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Artificial Intelligence as a part of fashion product design

For the first time in the fashion industry, the Italian leader fashion media platform Edizioni AF has announced that their Spring / Summer 2021 collection will be based on the concept of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The platform sees using AI as a combination of manual skills and technology that becomes an extension of designers’ creativity.

Fashion designers have been investigating AI as an addition to their designing process. For example, the German-based fashion platform Zalando worked together with Google in Project Muze to test what is possible in the field of AI-driven fashion design. With advancements in technologies, the fashion industry is getting more intelligent. Robots are now involved in producing clothing, AI is used for forecasting style trends, the customer can use Virtual Reality (VR) mirrors in dressing rooms to adjust sizes, colours and shapes of clothing to fit. This list continues from customer-related aspects to supply chain-related aspects.

The design stage consists of deciding on what materials to use, what shapes and sizes to apply, and the weight of involved parts. The decisions made in this stage impact the rest of the chain and thus their efficiency and cost. Aligning decisions in the designing stage with other parts in the manufacturing chain positively impacts the total manufacturing process. In Project Muze, data from Google and Zalando combined provides resources for using an algorithm mapping users’ preference. The algorithm then formed the foundation for creating personalised designs.

Whilst the technology is there, designs from Project Muze were not always wearable. Human intervention in AI design is still needed to produce high quality and value clothing that fits in the whole of the manufacturing supply chain. Additionally, using AI to design fashion can violate copyright due to trailing internet compliance. However, as the fashion industry is cost-conscious, AI-based fashion product design is developing. A current focus on research and development is already helping fashion product design to incorporate data into their existing workflow.

The Advanced Technology for Industry (ATI) project has done a first EU-wide survey on the uptake of AI technologies. This report covers multiple topics focussed on AI awareness and adoption, sector insights, AI sourcing strategies and the future adoption of AI. The two barriers for implementing AI in business are the skills and the cost of implementation. To overcome these barriers, enterprises should be supported to stimulate AI implementation. For more information, read more about the ATI project.

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