Is AI coming for Fashion?

What the Industry and New Fashion Grads are Saying about AI.

By Apparelmark

June 21, 2023

Is an example of AI creation.


With all the talk about AI these days we thought it be worthwhile taking a deep dive into the future of fashion in a world run by machines. Part of the reason there has been so much talk about AI and the fashion industry is that “Fashion” encompasses a lot of different industries. Merchandising and Product Design, Supply Chain and Logistics, Marketing, Digital Commerce and Consumer Experience, Store Operations, Organization and Support functions and Events are all sectors of the fashion industry. And all of them will be impacted by generative AI.

The lingering fear of artificial intelligence coming after all our jobs is a feeling that we just can’t seem to shake and our human instinct to fear the unknown helps remind us of the potential dangers ahead. However, just as our fears limit our actions, our curiosity about the creative world of possibility is bound to keep things interesting as we venture deeper into the world of sci-fi and technology.

Fashion design has seen some action in the application of AI, there has been a Metaverse Fashion Week with such brands as Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY, Adidas and Dolce & Gabbana participating. And the first AI Fashion Week had over 400 submissions and plans to work with the winners to bring the collection to the real world. Right now AI is being used in trend forecasting, to identify what colours are both doing well and emerging, as well as design direction.

To get a good sense of how AI is being perceived by upcoming fashion design professionals we decided to interview Allison, a recent fashion school graduate and a keen AI enthusiast on her perspectives on the future of AI in fashion. As our team of fashion experts lives and breathes innovation, we thought it would be cool to interview someone who can shine a light on the way AI is transforming the apparel industry and beyond. Let’s dive right in!

Can AI Replace Hand Drawings?

Allison: “Originality originates from humanity is a phrase I strongly believe will always be relevant throughout our time on the planet and AI illustrations are no exception. While I do think AI-supported drawing techniques will be a mainstay in the fashion industry for years to come, I feel the beauty, inspiration, and imagination of the product on paper will always stem from human consciousness. There is a reason why centuries-old paintings are so marvelled at and preserved, no matter if high-definition prints of the same illustrations are available. There are certain things one can’t replace with technology and hand drawing is one of them!”

Do You See AI Being a Relevant Tool for Fabric Sourcing?

Allison “To be honest with you I don’t think it ever will be, and that is not to say that AI can’t help catalogue fabrics into strategic segments but the final callouts will require a human touch. Think about it, something like materials and textiles are so dependent on the ‘touch and feel’ that is a factor that a machine can never replace nor understand as fabrics will always be a human-driven need as machines have no need or use for fabric on a practical level.”

Can AI Create a Compelling Mood Board or Colour Palette?

Allison: “I absolutely feel AI would be fantastic at creating mood boards of existing materials and grouping specific elements of colours, patterns, and pictures into logical categories. While logic organization is AI’s massive strength it is also its ultimate weakness. Because some of the best inspiration comes from our most creative senses (which often are not logical at all), rather they come from a sensory place of the human mind. So, while machines will help organize our thoughts in a faster way than ever before, I believe the original ideas will come from us.”


What AI Advancements Are You Most Excited About?

Allison: “The ability to put thousands of hours of a thousand of ideas into a single executable form or command will help propel the fashion world into new heights: think new technology for fabric cutting for example, new pattern drafting techniques, 3D mock-ups, virtual fittings, new recyclable systems and AI-supported returns/purchases processes will help optimize apparel creation processes and enable creators to push fashion innovation to new extremes!”

As an innovation lab in the world of fashion, our team at Apparelmark will continue to keep a close eye on the progress of AI and the steps that are being made to keep its progress in check. We know there is so much to be gained from fostering the power of computing in the field of creative design, yet we can’t help but be cautiously optimistic about what expectations become AI reality.


If you have any questions about AI or how Apparelmark can help you, don’t hesitate to get in touch via email or DM us on Instagram!


If you want to learn more about what the industry is saying about AI check out these reports:

Vogue: Exclusive Lessons from Levis Data Science Bootcamp

Forbes: Artificial Intelligence In Fashion

McKinsey & Company: Generative AI: Unlocking the Future of Fashion

The images here were created with AI fashion designs from the following accounts:

Drawing by: https://www.instagram.com/dunne.cliff/