Last update on: 9:42 am April 23, 2023 by fashionabc

With technological advancements getting more entrenched in the fashion industry, this week witnessed the debut of AI Fashion Week, which envisions promoting artificial intelligence as a tool for fashion and supporting emerging designers working with this technology. As envisioned, the event made headlines as a select number of people from different parts of the world employed the cutting-edge technology to design, develop and showcase their digitally-powered collections.

Ishtar Byronbay at AI Fashion Week. Image Source: Instagram account of AI Fashion Week.

Powered by New York-based AI Studio Maison Meta and held during April 20-21, 2023 at Spring Studios in Soho, New York — the same venue as New York Fashion Week — the mega digital event aspires pushing the boundaries of fashion design by encouraging designers to experiment with cutting-edge technologies. The digital collections were shown on screens at the venue, which was open to the public on 21st April. While no physical runways were set for this edition, visitors delighted in viewing the curated exhibition of AI collections and the panel talks which discussed the concept and ways in which the potential of AI can be harnessed in the design and development process.

“AI fashion week hopes to pave the way for a new realm of creation,” he said. “We really think the AIFW platform will make big waves in the fashion industry and showcase what you can do and how creative you can be when it comes to AI and fashion,” Cyril Foiret, founder of AI creative studio Maison Meta which is producing AI Fashion Week, told New York Post.

An integral aspect of the initiative is its competition, which welcomed approximately 350 submissions which were judged by both a high-profile fashion jury panel and the general public, resulting in a fair selection process. First, the general public voted online for their favourite designer. Subsequently, ten finalists showcased in front of a prolific fashion jury including Michael Mente, CEO, Revolve; Erike Wykes-Sneyd, VP, Adidas’ Three Stripes Studio; iconic make-up artist Pat McGrath; and Tiffany Godoy, head of editorial content, Vogue Japan, among others. The winners will be announced in May. What makes it interesting is that the three winners’ designs won’t just exist in the digital space; with support from the fashion-tech incubator in collaboration with e-tailer Revolve Group, the winners will be supported through the launch of their fashion brand and production of AI collections, which will then be retailed on the e-commerce platform.

“One of the things to emphasise is that what we are doing is very separate to Web3 and the metaverse that both initially offered this promise of fueling the creator economy, which we haven’t really seen happen,” Cyril Foiret, founder and creative director of Maison Meta, told FashionUnited. “Through this occasion, we wanted to make the creator economy really work in practice. The competition was free to enter, so that broadens the field for entrants, and with Revolve, it is really a matter of taking a designer’s creativity and allowing them to create a brand and monetise with the support of an e-commerce giant.”

As AI continues to have a major impact on the fashion industry, and as its capabilities evolve and grow, the impact is only going to get bigger with time. So, will we still need runway models if we can simply create AI-generated images of what the clothes will look like and try them on virtually? And, will AI replace fashion designers altogether one day? Perhaps not. The presence, skill set and guidance of a human being could never be replaced but implementing such technology can speed up production processes and trim extensive resources in the process of creating a collection.

Any Parx at AI Fashion Week. Image Source: Instagram account of AI Fashion Week.