Artificial intelligence fashion startup Bigthinx is in partnership with fashion innovation that will live stream the first fully digital 3D virtual fashion show (inclusive of digitalized models of humans) this Friday as the Covid-19 pandemic has forced the fashion industry to go online. The aspect is that everything is ‘virtual’ including the models and clothes. These things are being created using 3D digital design, supply, and animation basis completely being technical data (inclusive of garment measurements) garments and photographs of models.
This would be the first time many fashion professionals will see the virtual fashion as the industry-wide discussions about implementing it construct it came to halt due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is obvious from the announcements made by Helsinki Fashion Week that digital fashion is going to be a critical long-term solution rather than a temporary measure. Helsinki fashion week is the first to declare that they will show 3D virtual fashion shows for the upcoming season and beyond before COVID-19 forced Milan, Newyork, and others to follow suit.
this 3D virtual show will not only get opportunities but numerous challenges to especially for a technology company which is known for its body scan Avatar solution completely based on just a selfie from a Smartphone and two photos. From the images they get they calculate, “44 size body measurements and body composition ratios with over 95% accuracy.” Shoppers can explore a wide range of garment sizes on the avatars before purchasing because of their B2B model which completely plugs into retailer’s e-commerce sites. They say this is very much important to solve the problem of a high rate of return from online shopping and reduces the chances of Shoppers buying a product in multiple sizes wherein the returns are inevitable.
In an interview with the founders, husband and wife partnership Chandralika Hazarika and Shivang Desai, I asked how they found themselves creating a 3D Virtual Fashion Show, given that their bread and butter is AI solutions, primarily for fast fashion E-Commerce retailers. Desai said, “London and New York Fashion Week and the Swedish Fashion Council have all been in touch and need this.”
Hazarika also pitched in saying “Model agencies have started reaching out and this is something very new for us (but) digitalizing models is helping agencies with revenue (during lockdown). Desai explained furthermore digital models are more affordable and this can ‘level the playing field’ emerging designers. A request from a client in France was what actually boosted their entry into virtual fashion presentations as the client needed physical samples completely digitalized because of the closed sales showroom.”
As demonstrated by the bureau, there is a demand for digital fashion models as well as presentations, with incumbents, inclusive of The Fabricant, Digi-Gxl, founded by Cat Taylor, and Carlings, how Bigthinx approaches this new challenge which extends beyond this core area of focus? graduated from the Startup Bootcamp through which they gained Prada Group backing, Bigthinx directly has access to the fashion & style industry with mentors on the programs snapping Nike, NKE, Givenchy, and Diesel. Desai said, “While we don’t have the fashion background, what we bring to the table is the ability to adapt and integrate new technology quickly.” It is actually not difficult to see how valuable and important this could be for brands as the need for digital solutions and the likely competition will desire for proprietary software and brand-specific experiences. Bigthinx differs from The Fabricant and Carlings. They create extraordinary digital fashion along with software solutions at their disposal. “For the Prada group this allows us to create bespoke solutions for brands with E-commerce an obvious target”, their strength being able to move quickly software developers, Desai elaborated.
According to Desai one obvious advantage in the subject of luxury fashion, in particular, Bigthinx offers is the body scanning solution which provides customer measurement data and improves Prada’s understanding of their customer size demographics. This in turn informs the future production of sizing which is more in line with the customer base and targeted according to the location. Desai said, “They (Prada Group) are looking to us to invest things they will need in the future.”
The 10 strong Bigthinx team which is best in Bengaluru create a long runway inspired by World Oceans Day in terms of 3D Visual Fashion Show. The analysis of the sketches for garment photographs from the fashion designers is done by the Bigthinx AI engine which identifies the government category and the basic design features through image recognition. Marvelous Designer is used to digitalizing the garment, later on, the garments are then placed on the 3D model avatar.
Moving on the next step is final material textures animations applying lighting and supplying. The show collaborator is an artist Jason Naylor whose salient graphic artworks are applied to a jumpsuit to demonstrate digital show can foster new partnerships between artists and fashion brands. Other brands involved are a contemporary fashion label from Japan, a bespoke atelier from Nigeria and sustainable swimwear label based in Brazil.
When asked about the challenges faced in creating this show their explain that the usual way of working for designers and brands is to create garments right up to a minute to show starts. With virtual shows, the design decisions got to be finalized weeks (or more) before the show to permit time for digital creation, animation, and rendering. the highlights need for closer collaboration new workflows between the technology company and fashion brands if this type of 3D virtual fashion show is to become commonplace.
Achieving realistic animation is just another challenge. This comes as no surprise that discussions where done hat length the time it was taking to refine nuanced and gait movements of the avatars. The industry standard is to animate on a featureless or invisible avatar (particularly creating the realistic hair is difficult) so that there is no undermine to the realism of the garment in motion. It seems a mighty feat to animate avatars created from human models with just a couple of weeks of production time.
The 3D visible fashion show is a proof-of-concept for Bigthinx team, this team has a powerful AI engine that is capable of creating 2D garment construction patterns for each of the 3D garment assets. No confirmation can be given with regards to the accuracy of the measurements and fit of these 2D patterns in a physical product. Desai describes them as “Ad-Hoc” at this stage. Provided that this runway is a showcase rather than just a sales tool, as there is no need to produce physical government afterward this necessary does not pose a problem as well. A consideration however it is for those brands which are planning to replace physical shows with the virtual ones as both promotional and sales tool.