A new partnership between computing giant IBM and The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York is aiming to embed AI into the full spectrum of the fashion industry.
The partnership will see a suite of artificial intelligence (AI) tools covering deep learning, natural language processing and computer vision applied to the fashion industry, across design and development, merchandising, supply chain and retail.
It will see the FIT/Infor Design and Technology Lab (DTech Lab) build on a previous partnership with the technology heavyweight, which saw the DTech Lab work with IBM and leading fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger. The project, Reimagine Retail, focused on using AI to increase the brand’s competitive position through optimisations in product design, supply chain and market insights.
“Reimagine Retail was a powerful example of what happens when fashion partners with a global tech leader to advance challenging innovations,” said Michael Ferraro, director of the FIT/Infor DTech Lab.
Testing AI in the fashion industry
The new partnership is designed to build on the success of the Reimagine Retail project, particularly by equipping students with digital skills that are increasingly essential to the future fashion industry.
“Embedding emerging technology into our lab where faculty and students are solving industry problems is the next step in our evolving relationship with IBM,” said Ferraro.
“We’re leveraging the fresh perspectives and new ideas of talented creative students in an agile research environment.”
As part of the partnership, both students and partnering fashion companies will be given access to a suite of IBM’s APIs, which can be applied to different technological solutions across the fashion industry.
For brands this also provides a risk-free space to innovate, where organisations can test potential AI-driven solutions without risking wider business operations.
“After a successful IBM-FIT project for Tommy Hilfiger last year, formalising our relationship with FIT is a natural next step to accelerate our development of AI solutions for the fashion industry,” said Luq Niazi, IBM’s Global Consumer Industry Managing Director.