How Adore Me is Making Every Shopper a Lingerie Designer

Adore Me was an early adopter of generative AI, largely to support its marketing and creative functions. But the lingerie brand’s latest venture shows how the technology can power personalized product development at scale — a value prop that has been largely untapped in the retail industry thus far. And as a bonus, on-site, on-demand production of the products customers design is enhancing both inclusivity and sustainability.

“AM by You” is Adore Me’s AI-powered platform that allows shoppers to create custom bralette and panty sets. When a user lands on the site, they can enter detailed prompts about the designs they want to create, including colors, patterns and imagery. Adore Me’s custom-trained image generation models power the platform to create unique prints tailored to the customer’s exact style and preferences — a significant evolution from the simple photorealistic transfers of other gen AI platforms.

Once consumers complete the design process, they can order their final customized set, which is printed on-demand using printing technology at Adore Me’s facility.

“From the beginning, we knew this technology could allow anyone to visually create something beautiful, exciting and personal,” said Ranjan Roy, VP of Strategy for Adore Me in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. And by the beginning, Roy means approximately two years ago, when AI-powered image generation platforms really started to take off.

“When Midjourney and DALL-E started to really capture people’s imagination, we started playing around with them a lot,” Roy said. “That’s when we started realizing that there’s a lot of potential around imagery.”

However, Roy and his team quickly realized that using imagery in actual operational use cases is “incredibly difficult.” He added: “There are plenty of companies promoting services that allow you to use gen AI to change photo backgrounds, but dealing with lingerie and models is a much more complex area.”

To make this concept a reality, a small team of employees across the organization, including tech, marketing and creative, went through the development process in parallel with standard business operations. They custom-trained their own image models on Stable Diffusion XL to create a fashion print that would allow them to “translate a prompt or an idea in someone’s head into a true fashion product — not just create a print and put a square of an image on a T-shirt,” Roy said. “The core part of the prompt repeats and fits onto the blank product — a lot of work went into making this.”

Democratizing the Design Process

Over the course of a five-month testing period, Adore Me rolled out the tool to highly engaged existing customers in order to understand user satisfaction, pain points and how they could effectively scale the tool to all users. “Knowing this is such a new technology and service, we knew there is a much higher chance for success if we go to people who already trust our quality,” Roy explained. “That’s why we focused on that group first and then expanded who we were reaching within that group.”

Adore Me learned during this testing phase that customers were using “AM by You” equally for both intentional product development and to channel creative energy. Up to 70% of users generated more than one prompt, averaging 5.4 prompts per session. The average user session for the tool also was more than four minutes, compared to the industry’s benchmark of 12 seconds, indicating that consumers were spending time intentionally crafting and re-crafting prompts. Roy noted that users have generated more than 70,000 prompts so far.

Roy believes that a big reason for this staggering response is that, although many consumers were very familiar with Chat-GPT and test-based generative AI, few were familiar with image generation. “That was possibly one of the most exciting parts, because we become that first entry point for using this technology for fashion and creativity,” he noted.

Although Adore Me has an extensive moderation process integrated into this new service, Roy has been pleasantly surprised by consumers’ creations. “For me, it’s great to see how positive, creative, funny and heartwarming the prompts have been. I don’t want to say it has restored my faith in humanity, but it’s made me even more optimistic about the service itself.”

Having access to these prompts also provides Adobe Me with a wealth of insights the brand can use to guide future product development and decision-making. For example, Roy noted that users were especially fond of creating designs featuring animals and love messages.

“The types of prompts people are creating, the colors, the subjects, could certainly inform our regular production processes and design processes moving forward,” Roy noted. “There could also be other ways to come up with different business models around small-batch printing from influencers. These are all ideas that get presented and are very exciting for us.”

Roy also has enjoyed seeing how consumers self-train on how to use the tool effectively: “That’s been an interesting journey, especially given that the majority of the people using this tool are not experienced generative AI prompt engineers,” he noted. “We actually see in the data how people start to learn and iterate. They are essentially learning prompting — you can see them adding on additional words and moving them around.”

The printer allows Adore Me to print all custom designs on-demand. Video credit: Adore Me

Supporting Inclusivity and Sustainability

On the surface, “AM by You” is a powerful vehicle for on-site engagement. As Roy noted, “In retail, especially online commerce, it’s all about how you can get people to stay on your website, especially with advertising being more unpredictable. This is just as much of an engagement tool as it is a product.”

But the new service also ties to Adore Me’s fundamental values: as a Public Benefit Corporation and Certified B Corporation, the brand is focused on making products inclusive to all body shapes and sizes — and manufacturing them as sustainably as possible.

Using the printer, which was developed by MAS, one of Adore Me’s longtime innovation partners, the brand can print all new designs on-demand and on-site, which means garments are only produced after a customer has placed an order. And with a price point of $54.95, the new service makes bespoke lingerie quite attainable for most consumers.  

“The tool creates an image that is a high enough resolution [that] the printing is as clear and high-quality as possible,” Roy said. “Then it’s sent to the printer, it creates the layout on a plate, then it goes through the printing process on a one-by-one basis.”

Adore Me has used the printer previously for limited-edition drops and collaborations, so the retailer has learned how to best optimize the printer technology to ensure the best quality.

While “AM by You” is only just now in market, Roy and the Adore Me team are already thinking about how to scale it. “From a product roadmap standpoint, we’re thinking about alternative products that can be printed, such as a crop top or different types of bras,” he said. “All those things we’re working on, and enhancing the service itself, in terms of promoting it not just through standard marketing channels but also how we get influencers involved.”