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Growing Influence of A.I. on the Fashion & Beauty Industries

If you haven’t heard of A.I., or artificial intelligence, by now, it’s seriously time to pay attention. Something once exclusive to dystopian and futuristic movies is now infiltrating our homes and everything around us. That sounds a little scary, but some A.I. is actually pretty interesting and useful for everyday life. I mean, have you heard of Alexa? Anyways, the fashion and beauty industries are constantly on the hunt for something new and shocking, so it’s only natural for A.I. to make its way into that realm. Keep reading to learn about how A.I. is being implemented in the fashion and beauty industries and its implications.

Photorealistic Images

Photorealism refers to photos that look real but were actually created digitally. Dazed Beauty, an alternative publication showcasing radical fashion and youth culture, recently partnered with Kylie Jenner to create what I believe to be one of the coolest collaborations to date. The photos themselves are striking, however, it’s the concept behind them that is what makes the shoot so mind-blowing. Why? Because A.I. digitally applied her makeup. Beauty_GAN is an A.I. algorithm developed to create beauty-related images without the help of a person. It does this by analyzing source material from, in this case, Instagram and then producing imagery based upon what it has “seen”. Starting with photos of Jenner in almost no makeup as a blank canvas, the program was applied to “paint” her face based upon its knowledge of the most relevant and popular beauty looks. 

Virtual Influencers

Influencers have been mainstream for quite some time now, however, there are a few new players that are changing up the game. Specifically, “it girl” Lil Miquela. Lil Miquela is a CGI avatar created by the startup company Brud who has “partnered” with brands including Prada and Opening Ceremony. Given her rising popularity, it’s expected that companies will start developing their own CGI influencers to promote their products. After all, why spend thousands of dollars on real people when you can have an avatar spit out exactly what you want to say for free?

Customized Products & Specialization

Gone are the days of selling a product to the masses– today’s consumers want customization, and a lot of it. This makes sense considering everybody has different skin types, hair types, undertones, etc. Forward-thinking companies have begun developing their own A.I. software programs to gain insight and better address their customers’ wants and needs. Proven, a skincare brand that uses “cutting edge technology to improve the everyday lives of women”, has bots scroll through a ginormous database and, through machine learning, make connections between products, ingredients, and reviews. This data gives the company insight on how different ingredients of each product affect people with different skin types, ethnic backgrounds, and geographic regions. The company is then able to reformulate their products based upon this data. Another implementation of technology to aid consumers is virtual reality. L’Oreal recently acquied Modiface which is an augmented reality company that helps users visualize what they would look like with different makeup and hairstyles. Users are able to have their faces scanned and then receive recommendations for skin care products. They can even use VR to virtually try on makeup to see how certain products will look on them! 

Overall, I think there is a lot of good that can come from an increase in A.I. throughout the fashion and beauty industries. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather know how a product will look on me before I spend a bunch of money. Also, Lil Miquela is freaking cool.

Tasia Wormser

CU Boulder '21

Tasia is currently in her senior year at the University of Colorado Boulder, majoring in Strategic Communications with minors in TAM (Technology, Arts, and Media) and Business. In her free time, she loves scrolling through Pinterest, listening to 6lack, and drinking green tea. ✰
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