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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at PSU chapter.

Fashion is often portrayed as a glamorous structure; upheld by the means of models, notable designer logos and the representation of products created from opulent materials. 

However, what’s often forgotten is that beneath every structure is a foundation. A foundation is a necessity to ensure a structure will remain standing for a great period of time. 

The foundation to fashion, which sustains the several pillars of its alluring structure, may come as a surprise to some. Fashion is nurtured through its foundation of data. 

Data in the fashion industry is not a secret or a recently devised addition to improve its progress. Quantitative information has been the main concept the industry has centered its being on for quite some time. 

Knowledge of fashion data has become more prevalent because of social media. Aiding in the creation of sharing this data in a way that will engage an audience. 

As a lover of fashion myself, I knew of data in fashion, but did not understand its true significance until stumbling upon an Instagram account known as @databutmakeitfashion

Created by Madé Lapuerta in 2019, Lapuerta combines her “computer science major and interest in fashion,” to inform the public on current fashion analytics in a relatable aspect. 

In an interview with Vogue Magazine, Lapuerta shared her motivation behind why she began “applying formulas to fashion.”

 “‘Putting quantifiable meaning behind trends has made the world of fashion feel more approachable for me.’”

Madé Lapuerta for Vogue Magazine

Through her love of coding, analyzing and the willingness to abstract significant details from runway collections, Lapuerta is able to extract trends and changes throughout the fashion seasons. 

She is only one of the several individuals who utilize their intelligence to seek out what is withholding the complex fashion scene. 

Throughout the layers of the industry, data analytics is used as a guide, paving a direction that conglomerates, brands and designers should strut down for success. 

According to Certilgo, “data allows [fashion brands] to identify what works and what doesn’t, [allowing them to] make predictions and better decisions.”

Often, the misconception with data is that its sole purpose is to inform brands on the types of styles/aesthetics that are currently trending. While that does serve its purpose, these coded formulas are produced with the intention of filling in the gaps to all areas of fashion. 

Data identifies competition, revealing the steps directors must take to enhance their brand against leading competitors. LVMH, the world leading conglomerate in luxury products, emphasized their expansion with the use of data. 

Fashion United explained that the LVMH, “global strategy [is] to accelerate the contributions of data to its businesses as a key lever to drive development.”

Data identifies the economic state of the world and the impact inflation has upon the sales growth of the industry. Highlighting ways that brands should alter prices, with the cognitive intention to prevent sale decrease.

The State of Fashion: An Analysis of Fashion Data

Data also identifies sustainability, which recently has produced commotion within the industry. Due to a larger percentage of society, speaking out on the importance of curating products that equate quality for both the buyer and our planet. 

The power of data analytics is arguably fashion’s greatest fueling component. This regal industry thrives off a source of algorithmic application, which encompasses its triumphs. 

In the absence of data, fashion would lack the mastery to connect with the individuals who bring the industry into full fruition. 

Those individuals are us. We buy the clothes that pique our interest, view the runway collections each season and stare at the products online that we dream of someday owning. 

Fashion is more than pretty dresses or dazzling shoes and data is more than a set of numbers laid out to spawn perplexity. 

Together, fashion and data are a team: the driving force behind generating the lucrative fashion industry.

Sophia is a first-year student at Penn State. She is studying digital and print journalism, with an intended minor in Italian. For Sophia, writing has always been her outlet. She has found expressing her voice, at its peak, when flowing from the ink of a pen or through the clicks of a keyboard. Beyond writing, Sophia has a passion for the world of fashion. To her, it’s the unique process of bringing art to life, through a display of walking canvases. Fashion has played a major influence into the way she articulates her words; as it has taught her to find appreciation in honing your craft. On top of being a writer for Her Campus, Sophia is a member of PSU’s Ed2010, the Fashion Society at PSU and Episcopal at Penn State. She takes delight in keeping herself motivated, through communities tailored toward her personal and career goals. Outside of the academic scene, Sophia is a model; for the purpose of having personal knowledge and experience in all areas of the fashion industry to establish credibility. She also enjoys practicing pilates, cooking and spending time with friends. She focuses on the simple things in life that bring her happiness, and strives to live in a constant state of gratitude.