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A virtual fitting room to reduce return rates

Alter Ego reduces the rate of online-purchased returned apparel by allowing shoppers to digitally try on their clothes with a 3D avatar created from one photo.

Pietro Zullo and Fayçal M'Hamdi

Could you explain what your startup does in a few sentences?

Alter Ego aims to reduce return rates for apparel bought online. Our technology can extract any body measurement and reconstruct a 3D avatar just using a person’s picture and height. We are currently developing a size recommendation tool and a 3D fitting algorithm to allow shoppers to get size recommendations and virtually try clothes on, so they won’t return their purchases.

In the short-term, our value comes from the impact generated by reduced article returns and the support to semi-tailored and push and pull production. In the long-term, our user base will be broad enough to use globalized data to adapt production for specific areas/brands, therefore reducing waste. Alter Ego's revenue will come from the license fee proposed to retailers.

Your technology can potentially change the way we shop online, what motivated you to launch this business?

I am myself a shopaholic and buying online was always a struggle for me. But, in the first place, Alter Ego was something totally different…

In the morning, when I wake up, it takes me a lot of time to get dressed. I keep trying on different outfits, and none seem to match all the things scheduled in my agenda plus the weather at the same time…

Alter Ego was initially meant to be a digital closet, in which you would input all your clothes, and have your avatar, so that based on your schedule and the weather, an AI solution would give you outfit recommendations from your own closet. As a user, you would just have to open the application from your bed in the morning, and swipe between all the different outfits proposed to you.

What's something you've had to deal with as an entrepreneur that you never expected to?

Firstly, I don’t consider myself an entrepreneur yet. At least, not until Alter Ego’s product will be broadly used by many retailers, and the execution of our project will be running smoothly. But in any case, an entrepreneur, in my opinion, would never have to deal with something that he never expected, as he should be prepared for anything. Whenever one decides to start an entrepreneurial journey, that person automatically agrees to have to deal with anything and everything until her/his business is flourishing.

What are you most excited about with regards to your business?

The most exciting thing about the development of the business on my side are the discussions/negotiation with our future clients/current partners. But related to the startup the thing I can’t wait for, is to actually see people using avatars to shop online and see that the product is broadly used and hopefully appreciated.


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