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AI and Fashion Integration  

The beginning of a new era of creative design and lifestyle


Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the fashion and textiles industry. With the ever-growing influence and deployment of AI in fashion design, manufacturing and retailing, it is changing consumer lifestyles and the way businesses operate. We can anticipate an increase in the demand for creative AI applications in the coming years.

Professor Calvin Wong and his team at PolyU’s School of Fashion and Textiles, have been a pioneer in the research of computer vision and AI-based applications for the industry. Thanks to the generous support from Sau Ching Charity Foundation to set up the Cheng Yik Hung Endowed Professorship in Fashion, the team has succeeded in a number of significant breakthroughs.

One of these early inventions is WiseEye – an intelligent fabric fault detection system. Backed by AI, big data and deep learning technologies, WiseEye can detect fabric defects with exceptionally high accuracy. Replacing the traditional method of detection by the naked eye, WiseEye can achieve high-quality control and minimise wastage. The General Research Fund of the University Grants Committee and the National Nature Science Foundation of China also funded the project. WiseEye has received four invention awards and a patent.

The AI-based Interactive Design Assistant for Fashion (AiDA) developed by the team marks another important milestone in fashion design. Much more than an ordinary computer tool, the AiDA emphasises human-computer interaction, making it the world’s first designer-led AI design system. Designers can upload their mood boards, sketches, colour palettes and patterns, and AiDA can generate an original design collection within 10 seconds. AiDA, apart from enhancing efficiency, offers many advantages when it comes to design inspiration.

AiDA is one of the core technologies being adopted by the Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence in Design (AiDLab). PolyU and the Royal College of Art have jointly established AiDLab to offer AI-assisted design solutions to benefit both the industry and society. One distinct example is the use of AI to enable ergonomic design to produce functional apparel for the health benefits of users. As Professor Wong puts it,

We believe the integration of AI and design will bring about a paradigm shift in the fundamentals of how we create, communicate and contribute to society.

As e-commerce flourishes globally, more people are shopping online. Customers often encounter difficulties in searching for the right item and the problem of ill-fitted clothes. Professor Wong led his team to collaborate with Alibaba Group and the first "FashionAI Dataset" was created. Fashion images are systematically analysed and labelled based on the garment’s attributes to facilitate easy searching. A Fashion AI Concept Store was set up on the PolyU campus to let visitors experience the benefits brought by these new technologies in selecting clothes and previewing personalised mix-and-match options.

The emergence of AI has continued to shape consumer habits and lifestyles. Another PolyU research team – Dr Tracy Mok and Dr Zhu Shuaiyin developed a 3D human modelling technology which can accurately generate 3D figures from merely two full body photographs taken with a mobile phone. This will enable customers to virtually try on garments and order tailor-made clothing by using smartphone photos to take their measurements.

2_WiseEye  3_AiDA  4_3D human modelling

The progress of AI is nothing short of astonishing, and the opportunities are endless. Your support is instrumental in helping us build a dynamic and vibrant fashion and textiles industry through the integration of cutting-edge technologies. We invite you to be our research partners, together we can discover new horizons and make significant contributions to society. You can support PolyU’s research in your preferred discipline by participating in our Endowed Professorship Scheme. Please contact us for more information.


Publishing date: August 2023

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