Could cutting-edge AI take centre-stage in the fashion industry?

AI technology has potential to revolutionise the fashion industry and improve every part of its value chain, from design and manufacturing to logistics and sales
Beatrice Sangster-Bullers used AI to create “emotionally intelligent” clothing that can showcase the wearer’s feelings
MIT graduates Pinar Yanardag and Emily Salvador used an AI technique called Generative Adversarial Networks (GAN) to reimagine the dress design process
The use of AI in fashion will continue to grow in the future

Virtually every sector today is embracing artificial intelligence (AI) technology. The global fashion industry, which is valued at $3 trillion and represents two per cent of global GDP, is no exception. Innovative fashion brands are incorporating AI tech into all areas of their value chain, from design and manufacturing to logistics and sales. With AI, brands are given an opportunity to make their clothing designs smart and unique. The market research firm Goldstein Research predicts that the global smart clothing market will reach nearly $1.2 billion by 2025. Since everything is getting embedded with AI, the next logical step is to equip our clothing with AI technology. 

 

The Order of The Singularity features “emotionally intelligent” clothing 

Beatrice Sangster-Bullers, a fashion graduate at Central Saint Martins (CSM), a part of the University of the Arts London, would probably agree. Sangster-Bullers used AI to create “emotionally intelligent” clothing, capable of showcasing the wearer’s feelings. The fashion collection, called The Order of The Singularity, features clothing pieces equipped with sensors that rely on algorithms to detect the wearer’s emotions. The sensors monitor the wearer’s heart rate, which helps determine their stress levels. Based on the data and the wearer’s mental state, this AI-powered clothing can display custom visual outputs, which makes it highly personalised 

Models who wore the garments were also equipped with electroencephalogram (EEG) headgear designed to measure brain waves and detect the state of their thoughts. The device is connected via bluetooth to a screen that’s attached to the chest area of some of the clothing pieces. Algorithms convert the signals captured by the EEG into audio and visual outputs. These outputs can also be viewed on smartphones in real time. Clothing from The Order of The Singularity is made from sustainable materials, including Singtex and SympaTex. Singtex is made out of coffee grounds, while SympaTex is a 100 per cent recyclable alternative to Gore-Tex. 

 

Will AI replace fashion designers?

AI technology can also be used in fashion design. MIT graduates Pinar Yanardag and Emily Salvador are relying on an AI technique called Generative Adversarial Networks (GAN) to reimagine the dress design process. Thanks to AI algorithms, their fashion brand Coven.ai has produced designs for a party dress and a formal black dress. 

Though some may fear that technology such as this could replace human designers, the duo claims their AI is designed to accelerate pattern drafting, a “time-consuming and labour-intensive process, by having GANs automatically generate pattern designs”. The AI model is trained to generate thousands of sewing patterns based on almost 30,000 dress patterns that were downloaded from 10 websites, and it’s already produced 100 affordable dresses. Yanardag and Salvador also plan to make the design process highly personalised by programming a feedback loop into the AI to generate designs that will fit the wearer’s style.

 

The future of AI-powered fashion

AI is transforming many sectors, and the fashion industry is no exception. Using AI-enabled systems, fashion brands and designers can improve their design processes and produce highly intelligent clothing pieces. The use of AI in fashion will undoubtedly continue to grow in the future, and this tech will add more value into every part of the industry.

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