Machines Takeover – The salient AI-fashion designer is here. Fashion design is a beautiful art, drawing image, colour and composition not only from the styles it creates and the materials it uses but also from the craftsmanship and the tools of the designers.
Fashion design is an art, and most ‘classic’ fashion designers are still beginning work with sketches and mood boards.
However, as everything changes, grows, and evolves – maybe now fast than ever with the help of technology – fashion designers and their tools are changing too.
An emerging generation of so-called ‘hybrid fashion designers’ is hailing. Creators no longer working with sketches, printed pictures and physical designs but digital forms, conceptualised with the help of social media and artificial intelligence.
AI-Fashion Designer – Goodbye Sketches
A true statement to that change is Stitch Fix. A fashion startup with a team of data scientist working with AI to predict which clothes their buyers want to wear.
And interestingly enough, the fusion of fashion with AI changes not only the tools of the fashion designers but also gives birth to the C-level position in the fashion industry, the role of Chief Algorithm Officer. Back to the role of AI in fashion design at Stitch Fix,
“The AI identifies fashion styles that customers prefer and would like to buy but aren’t designed or available yet”, says Stitch Fix CAO, Eric Colson.
AI-Fashion Designer – Reading market demand
According to Colson, Stitch Fix’s AI experts are using a triad of algorithms to construct the company’s AI-fashion designer. The first algorithm identifies and then recommends bits of apparel that could be used as templates for the new garment.
The second algorithm recommends three distinct attributes that have been shown to augment the original style and the third algorithm factors in the so-called ‘randomness factor’, designed to make the final style more interesting and appealing to the buyers.
Combined, these three algorithms are able to process almost 30 trillion possible combinations of styles. However, the final selection of styles comprises of only nine outlines from which the human gets to choose.
“Our proprietary AI can analyse, identify, and generate unique fashion designs and styles that are in high demand by the consumers of fashion and yet, are missing from the market,” said Colson.
AI-Fashion Designer – The Socio-Cultural Context
Nevertheless, while most of the bulk work is done by the AI, the human designers are still required to assess and improve (if necessary) the AI’s proposals into garments that people want to buy and wear.
“We are [not yet] at the stage where the AI is solely responsible for the entire process, added Daragh Sibley, Data Science Manager at Stitch Fix.
That is because, while from a mathematical point of view the AI is able to identify and construct the perfect fashion garment, the AI is still lacking the ability to assess historical and social contexts and understand how and when such contexts make fashion creations relevant or complete dissasters.
So what does the rise of AI mean for the future of fashion? From Colson’s attempt to decipher the construct of fashion from an algorithmic point of view, the ‘infiltration’ of AI in the fashion industry is becoming increasingly harder to ignore.
We see the use of AI in the fashion industry under different shapes and forms; AI in fashion as style assistants as it is the case of ‘The Look’, an Amazon creation that has a deep understanding of fashion styles. AI in pattern recognition, AI in trend spotting, AI in social media ‘reading’, pointing to the inevitability of seeing one day, fully independent AI fashion designers at work.
AI-Fashion Designer – Inspired by the history of the world
And soon, we’ll shift from fashion forms created according to a human designer and his/her education, past experiences and cultural background to AI fashion constructs inspired from everything the internet has to offer.
AI-made fashion garments inspired by all the styles and fashion designs ever created. Inspired by all the colours and patterns ever used, inspired by traditional or innovative and sustainable materials, inspired by the history of the world, art, and fashion.