Fashion Technology Meets Apparel Design

by Team Prototype

Fashion + Technology

At first glance the two words don’t seem to go together: artificial intelligence (AI) and fashion apparel design. But they do now! Several large fashion companies have paired with fashion technology partners. This presents an exciting new computer-based design option for the fashion industry.

Google’s Design AI

Google partnered with German fashion platform Zalando for a project they call Muze, a designer-driven (AI) project.

The Google engineers developed a program that relies on the knowledge of over 600 fashion experts.  Their fashion technology also digitally collects samples of colors, patterns, textures and style patterns.  Imagine a computer program with all the design know-how of 600 experts. Plus, a database of thousands of samples mentioned above. But can it design like a human?

Google’s Muze strives to be a virtual Apple Music player for fashion design. This program started in late 2016 to very mixed reviews of the design output produced.  The designs were… a bit weird. So most designers believe that AI can’t design good fashion. At least, not yet. But perhaps this fashion technology offers an option for designers looking for new inspiration. 

Amazon’s Design AI

Amazon has developed a project too. It seeks to define if an item is “stylish” or not.  Amazon’s program collects images, textures, patterns, colors and style patterns.  This fashion design technology promises to help designers work through problems and find assistance by combining data with their own fresh ideas. Currently the technology represents fast-forward and automated research.  

Tommy Hilfiger’s Design AI

Similarly to Amazon, Tommy Hilfiger use their own fashion technology  with IBM and the Fashion Institute of Technology to produce novel trends. They include input from Tommy Hilfiger’s products and runway images, colors, styles, silhouettes and trending patterns. 

Honestly, if there was ever a label that felt like it was being design by trend-spotting computers… it’s Tommy Hilfiger. 

The Future of Fashion Design Technology

It’s interesting, right? The idea that if you feed enough data into a computer that they can spit out workable designs? I think it’s fascinating. I also think it’s a bit disgusting. Why? Because at the end of the day it’s just all about money, right? Trying to make as many sales with as little actual work as possible. If that’s the point of fashion, then I don’t want any part of it. It removes the “art” from the equation and it then becomes all science. I don’t want to wear clothes designed by algorithms. I want to wear clothes designed by ARTISTS. If it’s an artist feeding the computer as some kind of project, then ok I might be down with that. But fashion has a soul and there’s just no soul in the machine. If I’m wrong about that then just give me a grey jumpsuit and I’ll die in it!

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