Did you know that earlier there were two seasons but now it’s unbelievable that there are up to 52 seasons of clothing per year, termed as micro-seasons. Given the constant changes in fashion and design, retailers need to consistently keep up with the most current trends and predict consumer preferences for the next season.AI can make a more accurate estimate from past data and reduce the level of error. With a demand projection model’s input, retailers can optimise their stocks by planning to buy more or less of certain items. All along the clothing supply chain, AI helps automate processes with efficiency and accuracy.
According to the World Intelligence Congress, AI, virtual assistants and chatbots will replace almost 69 per cent of the management’s workload by 2024. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has erupted across a wide range of industries, significantly changing the market. The combination of innovative technology, effective operational methods and access to consumer and industry data results in exceptional decision-making and clear visions.
AI: a part of the design process
AI is becoming increasingly crucial in the design process, from assisting designers in generating customised user experiences to automating repetitive chores. With its rise in popularity, fashion designers are starting to utilise AI as a creative tool to help them brainstorm new, sustainable designs which are already aligned with consumers’ needs. This strategy not only results in happier and more engaged users, but it also assists organisations in meeting their objectives by giving the correct information at the right moment.
- Stimulates creativity: AI is a great catalyst for designers, and certainly helps boost creativity. Usually, it is considered an efficient personal assistant that takes care of repetitive work so that the designers can focus on creativity and idea generation. Adobe Sensei is one such example that accelerates tasks and workflow.
- Identifies user preferences: The algorithm analyses which designs and platforms people prefer to spend time on, assisting designers in creating consistent, user-friendly and effective designs. It aids in the creation of designs by giving unique recommendations and alternatives when needed to spark further creativity.
- Generates variations: Artificial Intelligence helps create various variations by recognising the patterns. By the use of such an algorithm, designers can utilise different designs and enhance creativity. It surely opens the door to more options and helps designers with different designs and colour combinations.
- Assists non-designers: We have often heard about an individual being left-brained or right-brained; this is usually considered when someone is more creative than others. Not everybody can think and design creativity, hence here AI comes to the rescue and even a non-professional can easily design. Canva is an excellent example of a tool that allows anybody to design using templates.
- Analyses a huge amount of data: A lot of complex data is generated when we use the applications and the analyst can use the data to refine it more so that it gives better result. For example, A/B testing can run automatically and can be analysed, therefore deciding which version is performing best, all this without human intervention.
AI as a new adviser
AI will evolve more into a design ally and tool that designers may employ to satisfy the ever-changing demands of the workplace. This is because AI will be able to accomplish designers’ work faster and more accurately. Companies like Stylumia, an AI and machine learning platform, assist fashion and lifestyle brands in forecasting demand, identifying trends, managing inventory and making smarter business decisions. They rely on ML, which is used to generate novel apparel designs by using two models. One model, the Generator ‘Designer’ learns to design an image that looks real, and the second model, the Discriminator ‘Design Critic’, is designed to differentiate between fake photos and real ones.
Synflux is another company blending fashion and AI, in collaboration with companies like MIT, which utilises AI to create perfect patterns for Algorithmic Couture. Synflux uses ML to create optimal fashion pattern modules, modelled using computer-aided design tools;as a result, fashion retailers and brands are increasingly adopting AI-based solutions, such as platform and software tools including SDKs, APIs and ML models that are helping in:
- Trend Forecasting
- Product Recommendation, Search and Discovery
- Supply Chain Management and Demand Forecasting
- Counterfeit Detection
- Fabric Waste Reduction
- Pattern Management
- Price Optimisation
- Customer Relationship Management
AI-enhanced fashion design and manufacturing
In the early 2000s, it took weeks to get a single design into sampling and another set of weeks for manufacturing. Wastage of fabric, samples, time and rework were at an all-time high, but thanks to AI, things are much faster and more creative now. Design is the most important sector which is benefiting from this technological revolution. Gone are those days when a single brain produced two designs every week; now, thousands of designs are produced every day, all thanks to Technology.
Bengaluru-based start-up Bigthinx provides an application named Lyfsize which derives 3D body scans and precise full-body measurements from just two smartphone pictures. These are used for apparel fit matching, accurate size predictions and mass customisation of clothing, to help fashion retailers tap into the power of human body data to reduce returns and increase conversions.
Similarly, Couch Fashion has an AI Style Assistant, a patented technology that creates a well-curated styling guide for all of the goods listed on the fashion e-commerce website in the form of image recommendations.
Small retailers can now leverage machine learning. Even though they’re on a smaller scale, they can still use AI and machine learning to figure out what is trending. This way, they have a better chance of success and are even able to offer greater insight into trends that customers might not be aware of.
Stitch Fix is one of the companies at the forefront of AI applied to fashion. It is using data and machine learning to provide better customer experiences and optimise supply chains. Machine learning is also being used to make accurate predictions that lead to reductions in waste or increased demand due to spikes.
The Fabricant provides interactive brand experiences using photo-realistic, 3D fashion design and animation. Because the clothing is never made in the actual world, this might be a more sustainable approach for businesses of all sizes to make a statement without leaving a large carbon imprint.
Meanwhile, Dress-X allows you to purchase digital clothing for your social network image. Just upload a photo of yourself, purchase the garment and you would receive the image of yourself wearing the new garment. By eliminating manual labour and using data from users, it is possible for brands to have a collection of information about styles people will love, enabling them to know how many items must be manufactured.
Developed by Intelligence Node, there are applications that collect and analyse the user’s shopping data to meet the user’s needs. Applications use deep learning algorithms to give retailers information on what types of goods customers might want. The application is said to be able to carry items from more than 5,000 brands by matching exact and close matches. Although the website says that their application carries items from Gap, JCPenney, H&M, Old Navy, and Nike.
Customers are also enjoying the experience since they can get what they want quickly, both physically and digitally. From 3D garments to the AI stylist, a customer is having a good getaway in the name of technology. The paradigm change is being greeted with cheers all around the world. Customers are becoming more conscientious and are expecting a user-friendly and no-waste approach, thus leveraging the adoption of AI more and more.
Many designers have understood the pathway and believe creativity and technology will go far. Our very own favourite Yuima Nakazato, a Japanese designer created clothing using a 3D scanner. This eliminates waste and produces the ideal size for the buyer. AI will drive significant improvements in sustainability and is already being used in traditional apparel design and collection planning. Customers’ measurements are translated into perfect-fitting bespoke clothing using 3D technology and customised equipment. Nakazato’s method eliminates fabric waste, implying that this new fashion model is more environmental-friendly.
Not all companies are deploying AI assistance or are early adopters of the game in India, but the push is positive. Designers are unsure of the role AI will have in their work as some believe a computer doesn’t have the same consciousness of creativity as the human brain has. One minute they are excited about the possibilities, while at times, they put up barriers to the impact AI will have on their design. But whether or not AI replaces creativity, it is helping designers and customers by creating more efficient designs which can reduce waste and increase customer experience creating a holistic bubble throughout the globe.