Australian Fashion Week drew to a close last week. Having cousins living in Sydney who were lucky enough to attend a few catwalk shows themselves, I was able to catch a glimpse of some of the quirky, fashion-forward outfits that hit the runway this year from their Instagram and Snapchat stories.
What took me by surprise though was how ahead-of-the-curve some of the current fashion brands and retailers are when it comes to implementing advanced technologies in their clothing and accessories.
This got me thinking about the fashion brands currently on the market that are using technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality and blockchain to create entirely new, never before seen #fashtech products and services.
Here are my top three:
AI fashion designer
While Amazon isn’t synonymous with high fashion, the company is leading the way when it comes to replacing stylists and designers with ‘oh so chic’ AI algorithms.
Amazon has developed an algorithm that learns about a particular style of fashion from images and can then generate new items in similar styles from scratch —essentially, a simple AI fashion designer. Clever, I know!
Defining a new reality with VR and AR
The use of virtual and augmented reality is also on the rise in the fashion world. While early experiments were largely promotional, investment is now being made by fashion brands and retailers to create digital environments that not only showcase styles but become an entirely new sales channel.
The Chinese e-commerce company Alibababuilt a virtual store stocked with goods and made sure that purchase and payment by customers is easy as nodding their heads.
Making blockchain fashionable
Despite all the attention that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are getting in the press, nearly every industry is looking at ways to make use of blockchain in its products and offerings. And the fashion industry is no different.
Fashion entrepreneurs are designing wearables to tap into the mainstreaming of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. For one, they’re creating biometric rings that use blockchainto secure a person’s password and wearable payment devices for making payments using the Dash cryptocurrency. Who said blockchain couldn’t be fashionable, hey?