New Facet for Saucony OMNI 9 ProGrid ‘Crystal Caves’ | Footpatrol Discussions

19.10.23 Footpatrol DiscussionsGeneral



Through advanced algorithms, AI analyses vast amounts of data, including consumer preferences, social media trends, and historical fashion data. This data-driven approach enables designers to create collections that resonate with the public, resulting in more sustainable and customer-centric fashion. Additionally, AI-driven virtual try-on solutions and personalised styling recommendations enhance the shopping experience, reducing returns and waste. As a result, AI is not only transforming how fashion is created and marketed but also contributing to a more sustainable and inclusive fashion industry that caters to individual tastes and needs. Here we are, to talk to NEW FACET on how he has this world in the palm of his hand and what he plans to do with it. 

Also, make sure to look out for the Saucony OMNI 9 ProGrid ‘Crystal Cave’ launching online on Friday 20th October (Available online from 08:00AM BST).

Footpatrol: Hi Luca, We hope you’re well, and thank you for letting us come and learn first hand about the world of NEW.FACET, can you tell us a bit more about yourself and what you do? 

NF: Hey, thanks for having me! I’m Luca, a multidisciplinary designer based in Germany. I primarily work in the fields of Graphic Design, Digital Experiences, and 3D design. Last year, I started the research project NEW FACET, exploring the intersection of CGI, Digital Art, and AI with Fashion.

FP: Can you tell us about your adventure into the world of ai and fashion, what was the inspiration for this?

NF: As a creative I always like exploring new emerging technologies, workflows, and mediums. My first touchpoints with AI were two years ago with some of the rudimentary diffusion tools and GAN models that existed back then. Last year, there was significant development in the field of diffusion-based ai systems, and I saw the potential for how these systems could be better controlled compared to previous ones. I tried various workflows, such as combining them with 3D or sketches, for example. 

Taking the fashion route seemed quite natural during this process. I’ve always been interested in fashion, but it seemed somewhat challenging to approach. However, with the workflows involving AI and 3D, it has become much more approachable to create your own world and visualize your ideas without requiring extensive resources.

FP: Can you explain the advantages/disadvantages if any, of using AI in the fashion industry, both for designers and consumers

NF: For designers, it can be a great addition in various workflow methods, such as visualising concept sketches, generatively iterating on designs, rapid prototyping, or gathering inspirations. For consumers, it all comes down to a more personalized experience, such as virtual try-ons, customized products tailored to consumers’ measurements, or personalized styling recommendations.

FP: How do you believe AI-generated fashion addresses the issue of sustainability in an increasingly eco-conscious world?

NF: Digital tools for designing clothes, like Clo3D, assist in visualizing clothing concepts one-to-one for the real world, reducing misalignment in the production of clothes and minimizing the number of samples and prototypes that need to be created. AI will help make this direct visualization process more accessible to other designers. In addition to image diffusion algorithms that help in visualizing concepts, there are AI algorithms specifically tailored to clothing production, such as those that generate the optimal cutting pattern from a mesh of the designed garment to minimize fabric waste. 

While it will still take some time, I also believe AI will enable more and more people to create their own products in the future. We’ve seen the first developments in fields like footwear design and 3D printing over the past few years. In the future, AI will assist in creating customized and personalized products for the end consumer, coupled with technologies like 3D printing or 3D weaving techniques this could pave the way for new, localized, and eco-friendlier production methods. Projects like unspun from Vega are looking really promising for example.

FP: How have you noticed consumers perceive AI-generated fashion items, and do they have any reservations about wearing them?

NF: Like with any new technology, there are two sides to how developments in the field of AI are perceived, either positively or negatively. It’s important to acknowledge that this new technology can be used for both good and bad purposes. For outsiders, it’s often challenging to understand the various ways it can be used. However, I believe many people see AI as an additional tool for creativity and recognize that it doesn’t replace human creativity but rather enhances it. These tools are still operated by creative individuals.

FP: Are there any ethical concerns regarding AI in fashion, such as issues related to intellectual property?

NF: You can create highly transformative work with these systems, if you use them right. But there are also people who train systems to copy a certain style of an artist or use prompts in systems which are artist included and specifically try to imitate them. This is definitely a downside – with technological progress it’s also becoming increasingly easier to copy other people’s art. But I think every tool can be used in a good way or in an unethical way. It’s important to direct the blame in the right place.

FP: Can you tell us about stable diffusion? and some of the other tools you use? 

Luca: Stable Diffusion is an open-source image diffusion model that can be further extended and developed on your own. It’s the primary system I use because it offers more possibilities compared to other systems. While with other AI tools, you can only use them to visualize text prompts, stable diffusion allows you to train your own models for various needs or utilize it as a tool for visualizing sketches or 3D objects. 

FP: Can you tell us a bit more about the process of generating the Saucony Crystal Cave, were there any problems involved in the creation? 

NF: To bring the Saucony Crystal Cave into the digital realm, we initially created a photogrammetry scan of the shoe. So we basically took around 300 pictures of all possible angles of the shoe to create a 3D mesh that we could utilize later on. Following this, we designed a custom outfit using a 3D CAD tool specifically tailored for clothing design. A 3D persona now wears both the shoe and the custom outfit, allowing us to stage various scenes within a 3d program called Cinema 4D. To achieve a higher level of realism in rendering these scenes compared to traditional rendering methods, we integrated AI into the process. So, for the most part, it involves a blend of 3D sceneries with AI rendering methods and backgrounds.

FP: Can you tell us about some of the projects you’ve worked on with brands? and also are there any you would still love to work with in the future? 

NF: It was an incredible honor earlier this year to be part of the ‘Selected Memories and Visions of Functionality’ series by GORE-TEX, alongside ‘Advanced Research,’ to have our work exhibited during Paris Fashion Week. For the showroom, we created multiple concept designs inspired by GORE-TEX Past and envisioned how Products for the future could look like. For the history part, we designed several looks and shoe models inspired by a photo from a 1980s GORE-TEX catalog. For the second part, we developed several looks and shoe models for a more distant future.

Currently me and my good friend Tomek, work alongside other designers and brands, collaborating with them in the fields of Branding, 3D, and AI to develop real products. Outside of Fashion we’re working with Architectures, Photographers etc. to create exciting projects and to experiment on new workflows.

There are numerous people and brands I’d love to connect and collaborate with in the future. If I had to choose one, it would be Golwin’s 0.

FP: One thing we must ask, as we always do, if YOU were a sneaker, what would you be? 

NF: One of my favourite sneakers is the Nike React Undercover. I think I wouldn’t mind being one.

FP: For anyone that’s curious about diving into the world of AI whether it’s fashion or any other creative output, are there any words of wisdom, things you would encourage or avoid in someone on their journey that you wish you had been told when you started?

NF: I recommend trying out different tools and integrating them into the workflows and methods you already personally use. I believe this is the best way to discover things that you find useful and that you can expand upon. For more controlled outputs, I can suggest exploring stable diffusion. There are many resources available online on how to get started.

FP: Thank you Luca, its been a pleasure! 

NF: Thank you for having me. It was a great pleasure to meet you all and explore together on the visuals.

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