The convergence of fashion and tech

Fashion brands are increasingly using the power of AI to collect data from influencers, designers and trendspotters.
Image used for representational purpose. (Photo | Pexels)
Image used for representational purpose. (Photo | Pexels)

BENGALURU: One of the early adopters of technology, the ever-evolving fashion industry now uses generative artificial intelligence (AI), holograms, and 3D printing to complement design and create innovative products.

Top brands have wholeheartedly embraced new tech to enhance their product portfolio. While touchscreens and chatbots are common in stores as they improve customer experience, brands are increasingly using the power of AI to collect data from influencers, designers and trendspotters.

This data is crucial as it helps fashion designers decide on the right styles and quantities. Some companies go a step further, offering customers virtual wardrobes that help them create looks and choose from different shops. Chandralika Hazarika, managing director and co-founder of Bigthinx, says generative AI can show how fashion would look on anyone through 2D visualisations or 3D on-avatar try-ons. Bigthinx is a fashion tech company that offers AI-driven software for online fashion retail, accurate full-body measurements from mobile phone pics, virtual try-ons, and digital twins (virtual models of a physical object).

Virtual experience

Games are the new frontiers for product discovery and research has shown that Gen Z not only discovers more new products through in-game advertisements than from any other medium but also cares more deeply about these products.

Though AR and VR are not very new, they are breaking new ground every day with what they can do. "For example, fashion weeks and brand campaigns are increasingly using creative AR positioning to attract consumers and users. Haptic devices allow the experience of touch and feel in virtual worlds through vibrational and sonar feedback on our skin," Hazarika says.

Holograms can create engaging shopping experiences for customers, garments fit and they can also communicate cues from body language.

The retail industry uses it widely as clients from different locations can be invited virtually to local stores and they can provide an immersive and engaging experience. Recently, clothing brand Blackberry introduced its Temp Tech apparel line that features all-weather technology. It helps men embrace various climates. Apart from these, digital mannequins are also offering various features as they allow inclusive representation. It is also being used to gather data on customer behaviour, attention and so on.

Leveraging tech for sustainability

Hazarika of Bigthinx says that with 3D printing for fashion becoming more common, manufacturers will in the near future have the ability to produce an infinite variety of customisations without investing in new equipment.

Also, AI can facilitate the implementation of circular economy practices in the fashion industry. By analysing consumer data related to body shape and sizing, product returns, customer preferences, and recycling possibilities, it enables fashion companies to create closed-loop systems where products are reused or repurposed, reducing waste and promoting sustainability.

By leveraging machine learning algorithms, these systems can understand individual customer preferences and suggest relevant clothing items or accessories.

In Vogue

  • We will witness the adoption of fashion in gaming, AR and VR.
  • From a design standpoint, generative AI will play a pivotal role in helping creators design new generations of fashion trends.
  • In addition, physical tech enablers such as 3D printing and improvements to manufacturing will reduce costs and enable custom-made fashion on demand.

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The New Indian Express