Aug 31, 2018
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New Balance will use artificial intelligence to celebrate self-expression at New York Fashion Week

Aug 31, 2018

On September 6, the first day of New York Fashion Week, footwear company New Balance will use artificial intelligence technology to find people whose style stands out from the crowd - at least, statistically speaking.  

The sneaker brand will award the most creative passers-by with a pair of Fresh Foam Cruz Nubucks - Photo: New Balance

Using AI technology made by Global marketing agency VML and creative production partner Tool of North America, the Real Time Exception Spotting tech will scan the crowds at NYFW, gathering data to come up with an aesthetic average. Processing details like patterns, styles and accessories, it will then pinpoint 'truly exceptional' style.

Anyone whose taste is mathematically proven to be one-of-a-kind will be gifted with a pair of the footwear brand's new Fresh Foam Cruz Nubuck shoe, and will be featured on a live digital outdoor display. 

Real Time Exception Spotting will take place all day in New York's SoHo neighborhood, and will also be set up in Toronto, Stockholm and Madrid later in September and October. Once the tech's run is over, New Balance said it may use the statistics to come up with new ideas for future designs, colors and materials. 

Because the tool is data-driven and isn't built to have facial recognition or pick up on personal information, New Balance's experiment might remedy a common complaint about fashion week photography: that popular trends and fashion VIPs dominate media coverage, leaving little room for truly new, unique style to be celebrated.

“During a week where there is incredible emphasis and excitement around new trends and fashion, New Balance wants to celebrate individuals who are expressing themselves in independent and distinctive ways,” said Allie Tsavdarides, New Balance Director of Global Marketing. “New Balance is built on a long heritage of defying convention and we love this opportunity to recognize those who are confidently demonstrating their unique style.”

The Fresh Foam Cruz Nubuck launches this September and is a foam-cushioned slip-on with nubuck leather detailing. The shoe retails at $89.95.

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