The notion of using AI to inform fashion sales and design will not be new to the trend-conscious attendees of the New York event.

Earlier this year, the New York designers of Rag & Bone, who gave up on conventional fashion shows in 2017 and have been experimenting with more innovative presentations, held a dinner party with celebrities and an AI. The filmed event, called A Last Supper, had the machine “learn” about the guests and outfits throughout the dinner and give opening and closing remarks. To show the collection from the “eyes” of the machine, the designers created a conceptual video using point cloud data that revealed how the AI “sees” the world and the looks it observed.

Meanwhile, the online stylists at Stitch Fix have been using algorithms to find out more about what their clients want and to design items that meet those needs, based on the data. In 2017, Quartz reported that those machine-informed designs were flying off the digital racks.

That’s exactly what Alibaba is hoping to see with its investment in fashion AI. The company believes the data it garners from customers can help designers see six months into the future. In these fast-moving times, that would put them practically eons ahead of competitors relying purely on the imaginative powers of mere mortals.

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