offerings. There’s plenty of space to grow and explore for ZERO10,” concludes Yashin.

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Vigneshwar Ravichandran

Vigneshwar has been a News Reporter at Silicon Canals since 2018. A seasoned technology journalist with almost a decade of experience, he covers the European startup ecosystem, from AI and Web3 to clean energy and health tech. Previously, he was a content producer and consumer product reviewer for leading Indian digital media, including NDTV, GizBot, and FoneArena. He graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Electronics and Instrumentation in Chennai and a Diploma in Broadcasting Journalism in New Delhi.

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