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Gen AI Is Redesigning The Fashion Industry

Dec 14, 2023

Industry Trends

Gen AI Is Redesigning The Fashion Industry

Who is the hottest new designer of 2024? Gen AI. 

With Gen AI advancing day by day, its applications in the fashion industry are becoming seemingly limitless. From online shopping assistance to playing a major role in the design and creative process, Gen AI has the potential to well and truly shake up the fashion industry. 

Yet, in spite of the fact that the majority of the fashion industry has come to grips with Gen AI’s potential, a smaller portion is actually ready to take it on. There is an inherent resistance to adopting Gen AI as a key feature of the industry; in spite of critic’s predictions that the major impact Gen AI will have on fashion is promoting human innovation. 

Ultimately, Gen AI is becoming increasingly more prominent in the fashion industry as a whole, and its acceptance and adoption will unleash a new era of human driven creativity in fashion. 

THE GEN AI LOWDOWN

Generative AI, better known as Gen AI, in its current format is AI that utilises complex learning models to create new data. 

This simply means that Gen AI can take data and learn from it. For example, programs such as Chat GPT are able to answer queries and generate human-like answers by learning from the information it was provided with. 

This ability to learn allows Gen AI to have an incredibly diverse range of capabilities and applications. 

GEN AI IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY

Gen AI is establishing itself as a key part of the fashion industry, with the BoF-McKinsey State of Fashion 2024 Survey of global fashion executives finding that 73% of respondents will be prioritising Gen AI for their business in 2024. However, only 28% have actually used it in their creative process (specifically, design and product). 

This resistance to the technology is easy to understand. Disruptive technologies such as Gen AI have the potential to upset both jobs, employees and general work flows.

Those who have dared to experiment with the technology have found supreme success. Yet, the true power of Gen AI in relation to the fashion industry will only be revealed once we move away from stand alone projects to integrating it in the fashion value chain.

THE MANY APPLICATIONS OF GEN AI IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY

Whilst the true power of Gen AI in the fashion industry is yet to be properly revealed, many brands have already begun to reveal its magical abilities. Key applications include online shopping assistance, copywriting, creative projects and marketing, and the broader creative process. 

Online shopping assistance 

For those willing to embrace Gen AI in fashion, its applications are practically limitless. Several major fashion brands, for example, have begun to adopt the technology for use in online shopping assistance. Zalando rolled out their ChatGPT based shopping assistant in Spring of this year, providing its site users with both customised product recommendations and generalised customer service. 

Gen AI in fashion: Zalando

Copywriting 

Other brands have taken to embracing Gen AI as a copywriter. Big names in the fashion industry such as Snipes and Adore Me have started to use the technology to write product descriptions for their sites. On top of this, merchants on Shopify are able to use a Gen AI writing tool, to assist in creating their copy. 

Gen AI in fashion: Snipes

Creative projects and marketing 

Gen AI has also been a major feature in creative projects and marketing in the fashion industry. A prime example is the Ganni fashion show. The label used Gen AI to create an installation at their Spring/Summer 2024 show. The installation took the form of trees, which via speakers on their branches, could respond to guests’ questions. 

However, perhaps the biggest application for this generative AI in the fashion industry, is in the creative process. 

The creative process 

Depending on the sector, Gen AI can be used to both enhance and aid in the design process in a variety of ways.

In fast fashion, for instance, the technology can be used to improve the speed of garment turnaround. Gen AI in the fashion industry can identify trends and create corresponding items far quicker than a human designer; this potential could be taken two ways. For brands, it is a gold mine. The trend cycle is notoriously difficult to keep up with in our modern, TikTok era. Gen AI could greatly increase profit for fast fashion companies. On the other hand, this increase in garment design and production poses a significant environmental risk, and directly opposes current consumer interest in sustainability from fashion brands. 

For luxury brands, Gen AI represents an opportunity for innovation. The technology provides designers with a means to take fashion into a realm hitherto unknown. Revolve fashion dipped its toes into this pool via its AI fashion show. The brand asked designers to submit AI generated clothing lines, and then made a collection of the most popular pieces. The exercise allowed lesser-skilled designers to see their visions conceptualised, underscoring the transformative nature of Gen AI in fashion.

Revolve AI

GEN AI IN FASHION AND HUMAN INNOVATION

Yet, whilst the aforementioned capabilities of Gen AI are incredible in their own right, the standout benefit of the technology in the fashion industry is its ability to promote human innovation. 

Gen AI holds the ability to greatly reduce the amount of time that designers have to spend on menial tasks. Several companies are developing Gen AI software that aims to whittle down even the longest, most difficult tasks into acts that can be performed in seconds. A cutting edge technology, AI-based Interactive Design Assistant (AiDA), can create twelve fashion templates in 10 seconds. Cala, a supply chain interface, can aid fashion designers in producing over 100 sketches in just a day. 

By reducing the amount of time fashion designers are forced to spend on manual tasks, Gen AI provides creators with the opportunity to spend more time on creating. In this manner, the technology promotes human innovation. 

Of course, to achieve this almost utopian world, where designers are strictly designers, care must be taken to ensure that the implementation of Gen AI in fashion is done in a manner that does not undermine creators. The technology is not here to take over the fashion industry, but merely to shift the way effort is distributed along the creative process. 

It is this fear that this generative AI will replace jobs or workers, in combination with a lack of desire to completely disrupt the industry, that is likely fuelling resistance to adopting the technology fully in the fashion industry. 

AI fashion week

THE FUTURE OF GEN AI IN FASHION

Ultimately, Gen AI holds the ability to turn fashion on its head. Its applications in the industry are astounding, with more and more being revealed every day as new projects are undertaken. 

Yet the shining star of Gen AI is its potential to promote human innovation. By alleviating the need to dedicate hours to manual, tedious tasks from designers shoulders, more time can be given to creativity. To properly unlock this future however, creatives must be made acutely aware of the integral nature of their role; efforts must be made to banish any worry of Gen AI in fashion replacing human designers in their creative roles. 

To do so, brands must gain a proper understanding of Gen AI, its capabilities, and how to cater it to their own DNA. In doing so, they will be able to implement it delicately and deliberately; preserving creators integrity whilst making their lives easier. 

Gen AI becoming a key part of the fashion industry is an inevitable, exciting future. A future that will see human creativity blossom; supported, but by no means replaced, by technology. 

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@ Socially Powerful

Author

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Ella Proctor

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