University of Fashion Blog

Posts Tagged: "technology"

Is TikToK Fashion’s Newest, Latest, Greatest Big Thing?

(Photo credit: TikTok)

So, what’s all the buzz about TikTok?  Wasn’t it supposed to be a national security risk according to U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R- Arkansas), and Chuck Schumer (D-New York)? In 2019, these senators asked the U.S. Director of National Intelligence to conduct a security assessment of the Beijing-based video-sharing platform, especially as it related to their data-collection policy.

And what about the most recent headlines, whereby the U.S. government is charging Chinese military officers in the 2017 Equifax hacking of social security numbers and other sensitive data stolen from nearly 145 million Americans?

Are we really ok with sharing our data with TikTok? Well it looks like some fashion industry brands think so. In 2019, Ralph Lauren, launched its U.S. Open campaign on TikTok and was joined by other brands like Sephora, Calvin Klein and Fenty Beauty. In January 2020, Women’s Wear Daily launched their @WWD TikTok account featuring behind-the-scenes coverage from Fall/Winter international fashion weeks, industry events and celebrity coverage. According to Business of Fashion, TikTok is sending three TikTokers to fashion week 2020 in an attempt to create some buzz among the platform’s target audience, Gen Zers.

To get some history and a better perspective on TikTok, we asked our resident Gen Zers, Noelle Conklin and Toph Dorry, what they think:

TikTok used to be called Musical.ly, but since being sold to ByteDance Ltd. on November 9, 2017 things have been changing within the app. Users can become famous from videos with no context. Users can also go live to reach out to their fans and make money from donations. New trends on TikTok have spread to clothing lines and dancing. I see people on the street and in schools wearing the trends and dancing to TikTok songs.    

TikTok allows us to lip-sync to songs and dance to them, which in this era there really hasn’t been an app with this much sing, dance, and sparkle. You can also get promoted through the app, as well as collab (collaborate) with other businesses on the platform. TikTok lets you record for fifteen to sixty seconds so the user can get more content in that time frame rather than just a six-second clip like on Vine.

Most people that use or have seen TikTok have heard of Charli D’amelio, Nathan Berno, and Lilhuddy. They all have a specific style. Charli and Lilhuddy have a 90s aesthetic style and Nathan has an E-boy (Emo Boy) style. Some of the negative aspects of trying to become famous are how you look. Most of the time people who are famous on TikTok are all skinny and well-groomed. Not saying that you shouldn’t be well-groomed, we all need hygiene!  

Other reasons as to why TikTok draws us into the app is because of its aesthetic. The app has multiple effects to add to your videos. You can easily edit your video with just a click of a button. Now you don’t even need to use editing software, you can just make a video, and cut out whatever edits you like.

Another reason why TikTok drew most of us in was because of Vine. Vine was an internet platform that came out in the mid-2000s where you could make short six-second videos and post them on the internet. Vine closed and was forgotten until TikTok came along. However, a Vine reboot launched on January 24, 2020 called Byte where creators can earn steady ad-share revenue” – Noelle Conklin

(Photo credit: Byte)

TikTok has grown its base relatively quickly into 400 million daily users and is becoming a very popular and very well-known app. With TikTok, you can record a video and put sound on top of it or record a video with your own sound, or a mix of both.

There are so many things you can do on TikTok, from hundreds of thousands of user-created sounds to their many filters. A huge majority on TikTok are funny videos, or things happening with a funny audio track playing along with the video. By September 2019, TikTok was rated the #1 non-gaming app available on the app store and peaked with 6 million installs in December.

TikTok will most definitely influence fashion due to the fact that anybody can post whatever they want on their account. There are tons of videos of people showing off their outfits. Under just the hashtag “fashion” alone, there are 6.2 billion views, so there is definitely room for a lot of videos on fashion, along with many other hashtags that are included under fashion.” Toph Dorry

 

TikTok’s demographic

All you need to do is to check out TikTok’s Pinterest page to get a sense of the demographic:

And check out TikTok’s Instagram:

In an age where privacy is becoming all but impossible to control, call me old-fashioned, but I’m not so sure I want to compromise anymore of my personal data by posting to TikTok. What do you think?

AUGMENTED REALITY (AR) FOR FASHION RETAILING

AUGMENTED REALITY (AR) FOR FASHION RETAILING

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, what color looks best for the ball?”

MemoryMirror (Photo credit MemoMi Labs)

What exactly is AR? Per Wikipedia, Augmented Reality is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information. Augmented Reality for retail here!

For example, MemoMi Labs offers the MemoryMirror, which enables customers to try products virtually. How does this work?  The mirror is a reflective TV screen linked to a camera and controlled by AR software to create a virtual fitting room.

Per Morgan Drake of X-cart.com, “63% of retail brands plan to use AR in the next two years, however, 52% of retail executives do not feel prepared to support advanced technologies.”  That is, there is a demand for employees trained in AR.

Further info links:

Links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augmented_reality

https://www.x-cart.com/blog/augmented-reality-retail.html

https://memorymirror.com/

AR TRAINING

(Photo credit: Fashion Institute of Technology)

How does one train for this soon-to-be required skill? 

The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) will be offering an AR/VR course in their Content Design Certificate Program as of Summer 2020. The course will focus on using 360 photo/video, Unity (cross-platform game engine), WebVR, and A-frame (a web framework for building virtual reality experiences) to build experiences for the web. The content includes AR/VR tools, creating 360 content, creating 3D animated models, and other content.  Enrollment require a basic understanding of coding, such as HTML and CSS.  Experience with basic JavaScript is preferred. HTML and CSS are coding languages used in constructing web sites. Check the links below for more details.

(Photo credit: Kode with Klossy)

Most fashion schools concentrate on technical skills such as draping, sewing, pattern making and fashion illustration. However, in article from the October 2016 edition of Vogue Australia they explain why designers should learn to code. In today’s technological world, this skill set will be required if one wants to remain relevant. In fact, recognition of the need for coding skills has led supermodel Karlie Kloss to set up “Kode with Klossy” coding camps with scholarships for girls age 13-18.

If you are over the age of 18, there are other options to learn to code, such as the Code Academy or other online training programs.

Further info links:

Links

http://www.fitnyc.edu/ccps/designing-tomorrow/arvr-content-design.php

https://www.vogue.com.au/vogue-codes/news/this-is-why-you-need-to-learn-how-to-code/news-story/53362905dad4927674d1a433aae5c699

https://www.kodewithklossy.com/program

https://www.codecademy.com/

DESIGN VISIBILITY USING AR

Many designers struggle with how to get their collection visible to more people without a runway show. 

As Brooke Roberts-Islam noted in Forbes, AR is expanding from pre-recorded content to a live runway show in a customer’s physical location. The London College of Fashion’s Innovation Agency (FIA) partnered with HoloMe to present selected collections from London College of Fashion MA graduates. Viewers were able to watch the show via smartphone in real-time.

The HoloMe website explains the four categories of AR: marker-based, markless, projection-based and superimposition-based.  Superimposition allows the customers to have human holograms model clothing products within their own homes or via another chosen environment.

This technology can be used to generate “buzz” through which customers gain first looks into what is possible. HoloMe states that they are able to provide a real-time streaming experience with their existing hardware kit and mobile platform, which can accommodate up to 1 million users simultaneously.

Further info links:

Links

https://www.forbes.com/sites/brookerobertsislam/2019/03/05/groundbreaking-augmented-reality-fashion-show-streamed-to-global-audience/#25cd5a5b45b6

https://holo.me/

https://holo.me/the-a-r-industry-and-experiential-marketing/

Can you just imagine how great that would be for an upstart designer, a fashion college student’s senior project or an ITAA design competition? Let us know what you think?

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) FOR FASHION

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) FOR FASHION

What is AI exactly?  AI is the use of algorithms or computer programs to imitate human thought and action by analyzing data and learning to adapt to a variety of tasks. Artificial Intelligence, now part of everyday life, is predicted to increase in the second decade of the 21st century, especially in the design & retail environment within the fashion. Let’s explore how:

(Photo credit: Alexa Echo Dot -3rd Gen)

(Photo credit : Siri)

There are two general types of AI, ‘Strong’ and ‘Weak.’ ‘Weak’ AI is a set of programmed responses or interactions that are merely ‘human-like.’  Alexa and Siri are good examples of these.  When these devices are asked questions or asked to perform tasks, their responses are programmed, and they assess which response is appropriate from their ‘bank of responses.’  However, ‘weak’ AI does not ‘understand’ the true meaning of the commands or who should be giving the commands. So, check your device settings; all devices have Advanced Settings to address this issue. Common examples include parental controls or two-step verification (commonly called two factor authentication).

AI FASHION INDUSTRY COLLABORATIONS – MERGING FASHION & TECHNOLOGY

Fashion Institute of Technology & IBM

(Photo credit: Fashion Institute of Technology)

‘Strong’ AI is used for problem-solving processes.  It’s programmed to use a mixture of logic and trial & error to find answers or to categorize things. This type of AI works by ‘image sorting’ and can help you analyze real-time images and fashion industry trends.

For example, in 2018, the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), IBM and Tommy Hilfiger teamed up to evaluate 15,000 Tommy Hilfiger images and some 600,000 publicly available runway images, to understand silhouettes, colors and styles. Another tool was used to analyze nearly 100,000 patterns from various fabric websites to produce novel and unique fabric patterns. This helped eliminate “all-nighters” for design research, since more time was allocated to designing and less time for researching.

This project led to further collaboration between IBM and FIT in 2019.  FIT will use IBM AI for their Fashion Workforce of the Future in their DTechLab. They plan to partner with IBM in retail marketing & merchandising to enhance their curriculum and to perform joint research.

London College of Fashion & Microsoft

(Photo credit: London College of Fashion)

The London College of Fashion’s (LCF) Fashion Innovation Agency (FIA) is working with Microsoft to expand their offerings for advanced research in 3D effects and wearable technology. They are using AI to pinpoint consumer demand and augmented Reality (AR) to revive retail. As noted by Matthew Drinkwater, head of FIA, “We cannot ignore the way that digital has impacted everyday life and completely changed how designers, brands and retailers engage with consumers.”

AI RETAIL

Zalando Research

(Photo credit: Zalando Research)

Zalando Research (a division of Zalando), an online retailer in Europe and the UK, is another company that is developing software for designers. They are developing AI solutions for: the personalization of fit; visual searches for fashion images; determining diversity of design; recommendations for future customer purchases; pricing recommendations; generative fashion design; generative fashion image swapping using avatars, and image transfer.

The first image below left, displays how generative fashion design works. For example, you can change the color, texture and shape of the garment on the left into a very different garment, as you see in the garment examples to the right.  This can be useful in design studies. The second image displays how the same garment can be worn on different people. This could help with grading or designing for size. The third image displays different textures being modeled for the same garment style. Thus, AI can be used in the design & merchandising of fashion.

“Hello Siri or Alexa, ready to help design my new outfit?”

(Photo credit: Zalando Research)

The possibilities are endless for implementing AI in both the design and merchandising of fashion. STAY TUNED!

For more information on AI:  

Links

https://www.thestreet.com/technology/what-is-artificial-intelligence-14822076

https://www.businessinsider.com/sc/ibm-fashion-fit-design-ai-2018-2

https://newsroom.ibm.com/2019-04-23-IBM-and-FIT-Announce-Collaboration-to-Help-Build-the-Creative-Fashion-Workforce-of-the-Future

https://dtech.fitnyc.edu/webflow/index.html

https://news.microsoft.com/transform/london-college-of-fashion-designers-artificial-intelligence/

http://www.fialondon.com/

https://research.zalando.com/welcome/mission/research-projects/

Using Tech to Take Steps Toward a Smaller Fashion Footprint

If you haven’t noticed, we’ve had technology on the mind—and on the blog—for the last few weeks. Showcasing what’s possible in fashion with advancing technology is one thing, but using advanced technology for the betterment of people and our environment is what most scientists and designers have on their minds as they find newer and better ways of redesigning the old. Read More

Machine Made Masterpieces

A look by Machine Maven, Iris van Herpen Photo courtesy of

A look by Machine Maven, Iris van Herpen Photo courtesy of scostumista.com

What if you were told to “think outside of the fabric store and a dress form” when creating a garment?

And we’re not talking “you’ve got one hour in the grocery store and a budget of $25 to create a red carpet look” Project Runway challenge.

If a trip to the fabric store was not an option, where would your creative mind go? Read More