Modal Events and A.I. Fashion: Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence Between Present and Future

From Firenze University Press Journal: Fashion Highlight

University of Florence
3 min readMar 20, 2024

Amedeo Lo Savio, Università Iuav di Venezia

In recent months, artificial intelligence has been introducing itself vigorously and very rapidly into various design disciplines, and fashion represents an area of strong experimentation. The development of A.I. software and platforms, in many cases open source, allows anyone to explore possible collaborations between humans and artificial intelligence, even without programming and computer code writing skills. Therefore, it seems urgent to question the future prospects and expectations of the role of artificial intelligence in fashion’s creative, production, communication, and distribution processes, with its consequences on the professional skills required and those that may become redundant. The contribution brings together the initial reflections of a research path that aims to observe and investigate these phenomena, hypothesizing possible changes in fashion design in the role of designers with the development of A.I.The purpose of this essay is to outline a picture of the current reality, investigating early experiences of the use of artificial intelligence in fashion; evaluating perspectives related to design and designers; and developing a reflection in mathematical terms on the potential of this tool and the synergy between creative and machine.

A.I. in the Posthuman Fashion Perspective

A.I. in the Posthuman Fashion PerspectiveIt is first necessary to clarify what is meant by artificial intelligence: the possibility of establishing through machines, technologies and software connections between various pieces of information that are immediately related in a manner similar to that of human intelligence. The scientific literature related to the applications of artificial intelligence in the fashion system is still at an early stage, going mainly to investigate its use in marketing strategies through the analysis of big data (Barile & Sugiyama, 2020; Silva et al., 2020). More developed, on the other hand, is the theoretical reflection on the relations between human and technology in fashion, particularly through contributions developed from philosophical theories on posthuman (Braidotti, 2013) and cyborg (Haraway, 2016). Related to the topic on the Anthropocene, Anneke Smelik, professor of “Visual Culture” at the Dutch University of Radboud Nijmegen. In a lecture given at the Iuav University of Venice in March 2022, she emphasized how human activity has radically changed the planet; and questioned what it means to live in the age of humanity. In Smelik’s posthuman perspective, the nonhuman is also included; in fact, his lecture focused on ontological questions related to human beings and their responsibility to the planet, humans themselves, animals and plants. Smelik introduced the concept of New Materialism (2018) by highlighting what may be new directions for studies in the field of fashion. In doing so, non-human factors are highlighted in the field and in research that is dropped into a posthuman context, where we insist on the study of the most standard raw materials such as cotton, all the way to smart materials such as the “solar film” proposed by MIT.Within this framework are the first experiments in the application of A.I. in the fashion system, which initially involved sales processes and concerned companies such as Yoox and Amazon. In 2017, during a workshop on machine learning and fashion, Amazon said that a group of researchers at the company is studying the prospect of collecting images of a certain fashion style and then, through an algorithm, reproducing similar but new patterns based on those images (Knight, 2017). The specific algorithm is called GAN (Generative Adversarial Network), a subset of artificial intelligence used in machine learning. The GAN technique generates photographs that are synthetic but look authentic to the naked eye. “There’s been a lot of movement in this by companies like Amazon trying to understand how fashion is developing in the world,” Kavita Bala professor in computer science at Cornell University told the MIT Technology Review conference. Another example is the YooxMirror project presented in December 2018 by Italian online retail company Yoox Net-A-Porter (YNAP).1This application, supported by artificial intelligence, is designed as a virtual fitting room that offers users an interactive experience in which they can virtually match and wear clothes and accessories, share them on social networks, and eventually purchase them (Vaccari & Franzo, 2022; Giano, 2019).


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