Artificial intelligence meets fashion: How AiDA is disrupting design

In December, Hong Kong-based start-up Code-Create launched the world’s first artificial intelligence (AI) platform for fashion design. 

Called AiDa, which stands for Artificial Intelligence Design Assistant, the technology was unveiled at the Fashion x AI event in Hong Kong, where international brands and designers including Besfxxk, Injury, The World Is Your Oyster, Mountain Yam, Kay Kwok and Fengyi Tan debuted their inaugural AI-driven collections. 

The technology works by analysing a designer’s mood boards, colour choices, fabric print selection and sketches and generating original designs based on these inputs in 10 seconds. One of the main components of the platform is Mixi, which can recognise over 2,300 colours and over 230 fashion attributes. 

According to Code-Create, AiDA can speed up the fashion design process by 60 per cent. The startup aims to revitalise the fashion ecosystem through AI.

“2023 has been off to a great start,” Code-Create co-founder and CEO Kim Wong told Inside Retail. “I will be leaving for Korea next week, where we will be presenting AiDA to the Seoul National University. We will also be meeting with a potential client in Korea, so we are looking forward to it.”

Code-Create co-founder and CEO Kim Wong

AiDa is the product of a partnership between Polytechnic University of Hong Kong and the Royal College of Art in the United Kingdom. One of the key goals of the partnership was to make sure the solution could be commercialised for the marketplace.

“The beauty of AiDA is that it is very well trained. It has over 15,000 fashion sketches in its database and can provide recommendations in an interactive manner by creating a dialogue with designers,” Wong said.

She reiterates that AiDA was not built as a solution to replace designers, but to assist them in providing design ideas, inspiration and to reinvigorate the ideation process. The more historical data is entered into the database, the more possibilities can emerge.

World-renowned designers

The team at Code-Create started working with Besfxxk, Injury, The World Is Your Oyster, Mountain Yam, Kay Kwok and Fengyi Tan over six months before the show debuted in Hong Kong in December last year.

The show included around 14 designers who created 80 outfits using AiDa. According to Wong, most of the designers were excited to use the AiDA solution as it provided them with proposals and recommendations for unique designs.

“Each designer has their own unique style. For example, Injury from Australia, is known for their futuristic looks. AiDA was able to tap into the specific identity of each brand and provide useful recommendations that were used to create capsule collections,” she added.

AiDA is just the first step that Code-Create is taking to revolutionise the entire fashion ecosystem. From fabric selection and manufacturing to logistics, the startup ultimately aims to build a global AI showroom connecting the entire industry with a digital-first movement.

“I truly believe that we will disrupt the fashion industry. AiDA is very user-driven, it’s interactive and it’s also very fast. It can speed up the inspirational process by at least 60 per cent. A collection usually takes months to design, AiDA can do it much faster,” she said.

Wong likens the AiDA solution to a sewing machine. The user is the master behind the sewing machine, and once people get used to it, the company aims to integrate it further into the fabric industry and manufacturing sector to tap into this enormous opportunity.

“AiDA can be a catalyst for sustainability in the fashion industry. It can help the industry cut down on wastage. Designers can plan collections with limited inventory so that there is a bigger focus on sharing the collections in a borderless digital world,” she added.

The future

Wong believes that AiDA will be the bridge to a global fashion ecosystem in the future. Code-Create is also very focused on cultivating young talent to revolutionise the way people look at fashion.

“At Code-Create, we are passionate about education, and we are incorporating AiDA into our curriculum at the university level. For us, it’s all about building communities, bridging the offline and online worlds, so that we can make a difference in the industry,” she added.

With an annual subscription rate of 5,000 Hong Kong dollars (US$640), Wong hopes that designers and institutions will flock towards it. She feels that the fashion industry is yearning for something new, and that AiDA can deliver it.

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