In recent years, DX has attracted attention in society, and various industries are rapidly changing due to digital technology. The fashion industry is also a representative field that is greatly affected by DX.
For example, with the advent of e-commerce, users’ purchasing behavior has shifted to the web, making it possible to easily purchase fashion items. In addition, efforts are being made to reduce waste, which is an industry issue, by utilizing demand forecasts using AI.
At this time, the fashion industry is beginning to demand human resources who will incorporate AI technology and further evolve the industry. However, in the current fashion industry, there is a problem that “there is a shortage of human resources who can master the essential AI.”
This time, in order to solve such a problem, Mr. Sakai, CEO of New Rope Co., Ltd., which provides a curriculum on AI utilization, Mr. Toyoda, Assistant Director of the Management Planning Office of Osaka Bunka Fashion College, who actually implements the curriculum, We also interviewed Ms. Iwasaki, a second-year student in the Brand Management Department at Osaka Bunka Fashion College .
( Mr. Sakai, Representative of New Rope Co., Ltd. )
(Left: Mr. Toyoda, Assistant Director of Management Planning Office, Osaka Bunka Fashion College, Right: Ms. Iwasaki, 2nd year, Department of Brand Management, Osaka Bunka Fashion College )
Table of contents
- About New Rope Co., Ltd.
- What are the challenges facing the fashion industry today?
- Curriculum creation based on the theme of AI utilization, not programming
- in conclusion
About New Rope Co., Ltd.
“#CBK scnnr (Kabuki Scanner)” provided by New Rope Co., Ltd. is an artificial intelligence that automatically analyzes the image of clothes and returns the type of clothes, that is, the tag information, and is used by users in e-commerce. It is used in various services, such as recommending similar images of products that people are looking at, and providing trend analysis that can be used for product development and marketing.
What are the challenges facing the fashion industry today?
ーー What is your assignment at fashion vocational school?
Mr. Toyoda: One of the issues at fashion vocational schools, especially those in the business field, is that the educational content is overly focused on conventional shop sales. Until now, I was able to demonstrate my strengths in employment in “sales positions,” so the underlying situation was that I was not fully committed to human resource development for headquarters staff, and that there was a shortage of emissions.
ーー What about the challenges faced by the fashion industry as a whole?
Mr. Sakai: As a whole industry, DX such as supply chain efficiency is required, and EC is also progressing. There is a shortage of manpower, and a chronic shortage of human resources has become a problem.
ーーWhy did you decide to incorporate AI into education against the backdrop of such issues?
Mr. Toyoda: As I mentioned earlier, fashion vocational schools are mainly focused on training shop clerks, and the training of skills related to head office functions has not progressed. Therefore, at our university, we decided to provide a differentiated curriculum that gives students a concrete image of fields other than shop sales as a career path. rice field. Under such circumstances, in the modern age of technological innovation, AI is a tool that leads to grounded and quantitative solutions to business problems, and being able to utilize that AI will be a strength in society and can contribute to the function of the headquarters. I thought it was a skill, so I conceived this curriculum.
ーーWhat made you want to get involved in AI education as a company?
Mr. Sakai: I myself have the experience of joining a contract development company as a planner without any engineering experience. I realized that, and felt the importance of knowing the mechanism itself, so I wanted to undertake a curriculum with the theme of AI utilization this time.
Curriculum creation based on the theme of AI utilization, not programming
ーーPlease tell us about the content of the curriculum.
Mr. Toyoda: At Osaka Bunka Fashion College, we started a curriculum called “AI Business Utilization” this year, where you can learn how to think about “how to use AI in business.” This is not to actually create AI, but to understand what AI is good at and what it can do, and refine the sensibility to get ideas for using AI to solve problems.
ーーFor example, what kind of classes do you teach?
Mr. Sakai: Specifically, we start with “What is AI?” The purpose is to have people see the quality and usefulness as a service with high resolution.
ーーWould you like to actually take a class?
Mr. Sakai: Many of the students have no prior knowledge about AI, so I started by introducing unique projects such as Menhera Technology’s “Boyfriend Bound AI,” which monitors a boyfriend’s SNS, to get them interested. I was. As we proceeded, everyone understood the conceptual part quickly, and the service plan proposed at the workshop was also based on the characteristics of AI. I think that the curriculum has become something that even those who have no information about AI can work on.
Voices of students actually receiving
We also interviewed students who are actually taking classes this time!
Iwasaki-san: I’m Iwasaki, a second-year student in the brand management department at Osaka Bunka Fashion College. Nice to meet you.
ーーHow was it when you actually took the class?
Mr. Iwasaki: At first, I thought that AI was far away from me, but after learning about AI from the basics, from the perspective of the user, it was surprisingly similar, and I felt a sense of familiarity. In addition, various AIs were introduced in class, and I was excited to see the possibilities of fashion and AI.
ーーHow did you grow after taking the class?
Ms. Iwasaki: I’ve been thinking about fashion ideas before, but knowing about AI is very important in thinking. The range of ideas has greatly expanded.
ーーHow would you like to make use of the knowledge you gained in the future classes?
Ms. Iwasaki: Originally, I was planning to work at a fashion-related company, following my usual path, but after taking classes to learn about the use of AI in business, I would like to launch a brand that makes effective use of AI in the future. Now For that reason, I will continue to learn about AI.
–Lastly, please tell us about your future plans!
Mr. Toyoda: This time, I feel that I want to improve the practical content that will be useful in society, so I would like to create opportunities for students to come up with ideas from the perspective of the field, such as industry-academia collaboration curriculum and company collaboration. Also, I think that AI has a wide range of possibilities, and this time we are implementing it only in the 3-year business department, but we will differentiate the genre even within AI, and the existing 2-year department, I wish I could incorporate it into the department for creators.
ーーHow about Mr. Sakai?
Mr. Sakai: There are many apparel headquarters in Osaka, so I would like to increase the amount of practical content by increasing collaboration with companies and holding ideathons based on the actual issues that companies have. I would like to make it a place where I can gain experience, including when things go wrong.
Today, various industries are focusing on DX, and the fashion industry is no exception, but the reality is that there are no human resources familiar with AI utilization and growth is sluggish.
Under such circumstances, the value of a curriculum that develops human resources who can handle AI is high, and I think it will be a presence that will produce great development in the fashion industry.
This time, I was interested in the fashion AI industry again by listening to the voices of the people who actually teach in the field and the students who are taking classes, and I will continue to pay attention to fashion x AI. I think!