From Design to Digital: Emerging Uses of AI in the World of Fashion

4m read
Artificial Intelligence, Fashion

From Adobe’s AI-powered dress to the launch of a new AI fashion week, AI is a trend that has taken hold in the fashion world. One that promises to streamline the design process, improve the customer shopping experience and ultimately drive more sales. Here are the key ways that AI is transforming the fashion industry.

Revolutionising the design and creative process

AI now gives creative directors and fashion houses the ability to streamline their process from design to production through AI-generated design features. Online fashion retailer Revolve has made great use of this and is already selling AI-designed clothes to the public. In fact, according to an analysis by McKinsey, generative AI could add up to $275 billion to the fashion, apparel and luxury sectors’ operating profits in the next three to five years.

Generative AI gives designers the ability to create unlimited variations and ideas to play with. Image generators like MidJourney and DALL-E can be used as part of the creative design process to generate mood boards and inspire design choices, even if the designs are still being made by humans. This streamlining of the creative process will enable fashion brands to focus on the more strategic side and achieve design-to-market processes in record time.

Boosting marketing capabilities

Like with many industries, AI has improved marketing capabilities tenfold. Generative AI specialists allow companies to create marketing material in a matter of seconds with minimal cost and effort. AI’s ability to analyse vast amounts of data allows for more advanced marketing insights through detailed data analysis which simply would not be achievable with human brain power alone.

AI’s ability to analyse sentiment across social media platforms also allows fashion brands to understand their market better than ever before and predict trends through data insight. Unlike in the days when fashion was setting the trends, AI and fashion create more of a feedback loop, where brands create designs, review customers’ sentiment, and make more of what the customer wants.

Competitor analysis can also be implemented on a larger scale through AI automation and analysis. This is sure to drive more competition in the field and, for brands that effectively utilise AI to their advantage, give them that competitive edge.

Improving the supply chain

On the supply chain side, machine learning algorithms can predict future sales, future stock requirements, and analyse issues in the supply chain ahead of time. The supply chain is becoming an increasingly data-based game, and the use of AI in business strategy models can reduce waste, improve efficiency, and ultimately save costs. This more effective means of working also has the potential to improve customer satisfaction, through the likes of faster shipping and return times.

Enhancing the consumer experience

We are already seeing how AI can create highly personalised user experiences for consumers, particularly for e-commerce fashion brands. AI’s ability to analyse user behaviour allows for greater personalisation of the customer shopping experience through highly targeted recommendations and content.

Google’s new AI shopping feature allows users to see how clothes will look and fit before they buy. The new virtual try-on feature gives users the ability to see the clothes they want to buy on a wide variety of real-world models. This gives people a better idea of how the clothing will look in real life were they to purchase it. The use of AR and VR technology within the fashion industry promises to create even more immersive experiences and increase customer satisfaction when it comes to purchasing clothes online.

Creating more sustainable fashion

It is not a secret that fashion has a sustainability issue. The industry is one of the world’s biggest polluters through its manufacturing processes and textile waste. AI-driven tools can help fashion brands optimise their operations and become more sustainable in the process. From improving supply chain efficiency, and reducing waste throughout the entire production process, to sourcing more environmentally friendly materials as part of the design process, AI has great potential in creating a greener fashion industry.

What are the risks of AI in fashion?

With any new technology comes an element of risk. In terms of AI and fashion, the biggest risk for most is a lack of strategy, as was the case with Adobe’s AI dress, which was called out by Vogue for being more of a gimmick than a fashion innovation. Brands that try to incorporate AI into their business for the sake of it will not see a good return on investment.

Being able to navigate the complexities of AI technology to create real value is one of the key factors in whether a fashion brand will be successful in its AI endeavours. Using the power of AI to supercharge creativity, streamline the supply chain and create improved customer experiences is where real innovation will happen.

At MDRx, we are experts in emerging technologies such as AI and machine learning, helping brands cut through the noise to enhance their business through practical, value-driven use cases.

If you would like to find out more about how your brand could benefit from strategic AI solutions, then get in touch.