6
min read

The Impact of Generative AI on Fashion Design

Published on
December 23, 2022
Fashion Image created with Dalle2, an AI generative model developed by OpenAI. Fashion AI, Generative Fashion, Fashion generated by AI, Fashion AI Examples.
Author

Growth marketer and tech entrepreneur since 2015. Alejandro leads the Digital Marketing team at GAT Fashion Lab.

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Generative artificial intelligence is a type of artificial intelligence that is trained to create new content or data, such as text, images, code, music, or other types of media. If you want to learn more about how generative AI could impact businesses, check out this article by McKinsey.

But you are here because you want to learn how generative AI could potentially change the fashion industry, and that is what we will discuss.

In this article, we will focus on image generative models such as DALL-E2, a Generative AI developed by OpenAI. DALL-E stands for Deep Learning for Language-based Image Generation, and is a type of neural network trained on a dataset of text-image pairs. DALLE-E allows you to generate unique images ranging from photorealistic to highly stylized based on text input or other images. Other image generative models are:

At GAT Fashion Lab we had tested Dream Studio, Craiyon, but our favorite is DALL-E.

We are confident that Generative AI will not replace Designers, Marketers or other professionals. While AI may enable a single designer to produce more work and potentially reduce the need for larger design teams, final decisions will always require human judgment, so learning how to apply AI to design can be a valuable skill for designers looking to enhance their careers. 

Opportunities

Early Design or Ideation Stages:

This is likely the most interesting area to use AI in the fashion creation process. When creating a collection or garment, designers typically start by researching trends and identifying opportunities. In this stage, they create mood boards, sketches and low-fidelity prototypes based on the initial insights. However, the design concepts are often limited by the designer's abilities, experience, knowledge, creativity, or time constraints. With AI, there is no limit to generating ideas from an input like images from a fashion show, a photograph of a best seller, or a text description of the desired concept. As an example, we used DALL-E2 to create numerous variations on a best seller for one of our customers, generating over 200 options in a matter of hours.

Example of Fashion created with Generative AI. Original photo and four variations, two made 100% by AI and the other two made with guidance.
Blouse variations made with DALL-E

Photography:

Creating high quality photographs to promote brands can be a costly endeavor, paying for photographers, models, makeup artists and locations is especially challenging for smaller or new brands that may not have the large budgets of global chains. In this case, Generative AI can be used to train a model using normal photos of your garments and then requesting realistic images in a desired setting, such as a beach, Paris, or even Mars. With some touch-ups using Photoshop, these generated images can be used as high-quality photographs for social media or to test the viability of collection ideas through a pre-sale.

Marketing:

In addition to creating images to promote collections or posting on social media or websites, marketers can use generative models like GPT to write copies for social media, ads, generate ideas for new campaigns and more. GPT is an artificial intelligence language model also developed by OpenAI, that allows users to generate human-like text (know more about it here). At GAT Fashion Lab, we use GPT to help our teams to communicate in different languages, and our marketing team uses it a lot to create better emails and contents. While it is not a design tool, GPT can be incredibly useful for a wide range of professions, it is a tool that can save you a lot of work.

Challenges:

Generative AI is a relatively new field with a lot of potential uses and room for improvement. Currently, the most widely used models are generalists that can be used for a wide range of tasks, but are not specialized in any particular field. However, we expect that more specialized models will be developed in the coming years or even months, especially due to the availability of open source projects like Stable Diffusion that allow software developers to use them for free to create new different tools. In the fashion industry, we believe that generative AI models need to focus on improving two things in order to perform better: 

Feasibility of Designs

Today AI models are very generalists, they are very good at drawing realistic or artistic images, but they do not have the knowledge to determine whether a garment is feasible to manufacture. This is why we consider that the best use of Generative AI in the fashion creation is in the early design stages, where it can assist with creating unique designs concepts, because when the idea is clear, another team works on pattern creation and feasibility for manufacturing. For example, at GAT Fashion Lab, we use 3D technology to create digital samples of design concepts (which may include images generated by AI). 3D clothing is another powerful tool, if you want to learn more about it, check out this.

Prompt Engineering

Prompt Engineering is the process of researching and experimenting with different inputs, to a Generative AI model in order to produce a desired output or result. Because generative AI models are generalists, it can be challenging to know what prompt to use to achieve the desired result. There are resources such as Prompt Hero or Lexica that provide examples of images created with different models and the prompts used to generate them. Understanding how to effectively use prompts is crucial for producing high quality images.

Example of a Prompt and the variations created by DALL-E

A final concern you may have is copyright, but fortunately even DALL-E, even being owned by a private company, allows you to use the images for commercial purposes. Open source models like Stable Diffusion also allow the use of images for commercial purposes, so by the moment you don't have to worry about copyright issues with the most popular Generative AI Models.

At GAT Fashion Lab, we are passionate about how technology is changing the Fashion Industry. We wrote an article about the future of clothing manufacturing and the latest technologies to know. If you want to learn more about how technology is revolutionizing our industry, follow us on Instagram and LinkedIn.

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