IBM and FIT collaborate to build future fashion workforce

The Fashion Institute of Technology’s (FIT’s) Infor Design and Technology Lab (DTech Lab) and IBM has announced a collaboration that will transform how fashion industry works and help build creative workforce of the future. FIT will use IBM AI for fashion capabilities in its DTech Lab, an innovation center that partners with industry to engage in research.

IBM’s artificial intelligence (AI) for fashion capabilities – a suite of application programming interfaces (APIs) developed and trained for the fashion industry that leverage deep learning, natural language processing, and computer vision will help fashion companies improve customer experience, enhance their product design, development, and merchandising/planning activities, and augment merchandise performance analysis, said IBM in a press release.

These APIs can be delivered individually, incorporated into existing applications, and/or be leveraged to develop new retail applications, such as trend identification or analysis, product design, development, and merchandising.

FIT students from fashion design, textile development and marketing, international trade and marketing for the fashion industries, and fashion business management will work directly with the APIs, developing new use cases and providing input on end user functionality and experience. Through projects that combine coursework with professionally guided learning, the lab leverages the fresh perspectives and new ideas of talented, creative students.

FIT’s initial experience with IBM AI for Fashion was in 2018 when Tommy Hilfiger teamed with IBM and the DTech Lab on ‘Reimagine Retail’, a project to show how AI can give a fashion brand a competitive edge with market insights, product design, personalisation and supply chain optimisation. The tools also equipped the next generation of retail leaders with new skills using AI in design.

“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. “Embedding emerging technology into our lab where faculty and students are solving industry problems is the next step in our evolving relationship with IBM. We’re leveraging the fresh perspectives and new ideas of talented creative students in an agile research environment.”

“FIT is an educational force that continues to innovate and ensure the future of the creative industries, including fashion,” said Dr. Joyce F Brown, president of FIT. “We are proud to partner with IBM. Together we can look forward to many breakthroughs in resolving the challenges of today and tomorrow.”

“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.

Since its inception in the summer of 2017 through the current spring 2019 semester, the DTech Lab has taken on 19 projects involving 76 students and 21 faculties. (PC)

SOURCE: Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India