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LVMH Touts Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence at VivaTechnology(BoF)

Ian Rogers and Bernard Arnault on stage | Source: Édouard Jacquinet

Ian Rogers and Bernard Arnault on stage | Source: Édouard Jacquinet

The article first appeared on the Business of Fashion.

PARIS, France — LVMH has seen the future of fashion, and it is artificial intelligence.

The luxury conglomerate promoted multiple applications of the technology, along with other buzzy innovations like augmented reality and blockchain, at VivaTechnology. The annual technology fair, now in its fourth edition, is Paris’ answer to Las Vegas’ Consumer Electronics Show, providing a European platform for companies including Richemont, Google, L’Oreal and Facebook to showcase their latest innovations.

On Friday, LVMH gave its Innovation Award to 3DLook, a mobile body-scanning app that uses AI and AR to take body measurements from photos. The idea is to ensure that shoppers buy the right-sized garments, reducing the number of returns for retailers. Founded in 2016, 3DLook already works with big fashion companies including Nike, but has yet to partner with an LVMH brand. The start-up receives a one-year membership to LVMH’s incubator at Station F, a Paris startup campus backed by French billionaire Xavier Niel.

This year’s contenders for the prize were heavy on applications for AI, including Digital Genius, another startup using AI, this time for customer service. Digital Genius was among the five finalists of the prize, whittled down from 900 applications. The venture developed a chatbot to help customer service agents.

“AI is going to affect everything we do,” LVMH Chief Digital Officer Ian Rogers told BoF.

LVMH also showed off a tool that will use blockchain technology to track goods in its supply chain in order to prove their authenticity. All Louis Vuitton goods will be certified “in the near future”, and that the technology will also be used for Parfums Christian Dior, said the group. The tool, called “Aura,” was developed in partnership with New York-based blockchain software firm ConsenSys using Microsoft technology. Paris-based non-profit Arianee, which boasts executives from LVMH rivals Richemont and Kering in its board, is also taking steps to launch a similar database, with pilots due to roll out this year.

“We will then see how we can develop this technology in other aspects,” said LVMH Chairman and Chief Executive Bernard Arnault at a press briefing in LVMH’s packed booth. “We are at the beginning of all this; in the testing phase.”

This isn’t the first time LVMH has taken an interest in blockchain. Last year at VivaTech, VeChain, a start-up that develops blockchain information to verify the authenticity of a product, received a special mention during the Innovation Award ceremony.

Read the full article on the Business of Fashion.

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