- Denim brand G-Star Raw revealed images Tuesday of a 12-piece collection created by their designers working with the Midjourney AI app.
- Of the dozen looks displayed, only one — an intricately folded denim cape — was produced by the brand’s Amsterdam atelier, and will be used as an in-store display. The company did not respond to a request for the store's location.
- This isn’t G-Star’s first foray into haute fashion. Last year, the brand revealed five couture hats designed by milliner Stephen Jones, and in February it showcased two couture looks designed by David Laport.
G-Star Raw’s latest exercise in experimental design may be aesthetically intriguing, but it’s not meant to be scalable. In an interview for WWD, Gwenda van Vliet, G-Star’s chief marketing officer, said, “We should see AI as enhancing the creative process, rather than taking it over.”
Each of the 12 designs shown on the brand’s website features varying degrees of whimsical complexity, from cartoonish denim boots to a bulbous denim outfit reminiscent of Harri’s outfit for Sam Smith at this year’s Brit Awards. A video on the website shows the process, which the company described as inputting the prompts “denim, model is wearing, organic shapes, minimal, ratio, futuristic hardware, techwear fashion, white background, 4k” into Midjourney’s app, and then adding design elements, including a back for the garment, as the process unfolded.
Tailors at the brand’s atelier said on the website that creating the AI-produced piece in real life was “quite challenging because of so many illogical details. It took a lot of time to discover how the layers were connected and where details began and ended. But that was also fun because it’s something you would never design as a human."
More fashion brands are beginning to embrace AI. For this year’s Metaverse Fashion Week, happening this week, PVH-owned Tommy Hilfiger is letting customers design items using AI and hosting an AI design competition in Decentraland. Last week, Levi’s announced it would try AI-generated models to diversify its online presence. And a March 2023 report from McKinsey on generative AI in the fashion industry delved into ways the technology can be used to create everything from enhanced designs to custom marketing and communications campaigns.
For its part, G-Star has always been known as a brand that embraced innovation, from its original 1989 raw denim line to its early approaches to sustainability. However, it’s been a tumultuous few years for the brand, which declared bankruptcy in 2020. The Dutch-based company, once co-owned by current LVMH men’s creative director Pharrell Williams, culled its U.S. store count down from 31 to 10 in November 2020 after it was unable to broker deals with various retail landlords during the early days of COVID-19. Additionally, it was forced to cut 10% of its global workforce.
In the wake of its restructuring, G-Star introduced new programs to revitalize the brand’s image. In 2021 G-Star began offering free repair services in the Netherlands in an effort to increase its sustainability as part of an overall Raw Responsibility initiative. The brand also dipped its digital toes into NFTs last year by releasing 10 rhinoceros-themed avatars.