Recently something bigger than a trend happened, the world saw the rise of customers' awareness about the true cost of clothing and the environmental impact of this industry (6 percent of global gas emissions and 10-20 percent of all pesticides). The urgence of the climate crisis, the awakening of the youth for these issues, and the current pandemic, created the perfect storm for the massification of e-commerce, the digitalization of the industry and the creation of a more circular economy.
By understanding the current state of fashion and the potential of AI generated content to solve some of its main problems, the Lab research team developed an IP technology integrating Microsoft Azure Machine Learning, that can be seen as an AI solution to provide factories, designers, brands or marketplaces with a tool that learns from multiple sources and generates high definition clothing images or professional digital style content.
The fashion industry is based on cycles, trends, and creative/self expression and like few others is all about visuals, looks and style. These characteristics are the perfect fit for Visual AI technology.
XNFY Lab reached the first milestone of its roadmap with impressive results and are now able to adapt this technology to work as a tailor made artificial intelligence tool, to create unique original content based on products, patterns or brands “look and feel”. They want to be able to connect this tool to the different stakeholders of the supply chain, from design ideation to production and marketing.
Testing concepts or designs without producing them is a major change in the current fashion system, as we can see with the new possibilities opened with the rise of 3D fashion but also with all the production challenges faced by brands launching pre-orders campaigns. Connecting factories and brands with final customers is where they want to be and with such powerful technology comes responsibility and they are looking very seriously at all possible use cases.
One of the most interesting use cases XNFY Lab currently see, and that has received very good feedback from the Portuguese textile industry and major international brands, is the use of this technology to create design collaborations and also to “re-think'' and generate new design ideas based on pictures of unsold inventory and deadstock fabrics for example. The impact from both sides will be huge and the value created from the excesses of the last decades, an amazing use case for artificial intelligence.
This artificial intelligence technology can be applied in almost every industry, but we are now focused on making sure we create a visual technology for fashion to solve real problems and have a positive impact in a responsible way.” Orlando Ribas, CEO XNFY Lab.
This IP is a technology that generates new synthetic original images that can pass for real. It does not copy images or movements, it learns what a dress is, how it fits and what details can be done to create original content.
Overall, Microsoft Azure Machine Learning enhances the business potential for fashion by empowering researchers to collaborate, improve, train and deploy AI models and accelerate our time-to-market. In addition, it allows customers to validate and test datasets quicker, bringing results in hours versus days.
"Microsoft's collaboration with XNFY Lab helps spark innovation in the fashion industry. Today, we are witnessing a second wave of digital transformation that hopefully will push us even faster into the future, also in fashion. AI augments the human knowledge and creativity that fashion always relies on to create masterpieces like never before," says Michele Camuri, Industry Lead – Retail, CPG, Fashion & Luxury at Microsoft.