IU scientists use Instagram data to forecast top models at NY Fashion Week

On Sept. 3, IU put out a news release about new research from the IU School of Informatics and Computing showing the power of “big data” to predict future outcomes through the lens of the fashion industry.

Specifically, a team of computer scientists from the IU Network Science Institute were able to predict the popularity of new faces to the world of female fashion modeling with over 80 percent accuracy using advanced computational methods and data from Instagram.

The paper was made public in late August after acceptance for presentation at a conference. The IU Newsroom released the news on Sept. 10 — closer to the  start of New York Fashion Week — to capitalize on the study’s connection to current events. Finn Partners, IU’s New York City-based PR contract agency, also helped pitch the story to select media outlets in the city.

Kendall Jenner profile

Data from the Fashion Model Directory was used in the study.

The story was quickly picked up by the media, including several major glossies and websites covering fashion:

Members of the blogosphere to pick up the story were Bustle, Racked, StylecasterStylite and The Fashion Spot. Other traditional and online media outlets to carry the story were CBS NewsThe Daily Mail, Headline News, FusionPittsburgh Post-GazetteABC 15 Arizona, DigitalTrends and AskMen.com.

International outlets to report the news included Die Welt, a national newspaper in Germany; Qué!, a Spanish daily; LetteraDonna, an offshoot of Italian Elle; Kompass, Indonesia’s leading newspaper, and CNN Indonesia.

And as befits research that contributes to the field of data science, a number of science and technology outlets also took notice with articles in the MIT Technology Review, Australia’s IT Review, Science Times and Tech Times.

A video about the study was also produced by the Irish Examiner.

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