Textile View #121
We have crossed the frontier. 2018 will see major growth in the use of Artificial Intelligence as a tool to re-shape the fashion business with major AI innovations to be expected in predictive forecasting, capacity planning, merchandising, automated production and delivery. However, the possibilities with AI go much further than that as developments move its potential way beyond the mechanical into the creative. For example, Amazon is on the verge of creating the first AI designer, with the development of an algorithm that designs clothes by analysing images, copying popular styles and using them to build completely new designs. Meanwhile, enriched data will allow for new opportunities in customer relationship management, improving customer insights and, last but not least, much more reliable demand projection thereby reducing forecasting errors. Twenty percent of executives who took part in the Business of Fashion-McKinsey Global Fashion Survey believe that the use of AI to “reinvent design, merchandising and marketing” will be an important trend. However, there is still a significant number who remain dubious about AI’s lack of flexibility and intuition for it to be a major player in fashion’s deep creative process. This division of thinking is at the forefront of our A/W 19/20 forecasts where we ask the question: “Should the fashion industry be led by algorithms?” and make a strong case for accidental fashion. Above all, we look at fabrics as tools serving fashion as a whole, enabling designers as well as users to mash up looks, to create their own interpretation of garments.