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Will Artificial Intelligence Replace Fashion Designers?

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Every time I visit any Fashion events, this has been one of the topics that often come up.

Can Artificial Intelligence AI replace fashion designers?

Fashion designer thinks AI can not, but tech folks in silicon valley say it can be done.

So I started researching into what has been done and found three great examples for you. I want to give you a glimpse of what Amazon, Stitch Fix, and Myntra have been doing and using AI to design clothes.

In this post, I want to share with you my findings and would love to hear what your thoughts are.

1, Amazon. 

Amazon’s Lab 126 research center in San Francisco has been working on and created AI that learns about a specific style of fashion from images and then generates New items in a similar style from scratch.

Cornell University Kavita Bala

 

According to Kavita Bala, Dept. Chair at Cornell University’s Computer Science department,

“There has been a whole move from companies like Amazon trying to understand how fashion develops in the world.”

 

How does it work?

Amazon’s AI uses Generative Adversarial Network (GAN).

GAN consists of two deep neural networks that work in conjunction with each other to analyze images of clothes and generate new designs.

  1. It captures the properties of a particular style from millions of images that are fed to the algorithm.
  2. It applies those top or best aspects of the design, to New Design to create something from scratch.

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(Image Credit: O’Riely)

AI is fed with multiple images, and it recognizes and creates a model for the Tshirt and creates new designs based on that.

 

 

(image courtesy: Macy’s)

Also, note that Amazon was awarded a patent for an on-demand manufacturing system designed to produce clothing quickly — and other products — only after a customer order is placed.

The computerized system would include textile printers, cutters, and an assembly line, as well as cameras designed to snap images of garments that would provide feedback on alterations needed in following items.

(image: Amazon Patent)

2, STITCH FIX.

According to Eric Colson, Chief Algorithm Officer at Stitch Fix,

The team identifies viable gaps in the company’s inventory – clothes that people would buy, but a designer hasn’t made yet.

Stitch Fix uses Hybrid Designs technology to generate new designs to fill the gaps.

It works in 3 steps:

1, A collection of algorithms serves as a starting point, and the first algorithm picks three designs as “starting template.”

2, The second algorithm suggests three different set of attributes such as a sleeve, neckline, shoulder style, etc. that may complement the design on “starting template.”

3, The third set of algorithm adds a bit of randomness to the full design, so it doesn’t look like what already exists. Think of this as the X factor that will make the newly created design stand out.

Together these three algorithms look thru millions of combinations and generate nine new designs. These designs are then viewed by humans and are either accepted or rejected.

Of course, I am oversimplifying the process, but the goal is so you can understand the basic flow of how AI is being used to replace fashion designers.

(image courtesy: lulus)

3, Myntra

Myntra uses similar algorithm flow where its AI is fed with millions of images of Tshirts, and the algorithm gets their machines to produce images of T-shirts based on the discovered desirable attributes.

According to Kenghe,

The core of the Rapid Idea was to do fast fashion in an intelligent way, given that we have both a tech and a fashion DNA. 

Myntra has to top-selling brands, Moda Rapido and Here&Now. It uses AI to create new Tshirt designs, and both the brands combined are the TOP Selling brands for Myntra.

Moda Rapido and Here&Now generate 12.5% of the revenue for Myntra among the 14 different brands it carries.

The real question comes out that Can or Will Artificial Intelligence Replace Fashion Designers?

I think the answer is Yes & No.

Yes: For basic designs for T-shirts and simple dresses. We have seen examples how Amazon, Stitch Fix, and Myntra are using technology AI to generate new designs.

They have the labeled data and resources to do so.

And its just the beginning, as AI technology gets more sophisticated, it would get better.

But on the other hand, I believe, AI will not replace AI for more “creative” and “trend breaking” designs as below. 

will ai replace fashion designers

I believe AI will act more as an assistant to the fashion designer.

Example, it could help fashion designers find:

  • Right Fabric
    • Fashion designers can use AI to find the right combination of the fabrics for the new designs they want to create so the final product is more rigid or soft based on the designer’s requirements.
  • Color Combinations
    • Discover new color combinations that do not exist but when paired with the right fabric, will add extra punch to it.
  • New Trends
    • Discover new upcoming trends via social media posts on Instagram and Pinterest.
  • Sustainable Fabric Combinations
    • AI can assist fashion designers to find and discover sustainable fabric replacements for standard clothing fabric and improve the overall sustainability factor of their clothing line.

We are still in very early stages and its tough to tell if AI will completely replace fashion designers. But companies are spending heavily on the technology.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what do you think: Will or Can Artificial Intelligence replace fashion designers

You can also watch YouTube Video Discussing it:

will ai replace fashion designers

1 Comment

  1. Jessica S. says:

    wow that scary and cool at the same time.

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