Generative AI is breaking boundaries for designers in the fashion industry, and some experts believe the technology will elevate creatives in the industry, rather than replace them, through four pillars of creation.
Apr 13, 2023
Rising tech is rewiring the fashion industry from the inside out.
Images courtesy of The Fabricant.
Wunderman Thompson Intelligence speaks with Marco Marchesi, Chief Technology Officer for digital fashion house The Fabricant, about the implications AI is having and will have on clothing, digital clothing, and design.
“Design is probably the area that most excites social media. The ability to generate fashion garments with just a text prompt…is creating a new generation of designers that have no fashion background necessarily, but they are capable of producing high quality visuals and collections that resonate with the ‘traditional’ fashion crowd.”
AI is creating a new foundation for design that elevates new creators and leverages outlandish, new age imagination. “The amount of AI fashion creations that are being published demonstrates that fashion design has always been in the imagination of people, and its democratization is transforming an entire industry,” says Marchesi. “How AI design will be integrated into existing industrial processes is something that is being explored by several brands.”
In February, CEO and editor in chief Imran Amed spoke with technology correspondent Mark Bain on the Business of Fashion (BoF) podcast about the application of AI on the creative processes in fashion. During the episode, titled “How Generative AI Could Reshape Fashion,” Bain stated that he believes we as consumers tend to “romanticize creativity” and the hard work that goes into creating something unique, “which is not a bad thing,” he noted. However, he went on to say that using a tool such as AI “can remove some of the more menial parts of the work and really allow designers to focus on the creativity.”
Bain also referenced a conversation he had with creators at Cala, and considered AI to be helpful at a higher level in the fashion industry: “if you think about it, it’s like a creative director in a lot of instances. They’re not the ones creating patterns…they have a team…they’re sending prompts.” In essence, he said, “[AI] makes anyone into a creative director.”
AR fashion house ZERO10 will release a new feature called Custom Shop, powered by generative AI, "that will make creation of digital designs to wear in AR possible and accessible for a wide user — even those lacking specific skills and experience," the brand tells Wunderman Thompson Intelligence. "Every user will be able to easily create a unique digital design and wear it in AR. Through the help of the Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs), the text will be automatically generated and transformed into a design overlay on the garment template chosen, to wear in augmented reality."
Cala, a generative AI tool built by Open AI, is a supply chain platform that can create designs in seconds based off of its massive image database. Designer and fashion brands have tapped into the platform, using it for inspiration and new ideas. Vuarnet used generative AI to create its look book for Paris Men’s Fashion week in January, and Lazoschmidl used it to generate prints for the shows.
At New York Fashion Week, some designers used AI for dramatic effects. Isamaya FFrench’s “Dark Web” vision elevated AI-inspired makeup and design for a futuristic effect with glass skin, and LED light faux freckles for an “Alien Superstar” look at the Mowalola presentation.
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Luca Morena, CEO of data trend and forecasting firm Nextatlas, told WWD that AI will become the “tastemaker” of fashion: “When you empower people with technology, then their taste is going to change. People will want what they see flowing into their social media streams.”
“I’m still seeing these as an amazing revolution and not something that will put every creative out of a job in the next two or three years,” Ben Benichou, CEO of the social shopping app Drop, told WWD.
Main image by LEELA, courtesy of The Fabricant.