How This Designer Is Using Technology to Get Ahead of Fashion’s Biggest Trends

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Tommy Hilfiger has just announced the brand’s collaboration with IBM and the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) on a project that aims to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to identify trends before they hit the runways. But what does that all mean, and how does it affect you?

As reported by Fash Nerd, this is one of many tech-forward moves the brand has made in the recent past, including a chat bot for Facebook messenger and high-tech dressing rooms.

By utilising pre-existing fashion data, including past seasons’ runway images, IBM’s AI Research tools are able to predict trends in real-time. With social media, the way that trends develop is changing rapidly, as customers are constantly exposed to new styles. With help from IBM’s AI tools, FIT students were able to produce colours, designs, and silhouettes that are currently on the rise.

As technology evolves, it is increasingly important for designers to stay in touch with the growing digital market. This isn’t Tommy Hilfiger’s first foray into the tech world, as the brand has also experimented with Facebook chat bots, virtual reality headsets, and high-tech dressing rooms.

The chat bots, launched in time for New York Fashion Week in September 2016, fell short in their abilities to replicate human conversation despite being able to guide customers to products. More successfully, the Tommy Hilfiger flagship store has proved capable of keeping up with technological advances. The store has not only had virtual reality headsets that allow customers to watch past runway shows, but also features “high-tech” dressing rooms.

Complete with touchscreen “smart mirrors” reminiscent of Clueless, the shop—like this new collaboration—speaks to the brand’s awareness of the ever-evolving way that customers interact with brands and products given our growing access to data and technology.

Is this new technology here to disrupt the way we shop and dress? Unless we continue to push forward and test and trial new technologies, we have no way to know what positive impacts it can have on our future.