AI in Fashion: An Ace Up Your Sleeves

Updated on :June 13, 2024
By :Myra Williams

Series of AI blogs | Ep 2 - Fashion Industry | An Ace Up Your Sleeves 

“Retailers who are ahead of the curve when it comes to the application of AI will have learned more from their early experiments and reap the benefits. Those playing catch-up may find themselves continuing to be just that – followers.” - Karina van den Oever, principal, Elixirr.

Whether you are scurrying through social media for that perfect dress that fits the trend or packing bags for your much-awaited exotic holiday, fashion is fun. Most women and even some men have been accepting of style as it is one of the pleasures of life to which everyone has the right. And it is one such industry that is more progressive than others.

As a part of that, Artificial Intelligence has swept the fashion industry off of its feet too. The disruptive technology did not seem appealing to the fashion industry initially, but now the case is that the stores that have not implemented this technology are risking insolvency. It has become a must for the fashion industry to employ AI technology to keep up with the market and much more.

Below mentioned are the ways AI has influenced the fashion industry and will continue to do so:

1.      Designing

Ill-fit is one of the biggest reasons for customers to return clothes, but AI can help solve that issue. When fashion brands bring in AI, they will be able to design clothes with a perfect fit, which not only oozes swag but comfort too. It will focus on minute details that a human might not be able to understand.

Edith Head, an Academy Award-winning fashion designer, once said, "You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it." Let's change it a little in 2023 and say, "You can have anything in life if you let AI dress you for it" 

Traditionally when designers used to design clothes, lots of time was spent deciding on the style, body type and skin tone, material, theme, comfort, and so on. They needed to invest days, sometimes months, to come up with that perfect outfit that would make women and men impactful. AI harmonizes the balance between humans and machines.

With AI, it is no more delays in making the costume that will set the trend in the market. Creating that perfect little black dress won't take more than a few hours. AI can generate various fashion ideas too. The initial process of designing requires lots of creativity and brainstorming sessions, and never–ending debates.

Although AI might not be actively involved in the creative process and it is still confined to the human touch, it does help with complex issues. While it may not apply in the discussion of how to dress a person, it can indeed process large amounts of data faster, learn the styles of specific users, and remember user feedback. Glitch is the perfect example of the dresses imaged by AI.  

2.      Advance Wearables/Digital Clothing

Advanced wearables do not only benefit the fashion industry but the healthcare industry as well. These wearables are not limited to watches and glasses but clothes as well. One of the leading fashion start-ups in Los Angeles, called DRESSX, is about encouraging people to indulge in stitch for fun with fashion on social media.

Smart dresses that can detect health issues have already made their place in the market, but clothes that also protects that protect women from molestation and eve teasing. A 20 – years old girl from India has invented smart underwear, which saves numerous girls from getting raped. The underwear is equipped with a camera and a GPS. An emergency calling button has also been installed in it. The installed GPS will help in alerting the police officers and the family about the girl's location, and a call can easily be made with just one click. The underwear will have a combination lock, which will only unlock with the set passcode. If this is not technology advancing, then we don't know what is.

Along with this, this year is also about dressing your online avatar rather than yourself. DRESSX is about people creating a digital wardrobe and wearing clothes in Metaverse. One less piece of cloth bought is embracing sustainable fashion too. So advanced wearables are proving to be profitable for the world.

Like DRESSX, if you want to blend AI into fashion, then contact top artificial intelligence companies in the USA.

Types of Smart Wearables

3.      Merchandising

Adding an effective "Search Option" isn't just a task that you have to cross off of the list because most people who type their requirements in the search bar end up buying them. Unless people want to buy something, they will hardly go to the search bar and take the pain of typing what they want.

Hence, online merchandising includes inspiring browsing, leading customers to add the product to the cart and leave only after buying it. AI recommends one on one as well as one–to–many recommendations. Merchandising of this era is a blend of science and art. The most significant advantage of advancement in science and technology is that artificial intelligence (AI) is taking the guesswork out of the search function’s role in merchandising and allowing online retailers to use search in ways that directly drive sales.

The AI algorithms use collected fashion sales outcomes to optimize product rankings and displays. For example, if someone is searching for ethnics, then they will be recommended ethnics of other brands as well. The searches are tracked, along with resulting actions, like add-to-cart, trying it on Metaverse, sharing, purchasing, and ratings. More quests and actions are captured, and AI uses the data to improve results continuously and put the highest converting products with the highest margins first.

4.      Inventory Management

AI-driven inventory management is not only accurate but comes in handy when fashion comes back. As mentioned, AI forecasts trends and encourages creating metaverse wardrobe, physical storage space will not be occupied. Also, whenever the retro style comes back in trend, the designers need not struggle to spend their creative energy on screwing their brains over what to do.

Just like SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS, there exists something called AIaaS. One of the fastest growing logistics companies in the world - AWL, its Indian branch offer WASS (Warehouse As A Service). They offer fashion businesses the chance to rethink their inventory management. It will entirely negate the need to enter the data in the Excel sheet manually. 

Gathering excessive stocks or out-of-stock or sold-out culture of yesterday is long gone because of the use of autonomous solutions like robotics, AI-powered insights, inventory optimization, and automation in allocation and replenishment at WAAS.

An AI-enabled supply chain's degree of efficiency results in over sixty percent effectiveness in decreasing risks and overall costs. It has simplified a lot of processes at warehouses and logistics operations in the fashion industry. Businesses can predict buying and planning of top-selling items in advance by switching to new technological models from the 90's outdated formulas.

5.      Reduce Counterfeiting

Counterfeiting is only a decade-old practice ever since pirated versions got into the market and ruined it from the inside. Some imitations of brands are so good that people end up purchasing fake products. Thus, fashion houses have turned to AI to save them. Artificial Intelligence will immediately recognize fakes and expose them so actions against them can be taken directly.

Its technology is increasingly being used to identify counterfeits by using machine learning algorithms to analyze data such as images, text, and video and detect subtle differences between genuine products and counterfeits.

In fact, it is also being used to analyze digital data such as product serial numbers, purchase orders, and payment information and go one step further to match the signatures of the original product to those of the counterfeits and identify any discrepancies.

6.      Enhancing Retail Experience

While investment in AI may seem like a huge step to take at first, AI-powered fashion e-commerce tools are becoming increasingly necessary because the gap between the businesses that have embraced AI and those that haven't are getting wider.

Ever increasing scale of personalized fashion is quite impossible to manage with the assistance of AI and automated processes. Customers today allow fashion brands to collect and use their personal data. And in return, they expect an embellished personal fashion experience. For a while now, personalization, quick service, and sensible marketing have become a new norm.

All the customers willing to associate with a particular fashion brand demand a journey that caters to their preferences – from recommendations and search results to landing pages and email campaigns. And AI technology offers exactly that (scale, capability, and speed) to make that happen. 

Implementing AI in the fashion industry is now more crucial than ever. It helps companies like River Island streamline their costs and provide the kind of experience that shoppers expect, allowing them to compete with the major players in the market.

7.      Virtual Photoshoot

During COVID, a bigshot fashion brand called ASOS could not call down the models for the photoshoot. That's when AI came to the rescue, and a virtual photoshoot was organized without calling them down. They used AI technology to hold virtual photoshoots where six real-life models had virtual copies of the brand’s clothes mapped onto their bodies, providing shoppers with realistic garment images.

And to no one's surprise, the brand earned a profit in the last quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021. The best part about employing AI technology for the fashion brand is that it can change the pose and the clothes without changing them. And at times, a whole new model is being created like Miquela. She is an AI-generated fashion model. 

AI generated model MIQUELA

8.      Trend Forecasting

Trend Forecasting is one of the most critical areas of fashion – for the creators and followers too. The trend forecasters forecast the trends, which is taken into consideration by the developers to design the outfits. Hence, big fashion brands sometimes build their in-house apps to detect the early signs of the trends.

Not only do these trends help fashion brands stay ahead in the market, but because they create what people want, they save a truckload of waste which is eventually going to burn and damage the planet. AI has the ability to figure out trends beforehand with the help of social media keywords, images, requirements posted, etc. It has a set algorithm that can ignore irrelevant data. 

AI systems can help clothing manufacturers predict the demand for each style at least two months ago. When a new product hits the market, if AI can predict the sales of that product for the next 2 to 3 months, it can help minimize unsold inventory.

A brand known as Fashion Snoops had employed AI to scour the internet for buzzwords and novel slang. They were looking for new terminology that has the potential to evolve into something stylish. Thus, different fashion brands use AI in different ways. The year 2020 was when the fashion industry first tasted Artificial Intelligence, and now it has become part of their routine.  

9.      Green Fashion

The fashion industry is one of the significant contributors to plastic microfibers entering our oceans. To solve the problem, fashion must be reinvented. People in the fashion industry have to be specifically mindful of the waste they create. All the big fashion brands spew collection after collection, which people do not care about, adversely impacting the planet and people.

As a result of which, each year, millions of tons of clothes are produced, worn, and thrown away. And every second, the equivalent of a rubbish truckload of clothes are burnt or buried in a landfill.

The intervention of AI will help with forecasting the market trends for fashion and planning the demand. The brands will soon be able to create realistic images of apparel and accessories based on customer demand and fashion trends. After receiving customer approval, the brands will send their cloth to the manufacturers.

Integrating AI into fashion design definitely looks like a positive outcome for an increasingly sustainable future. It can equally be integrated into other aspects of the collection process, like AI-based style forecasting will give back designers' intuition before they even begin creating. It assists in assortment and production decisions.

The macro-outlook is indeed promising as we collectively work towards a future where the fashion industry is marked by efficiency, reduced wastage, and personalization. Various artificial intelligence companies in Florida, Michigan, Washington, etc., can help Luxury Houses reduce waste by 50% by demand planning well in advance. 

Key Takeaways

Benefits of AI in the Fashion Industry

AI has helped the fashion industry grow to the point that those brands which haven't incorporated AI have lagged behind. As technology advances, it has taken every industry on a roller coaster ride, not leaving behind the fashion industry too. The designers are experimenting, and it is undoubtedly working out in their favor. Thus, here are a few benefits of blending AI in the Fashion Industry:

a)  AI helps enhance the online apparel shopping experience of a user. With the help of algorithms, AI will be able to detect the choices of a particular user and provide personalized recommendations.

b)  AI will help forecast trends and demand well in advance. Thus, luxury houses and designer brands will produce as much as required, thus cutting back on wastage. When trends are forecasted sooner than later, designers won’t churn out collection after collection.

c)   Lesser the wastage, the lesser the carbon footprint. Instead of thousands of truckloads of apparel waste, even if it is cut down to 300, this planet can be saved. Thus, AI encourages climate-effective fashion.

Challenges of AI in the Fashion Industry

Along with benefits come challenges too. Technology does benefit, but it has a downside. Just like everything, advantages have a flip side. Amalgamating AI in Fashion Industry comes with its own challenges, and below mentioned are a few of the challenges of AI in the Fashion Industry:

a)  Despite being helpful, AI comes with the challenge of non–creative work. It will be able to help designers with other tasks rather than the creative process. Smart inventory, trend forecasting, etc., are added benefits, but brainstorming sessions will still remain a challenge that AI won't be able to solve.

b)  Incorporating AI is not a cakewalk. It is incredibly costly, and it takes time to mix thoroughly into the brand. Plus, not every fashion house will be able to make the most of AI, thus bearing the losses. Hence, there are brands that are still unwilling to employ AI, even at the cost of losing specific markets.  

c)   Trends forecasted might not be as accurate as expected. Although it will be able to predict the next fall collection, the buzzwords and pictures can be manipulated, and so can the AI. The deviation from the forecast or demand could also cause severe financial loss to the brand house, and they could end up making fools of themselves in public, harming their reputation.  

Wrapping Up:

AI has revolutionized fashion and has taken it on a whirlwind. All the fashion houses or even local brands that haven't incorporated Artificial Intelligence in their fashion will soon be extinct. It is here to take the load off of the shoulders of fashion designers who have to come up with different themes and perfect fits for the models every time.

Also, it will come to the rescue of the ones who have been conscious of their body type and can never get perfectly fitted clothes. Those days aren’t far when this world will be a ramp, and everyone walking on it will be models. After all, AI is one such technology.

Who knows if the designer/label of your next dress will be AI?

Myra Williams
Myra Williams

Myra Williams is a content creator with GoodFirms. She enjoys reading about technology and likes to keep up with the IT news. When she is not working, you’ll find her in a café with a good book.

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