Web3 CMO Stories

Exploring AI, NFTs, and the Future of Fashion with Francesca Tabor | S3 E23

November 10, 2023 Joeri Billast & Francesca Tabor Season 3
Exploring AI, NFTs, and the Future of Fashion with Francesca Tabor | S3 E23
Web3 CMO Stories
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Web3 CMO Stories
Exploring AI, NFTs, and the Future of Fashion with Francesca Tabor | S3 E23
Nov 10, 2023 Season 3
Joeri Billast & Francesca Tabor

Ever wonder how emerging technologies are transforming the marketing landscape? Get set to unravel this mystery with Francesca Tabor, the trailblazing conference organizer and head of marketing at Fashion AI. As we traverse the changing terrain of marketing, we delve into the world of metaverses, games, NFTs, and AI. We discuss the revolution wrought by open-source technologies, making AI accessible to the masses, and how generative AI is emerging as the new frontier in content creation.

The conversation takes a fascinating turn as we confront the power and ethical implications of conversive AI, exploring how digital avatars and non-player characters engage with this technology. Listen to the risks and rewards associated with targeting young, tech-savvy audiences and gain insights into the concept of "Brandom" in relation to NFTs, games, and social media. We wrap up with a stimulating discussion on the potential of 3D printing in fashion, its potential to drive sustainability, and whether AI's fashion takeover threatens established brands. Don't miss out on this riveting journey through the future of marketing and fashion!

This episode was recorded through a StreamYard call on October 12, 2023. Read the blog article here: https://webdrie.net/exploring-ai-nfts-and-the-future-of-fashion-with-francesca-tabor




Ready to upgrade your Web3 marketing strategy? Don’t miss Consensus 2024  on May 29-31 in Austin, Texas. It is the largest and longest-running event on crypto, blockchain and Web3. Use code CMOSTORIES to get 15% off your pass at www.consensus2024.coindesk.com

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever wonder how emerging technologies are transforming the marketing landscape? Get set to unravel this mystery with Francesca Tabor, the trailblazing conference organizer and head of marketing at Fashion AI. As we traverse the changing terrain of marketing, we delve into the world of metaverses, games, NFTs, and AI. We discuss the revolution wrought by open-source technologies, making AI accessible to the masses, and how generative AI is emerging as the new frontier in content creation.

The conversation takes a fascinating turn as we confront the power and ethical implications of conversive AI, exploring how digital avatars and non-player characters engage with this technology. Listen to the risks and rewards associated with targeting young, tech-savvy audiences and gain insights into the concept of "Brandom" in relation to NFTs, games, and social media. We wrap up with a stimulating discussion on the potential of 3D printing in fashion, its potential to drive sustainability, and whether AI's fashion takeover threatens established brands. Don't miss out on this riveting journey through the future of marketing and fashion!

This episode was recorded through a StreamYard call on October 12, 2023. Read the blog article here: https://webdrie.net/exploring-ai-nfts-and-the-future-of-fashion-with-francesca-tabor




Ready to upgrade your Web3 marketing strategy? Don’t miss Consensus 2024  on May 29-31 in Austin, Texas. It is the largest and longest-running event on crypto, blockchain and Web3. Use code CMOSTORIES to get 15% off your pass at www.consensus2024.coindesk.com

Francesca:

Platforms like Facebook and the social network that I was building would collect a lot of information on users.

Joeri:

Hello everyone, and welcome to the Web3 CMO Stories podcast. My name is Joeri Billast and I'm your podcast host, and today I'm joined by Francesca.

Francesca:

Hello, nice to see you.

Joeri:

Yeah, actually we are recording this own video and this podcast will be available as audio and maybe there will be a video version later, who knows? Stay tuned, guys. But if you don't know Francesca, of course, her full name is Francesca Tabor and I hope I'm pronouncing this the right way.

Francesca:

Absolutely.

Joeri:

I think your colleagues in Fashion AI call you Franki and actually, yeah, you are a Conference Organizer, Francesca, and you're also a Head of Marketing at Fashion AI. But tell us a bit more as an introduction.

Francesca:

Yeah, so I'm a founder of both of those, so my background has been in technology. So in my 20s, I was project managing a team that was building a social media app and worked in a number of sort of interesting start-up organizations and unicorns like Hello Fresh Badoo, which has also Bumble under its arm and then, as a technologist, I also was keen to learn some of these new technologies, like you know, everything that was going on in the metaverse games and NFTs but I was new to those technologies, so I moved into more of a marketing role and a community builder and developing these communities of early adopters, essentially, and so I learned a lot from the community and I also helped to teach people and brands as well at the same time.

Joeri:

Wow, you are, yeah, like we have something in the background that is in common, but we are both marketers and you know the marketing landscape. It's really changing, and I would talk a bit about that, because there are all these new technologies that you also are into, like NFTs, like Metaverse, like AI. Don't talk about everything at the same time, but just let's talk about them one by one. What? How do you see the marketing landscape changing?

Francesca:

Sure, so kind of stepping back a bit. The first big trend was big data. So platforms like Facebook and the social network that I was building would collect a lot of information on users, and that was great from a user experience standpoint because they could create their profiles, but they could also communicate to other people who they were, so they could move beyond their friends and family to then find groups and these niches and who they would share passions with. And, by having data, companies like Netflix, or Amazon could, essentially show you products or content and recommend it based on the data that they had on you. So that was really the first big trend.

Francesca:

And then the whole dynamic changed during COVID-19 with metaverse, games, and NFTs and also the abuses that had happened on platforms like Facebook with Cambridge Analytica.

Francesca:

So essentially they managed to move beyond targeting people based on geography or demographics to psychographics to really start to manipulate, you know, in terms of political advertising, and because of that, users pulled back in terms of what they were willing to share, and so when I was looking at games, NFTs in the metaverse, I thought how can we actually understand who these users are if we don't have any data on them?

Francesca:

And so your digital avatar became your identity, and I saw music, sports, and fashion as particularly important as ways that we would communicate who we are. So if you were to say that you were into I don't know, jazz, music, golf, and Ralph Lauren, you'd be one type of person, but if you're into skateboarding and hip hop, you'd be a completely different type of person. And that's part of the reason why we love, you know, culture and these industries in particular because it is showing who we are and that's why, also, young people gravitate to those industries and it's part of youth culture because young people are exploring the identity and explaining who they are. So that's some of the sort of trends that I've seen, and obviously, now we've got the emergence of Generative AI and conversational AI, which adds a whole new dynamic.

Joeri:

Yeah, yeah. AI is now everywhere and indeed I love that all these new technologies are coming together. I just came back from Dubai and there they were already talking about 3.5. Like you, know right? AI and then the Metaverse, and everything is going together. But, yeah, I'm curious also to know your thoughts on generative AI, because that's your specialization, and then maybe, yeah, you can take fashion also as a concept and see how AI is working in fashion.

Francesca:

Yeah, so Generative AI can be a way of generating content, and the content that's generated is known as synthetic content or synthetic media. So you can create images, video, and 3D content for games, text, music, and the way it does this is by having a training set and training data and then which trains an AI model to create that content. So open AI have one of the biggest training sets. You know almost all of the internet patents everything is sort of in the mix there, and then what you can do is you can fine- tune it for a specific industry. So take fashion, for example. You could create a data set of fashion images and then use that to create an image generator that only creates fashion images, and a good example of that is refabric.

Francesca:

I believe they're built on top of stable diffusion, which is one of the open- sourced AI software out there or technologies that are out there. One thing to note is that a lot of these AI technologies have existed for a long time, but have been behind closed doors, probably for the last, you know, three to five years. If you look at keynotes from Amazon and Google, you can see that they're already using a lot of AI, but the real innovation, or what's caused this massive revolution, is open- source technology and you know Elon Musk and stable diffusion, allowing this into the public domain and for people to build on top of this.

Joeri:

I was also thinking where you're mentioning that you know these new technologies also. There is AR, there is VR, and there are metaverses. I actually had the organizer of the fashion week in the Decentra land. Giovanna was on one of the first episodes of the last season. So I'm also curious to hear your thoughts about AR and VR and Metaverse. And yeah, and I know, fashion is, I think, the top niche in the Metaverse, so curious to hear. Yeah, well, you have to say about that.

Francesca:

Yeah, absolutely. So, just sort of stepping back a second. You can create so much content now with Generative AI and if you are a marketer, one of the first things you should probably do is to figure out who your personas are, your ideal customers, and to start to personalize the content for them or the products for your, your demographics. So that's probably the next step. Once you figure out how to start to generate images for social media and text for blogs and things like that is, how do you personalize? It is the next thing, and then next step after that is how do you automate that process. Once you've gone through all of that, that whole cycle, the next phase would be how do I take each one of these different forms image, text, 3D, and video, and bring it all together into an experience, and the experience could be a Metaverse style experience.

Francesca:

So, for example, with fashion, that's known as multimodal, a multimodal kind of use case. So with fashion, for example, you can use Midj ourney and stable diffusion to create, if you start with a concept. So, for example, you know you're creating an underwater pop-up store. You can visualize what that pop-up store looks like. So that's the space. Then you might create the product collection, and you might have high and fashion, low and fashion, and then the next phase is to create the characters and the avatars. Yes, they could be salespeople, but they could be models walking the catwalk, they could be people in you know, who all have characters and storylines that you can go up to and interact with.

Francesca:

So it's really this merging between storytelling, filmmaking, games, and Metaverse that's coming all together, and you can test this out in a Metaverse scenario and get really fantastical and creative, such as having, you know, underwater worlds or being on Mars, sci-fi, all of these sorts of things and then later on down the line, once you know what works, you can start to bring this into the real world, and that's why I love places like the Middle East because they are building cities from the ground up. They are investing so much into the infrastructure that their retail stores might have LED walls in them that showcase virtual worlds that were created in Unreal Engine, and so you'd go there in the morning and it's a morning scene, and then, as you go in the evening, suddenly it's a night scene, maybe it's a nightclub scene, whatever it is. So I think that's the full timeline and progression that we'll see over the next three to five years.

Joeri:

Oh yeah, three to five years, I feel like in one year.

Francesca:

Maybe sooner, maybe sooner.

Joeri:

I mean, there's so many things happening. It also depends, I feel like, on what is happening in the crypto market, even if it's something totally else, I feel that the positivity of people or the investors are more likely to invest and then we have faster growth If again things are starting to move on that front.

Francesca:

Yeah, I mean you have hype cycles and I mean I'm an early adopter so I'm always early to the party.

Francesca:

Sometimes I have ideas that are too early, and not particularly practical, but even after the hype cycle, people are still going to be working on these things and I think what slows down progress are technical challenges, financial challenges, and then sort of legal and regulatory ones, and that's probably the main. The last one is the main issue with Generative AI because anything that you're creating with generative AI isn't copyrightable. So what you know, this is a changing landscape and actually what needs to be built is something where you know technologists and lawyers need to come together to solve some of these critical issues to do with IP and attribution and royalties and things like that, because, for example, we've seen with OpenSea, even though they had smart contracts and you know all sorts of things to do with royalties, they're now taking a step back and not paying royalties. So NFTs and blockchain aren't necessarily the solution by themselves, and that's definitely one of the main issues that we have with Gen2Vent.

Francesca:

And just to explain that a bit further, if you were Disney, for example, and you have, you're an IP, you've got a catalog of characters and stories and everything. You can train an AI to create the next Disney character, but if they were to create that they still don't own the copyright. So that's the real issue. So you want to be able to say provide a new form of IP which could be classed as generative IP, which looks at the synthetic creation, the output, the AI model, and all of the training data all in one, and to class that as a new form of IP, to then be able to say I own this, I can monetize it, etc. Etc. So that's really important for brands and it's also really important for creatives. But that needs to be solved for this to really scale and for people to make money out of it. That's the key thing. Like, you can create beautiful things in the metaverse, but if you don't own them, that's an issue, because then the financials don't work.

Joeri:

Yeah, I know, yes, the greater economy you and I are really, you know, into that and this is a really important point that you're raising. Another one that I'm seeing is the trust factor and the factor that people, when I talk about in the metaverse or NFTs or they are not yet there that they really trust is because there are a lot of scams, things are happening Also, which you know in the Metaverse. You see avatars. You don't see who those people are. Then, digital identity, as you mentioned, I think there will be a role for blockchain and so on, for digital identity, so, but all of these things, when we can get them right, there is a lot of opportunity in there.

Francesca:

Yeah, I think one thing in terms of the trust element is. So we talked a lot about generative AI, but it's also conversational AI. So maybe in the past, you were on a website and you had a customer service complaint, and before you could call people up they would answer and they would give you a good, good service. And then we outsource that and it was all about self- service. And then chatbots came along and those were rules- based, so you ask a specific question and you would get a specific answer. It's very, very robotic. And now what we have is conversational AI, where you ask a question and it has an empathetic response which it feels like it's really listening and it really understands you and you can start to have these kinds of conversations and relationships. So it's like having a method for humans to have a conversation with machines and technology, and that's really, really powerful, especially when you start to power avatars and non player characters. You can have a conversation with them.

Francesca:

But there are ethical issues. Meta's just released all of these companion avatars that people will develop dependencies on and they will share their life stories with, and Facebook have all of that data. And when you are looking at targeting young, impressionable people who, at this stage, these avatars aren't selling products or ideas and propaganda and things like that. But once you get into that territory it's very dangerous. So, with all of these technologies whether it's NFTs, games, metaverse, social media they're incredibly powerful. They can make people you know. They can become the next unicorn and become overnight success stories.

Francesca:

Yes, that's true, but what's probably more important are the ethics of the people behind those technologies and to make sure that they do generally care about you know people and the planet and you know, for example, if you're a startup in this space, make sure whoever's in your team has similar values and it's not in it just for money. Because I think that was the main issue with the crypto NFT space. It was just a sort of a Ponzi kind of get rich quick space, and I personally I couldn't understand it. I could only understand it from the perspective of IP and wanting to own the skin and trade it with someone else and to know who made it in the first place. That that was my kind of perspective.

Joeri:

Yeah, but in that case there is something also behind it. It's not just, like, you know, a JPEG or whatever an image. There is like a skin behind this or, in what I love the most, there is like a utility or a membership or an access behind those NFTs. Then it makes sense like a ticket for a fashion event or like a digital twin or something like that.

Francesca:

Yeah, no, I like that idea. The exclusivity part is a great one. So imagine, for example, if we're taking fashion at the moment, you have all of these fashion weeks around the world in London and New York and Paris, and they have a select number of seats there and they are inviting celebrities and editors of magazines and press. But what about the influencers who are promoting these brands? What about their top customers? Could they open up their stores and have like a nighttime event with a DJ and have that live- streamed into those retail stores and only invite NFT holders? And maybe the NFT is actually a physical garment. So, rather than turning up and having you know a physical ticket or something on your phone, you turn up with you know a garment and it's got an RFID tag and that gets swipes and you're let in. So these are all fun concepts but yeah, there's definitely a long way to go yet for mass adoption. I think of NFTs and those technologies.

Joeri:

Yeah, we will see how fast it will go. Maybe there will be some major event, a bigger brand doing something which will make things go faster. There is a concept I don't know if this is relevant in this story, but I know you mentioned or you have an ID what we call Brandom or what you call Brandom. I read that somewhere. Can you explain what you mean by that?

Francesca:

Yeah, absolutely. We have a fandom where you might really enjoy a game or a film and you like certain characters. You've got Comic-Con, where people turn up and they cosplay, they dress up as their favorite character and things like that. What I've seen with Generative AI is people do care about brands and what they can do with Generative AI and this is a great area because of IPs and trademarks and things like that is they can do brand collaborations so they can combine I don't know Nike and Tiffany, for example, and create a new set of clothes.

Francesca:

Brands might react to this in two different ways. They might be uber- protective and they try and sue the creator or have a takedown request to take that down. They might go after the platforms like Midj ourney and they say we do not want your platform to use Tiffany or Nike as a text prompt and we also want you to maybe use computer vision to have a look at all of the images that are being uploaded and not upload any images with Nike, for example, I think the cat's already out of the bag, it's too late. It's a bit like the music industry and streaming, and I think fashion the fashion brands need to kind of get on board this train. So the other end of the spectrum is to actually encourage creators to create using Generative AI and say we're going to do a competition and you can use. We want to see a sustainable fashion line using Nike in whatever scene and then creators go away and create that. Either the brand can then judge that competition and award the winner or, if they want to be really sort of community- focused, they can get the community to vote for the winner and then the prize could be anything from a cash prize and press and recognition on that side, or it could be actually tying that into a capsule collection, like a physical capsule collection of 150 pieces, which could be NFTs or maybe digital fashion.

Francesca:

So that's really what I am working on at the moment with fashion AI. Since January this year I've been doing these AI fashion competitions and the creative output is just absolutely incredible. And the other day I got sent a magazine from a company called Copy and they've got the first AI fashion magazine and I showed it to my mother and my mother used to read Vogue and all of these things. She couldn't believe it when I said, oh, you know, this model doesn't exist and this garment, you know the clothes don't actually exist. And she's Italian. She was like oh well, what do you mean? This doesn't exist. You know, I'm trying to do an impression of my mother, yeah, yeah, yeah, she just it blew her mind.

Joeri:

Is this actually the thing that you're most excited about in everything what you're doing right now?

Francesca:

I mean, I've got a Gen A icon as well, which intersects with a lot of different industries. So I'm looking at you know how I've kind of gone through the creative industries. You know, art, architecture, fashion, film, gaming, music. That's like my key, like passion area.

Francesca:

But I'm also looking at how does Generative AI impact HR, supply chain, manufacturing, having interesting conversations with even lawyers as I said before, there's a need for that but also neuroscientists about intelligence and consciousness, because as we learn about, as we're training AI, we're also kind of learning about our own intelligence. And you know the defaults of conversational AI lying and hallucinating are problems that we have as well, and the biases that we see in chat GPT are a reflection of our own biases. So I'm just in love with the space as a whole. I just find it fascinating. But fashion for me is special because I've been in the tech world for a long time and I've always been the majority as a woman in the space and it's really nice for me to finally find like-minded, you know, women who are creative technologists, who get gaming, who get NFTs, who gets the meta advice. So from that standpoint it's definitely it feels like home for me and it's somewhere that I'm very comfortable.

Joeri:

Yeah, that's also something about my podcast. I have a lot of women actually on it like, and also they call it tech women, like Gigi Scarlett maybe you know where you know from a Crypto Tech Women was also on a podcast but a lot other women, so I love that. I also know that this part you know women's empowerment and also sustainability we haven't talked about it yet Also, causes that you support and do you see, like AI and Web 3 and so on, playing a role?

Francesca:

Yeah, absolutely so. The fashion industry favors a certain beauty type in every decade or so, that sort of changes the moment it's, you know, kim Kardashian, kirby, or that sort of side of things. But what I've seen, and so it does exclude certain groups, and what I've seen are these micro communities that have popped up in the fashion space that only create fashion for Middle Eastern women with, you know, hijabs, for example. Unfortunately, some of the images created are still blonde, blue eyed, not necessarily representative, and then the same thing with, as an African AI community. But again, the bias there is whenever they create, you know, some beautiful hot couture for a beautiful woman.

Francesca:

It's set in the desert, so it is still has these stereotypes and biases baked into it, so you kind of need to maybe create the background separately and then Photoshop it all together. So I think that that's really super empowering to be able to see someone who looks like yourself wearing these beautiful hot couture sort of garments. Sustainability is a very interesting one, and I think what we will see in the future but this is going to take a lot of work on the kind of manufacturing materials and supply chain side of things is the emergence of 3D printing, which works very well for architecture, but it will also be fantastic for fashion. So imagine, for example, you can use a text prompt and you can create some shoes using that, and it's a 3D model, not just a 2D image.

Francesca:

And it's got the actual tech pack, the measurements and all of that and imagine it could be sent to I don't know wherever it is, but a country in particular where they receive from developed countries a lot of waste and so they have a lot of plastic waste and they have a lot of textile waste those countries. At the moment the waste is just rotting there. So if you could take plastic waste, you can use computer vision to identify which plastics can be, you know, sort of melted down and repurposed into something else, and then you can use 3d printing to create, you know, sneakers or beautiful jewelry. So that's something that I'm definitely trying to pioneer as much as possible. But what we will also need is more ateliers appearing, so people learning how to make fashion and using recycled materials jeans, leathers. Of course they want to, you know, create items like Louvetson and Pradawood, but these materials can also be very cost effective. So, yeah, that's something that I'm working towards.

Joeri:

Wow, we touched a lot of subjects actually in this episode today, Francesca. But, yeah, you have a lot of things going on, and if people want to know more about fashion, ai, about the conference that you are organizing, or they just want to connect with you, where would you like to send them?

Francesca:

Sure. So if you'd like to attend some of our events that we have coming up, I've got the Generative AI conference and we've got one every two weeks, so definitely tune into that. If you are interested in fashion, then you can go to our website, which is fashionai. pro, and our community is on Discord, and that's where you have access to Mid Journey and you can start to design clothing.

Joeri:

Great, well, I will put all those links in the show notes. Francesca, there is always a blog article and show notes for every podcast episode. So yeah, thank you so much. It was really great to have you.

Francesca:

Yeah, I hope you have enough content to write a blog.

Joeri:

Oh, I'm sure I will, and I will get some help from AI, you know.

Francesca:

Oh, ok, you're doing better, yeah.

Joeri:

So, guys, again, a really interesting episode, and if you think that everything that Francesca said can be really interesting for people around you, be sure to share the episode with them. If you are not yet subscribed to the podcast, the Web3 CMO Stories Podcast that you are listening to now it's a really good moment to do that. And, of course, yeah, I would like to see you back for the next episode. Bye, goodbye.

Joeri:

Take care Bye. Web3 can take your biz to new heights and you're ready to harness its power, but feeling lost and overwhelmed. Therefore, join my W3X Web3 Mastermind. Send me a personal message for more info. You can find me everywhere on social media. There's only one person with my name, Joeri Billast. Talk soon.

As a conference organizer and Head of Marketing at Fashion AI, can you provide some background about yourself?
How do you envision the evolving marketing landscape?
Can you share your insights on Generative AI, given your specialization, and explain how AI is influencing the fashion industry?
What are your thoughts on AR, VR, and the Metaverse, especially considering fashion's prominence within this emerging digital space?
Considering the trust issues and potential scams in the Metaverse, along with the need for secure digital identity, how do you see the future opportunities in this space once these challenges are addressed?
I know you mentioned or you have an ID what we call Brandom or what you call Brandom. Could you please clarify or provide more context for what you mean by "Brandom"?
What is the thing that you're most excited about in everything that you're doing right now?
Do you see AI and Web3 playing a role in promoting women's empowerment, sustainability, and the causes you support?