Fashion AI, Generative AI
The fashion world has witnessed the emergence of iconic designers like Alexander McQueen in the 1990s and, more recently, figures such as Jonathan Anderson and Alessandro Michele in the 2010s. However, the question now is, what will the upcoming generation of fashion designers be like?The rapid expansion of Web3 and artificial intelligence (AI) applications like Midjourney and Dall-E is happening at an unprecedented pace. This has prompted fashion schools worldwide to update their curricula to ensure they prepare the next wave of innovative leaders in the industry.Roger Tredre, who leads the Fashion Communication master’s program at Central Saint Martins, emphasizes the importance of incorporating these new technologies into education. However, he also notes that teaching them is not straightforward; it’s more about inspiring students to explore their potential applications. GörselIn the last year, prestigious fashion education institutions like Central Saint Martins have recognized the profound cultural impact of digital fashion. What began as an underground movement has now become a global shift in how contemporary fashion, art, and design are perceived.Roblox x Parsons Design of School

Istituto Marangoni hosted its first phygital fashion show in June. Photo: Istituto Marangoni

In November of the previous year, Parsons announced a digital fashion education program in collaboration with the gaming platform Roblox. This 16-week course was designed to introduce aspiring talents to the world of digital fashion, providing them with the necessary practices and tools. Importantly, students did not need to possess prior expertise in virtual design; they simply needed a willingness to learn. Kyle Li, an Assistant Professor of Intermedia at Parsons, highlighted how Roblox has opened up various new career paths, particularly for those who create digital items on the platform as a source of income. He aimed to equip his students with these valuable skills, emphasizing that Roblox is more than just a platform for socializing; it presents genuine business opportunities. During the course, students were fully immersed in Roblox’s exclusive Layered Clothing Technology and gained a deep understanding of how modern user-generated content functions. Overthe semester, they grappled with Roblox’s constantly evolving Creator Roadmap features, engaged in game modification, and worked on prototyping inclusive 3D clothing items.The culmination of their efforts was a virtual fashion show hosted on Roblox, featuring a digitally-rendered runway. Each student’s final fashion concept was eventually made available for purchase on Roblox’s Avatar Marketplace.In 2022 alone, Roblox reported that more than 11.5 million creators designed over 62 million virtual clothing items and accessories, as stated in the ‘2022 Metaverse Fashion Trends’ report. Some of these creators, such as Rush Bogin, have built multi-million dollar careers around their virtual fashion designs.Kyle Li emphasized the importance of preparing students for emerging platforms like Roblox, recognizing that few universities are currently teaching the skills needed to succeed in this space. Their goal is to provide students with the essential skills and knowledge to thrive on these platforms.

Istituto Marangoni hosted its first phygital fashion show in June. Photo: Istituto Marangoni

Istituto Marangoni’s virtual ‘Talent District’Istituto Marangoni has been actively incorporating advanced technology into its educational offerings. This international school was among the pioneers in entering the metaverse by creating its virtual environment and teaching space known as ‘The Talent District’ in June 2022As part of its new digital fashion initiative, the school’s London campus recently hosted its inaugural “phygital” runway, where students were encouraged to explore the convergence of the physical and virtual worlds through innovative garment design.Stefania Valenti, Managing Director at Istituto Marangoni, noted that their students exhibit a strong curiosity and eagerness to express themselves in the digital world utilizing tools to experiment with new technologies. She emphasized that, as the expectations of today’s discerning consumers continue to evolve, the future of fashion depends on embracing innovation and sustainability practices that align with the ideals and goals of luxury brands. 

Central Saint Martins teamed up with Australian digital fashion label MYAMI Studios in June. Photo: MYAMI

 Esmod’s Meta-wear courseEsmod,a well- known fashion school based in Paris, introduced its ‘Meta-wear’ program last year. This undergraduate course is specifically designed to cultivate the skills of aspiring creative professionals focusing on the metaverse and NFTs. It accomplishes this by familiarizing students with essential tools like Clo 3D, Blender, Maya, and Daz3d.In addition to higher education programs, fashion brands are investing in educational initiatives for digital fashion, some of which are aimed at students as young as those in primary school. Louise Laing, the founder of the digital fashion startup Phygital Twin, discusses how their recent project involved encouraging young children to design their own phygital clothing.According to Laing, this approach provides an inclusive and accessible platform for young creatives and has the potential to create a more equitable environment in the field of fashion design.A Hybrid FutureAs students aim to follow the paths of fashion legends before them, they often gain valuable experience working with some of the industry’s most renowned figures. However, as more influential players in the fashion world embrace digital initiatives as part of their evolution, aspiring designers will need to be highly skilled in Web3 tools to stay competitive in this rapidly advancing environment.Matthew Drinkwater emphasizes the importance of preparing students for a future where 3D content will become increasingly prevalent. He believes it’s essential to equip them with an understanding of how emerging technologies will shape their careers, regardless of the specific field they plan to enter.The upcoming innovators in the fashion industry are eager to refine their skills. They are adopting an interdisciplinary approach that spans both the physical and digital realms, bridging the gap between various areas of expertise, such as graphic design, coding, 3D development, and generative AI. This approach allows them to push the boundaries of traditional fashion practices.According to Valenti, this shift enriches the students’ craftsmanship and prepares them to be part of a community of forward-thinkers in the ongoing digital transformation. She believes that as leaders in higher education, their responsibility is to provide students with state-of-the-art technology that helps them shape their talents and abilities, allowing them to reimagine creativity in fashion, design, and art in innovative ways. This doesn’t mean students have to choose between the physical and digital realms but rather encourages them to explore how to create projects that exist in a new creative dimension for the future.Source:

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