The fashion industry did $3 trillion in business, 2% of global GDP in 2018; e-commerce fashion amounted to $520 billion in 2019. AI is poised to revolutionize the fashion industry by providing insights into fashion trends, purchase patterns, and enabling better inventory management. The global brand H&M has been applying AI solutions to boost business operations. One example is a system to organize and allocate masses of unsold stock to retail stories with highest demand, reducing the need for discounted sales. This is achieved by optimizing the supply chain and inventory management, reducing the amount of wasted clothing.
In January, what had previously only been pixels made a real-world splash on the catwalks of Paris Fashion Week. The models' futuristic-looking clothes, designed in a collaboration between fashion house Acne Studios and artist and programmer Robbie Barrat, were designed by an artificial intelligence (AI). 'When you design a collection, you have an idea of what a jacket looks like, or a pair of trousers,' says Jonny Johansson, creative director of Acne Studios. 'The computer doesn't know what a jacket is. It tries to learn from the images we gave it, and then creates its own idea.
The T-shirts sold by Cross & Freckle, a New York–based fashion upstart, don't look revolutionary at first glance. They come in black or white, they're cut for a unisex fit, and they sell for $25. Each of them has a little design embroidered into the cotton that references staples of New York City life: pigeons, dollar pizza slices, subway rats. They were designed instead by a neural network, which crunched doodle data from millions of people and spit out the original art that makes up the embroidery. Cross & Freckle isn't the first company to use AI to generate art--people have been doing that for years.
This Friday, Artificial Intelligence fashion startup Bigthinx, in partnership with Fashinnovation, will live stream the first fully digital 3D Virtual Fashion Show (including digitised human models) since the coronavirus pandemic forced the fashion industry online. The'virtual' aspect is that the models and clothes are being created using 3D digital design, rendering, and animation, based on technical data (including garment measurements) and photographs of the models and clothes. This will be the first time many fashion professionals have seen virtual fashion since the industry-wide discussions about implementing it ramped up, following the coronavirus-induced lockdown. In creating this 3D virtual show, with opportunity comes numerous challenges, especially for a technology company known for its'body scan' avatar solution based on just two photos and a selfie from a smartphone. From these images, they calculate "44 precise body measurements and body composition ratios, with over 95% accuracy."
London's autumn fashion jamboree wraps up on Tuesday, with the last few catwalk shows and presentations. But this year, as the staff collect up the champagne flutes and stack the chairs, the aftermath is not quite business as usual. There has been much talk of the new "see now, buy now" trend that upends the traditional system whereby fashion houses showcase their new styles but only deliver them to the market several months later. London Fashion Week comes around twice a year (in September and February), and, as the people behind it are keen to emphasise, it is about a great deal more than hats and hem lengths. It is the industry's trade show: new styles are launched, fashion journalists take copious notes, and buyers put in orders for stock.