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Malik Afegbua Uses Artificial Intelligence in Fashion Design to Enhance Individuality and Imagination

AI technology can bridge the gap between imagination and reality, allowing for the creation of unique and inspiring designs.
June 1, 2023
5:25 am
Fashionable love

In a world often confined by societal norms and stifling expectations, Malik Afegbua, the Nigerian filmmaker, and visionary, has embarked on a groundbreaking journey that combines cutting-edge AI technology with fashion design.


In an interview with The Nollywood Reporter, Afegbua passionately narrated his transformative journey, showcasing his creative vision and the significance he places on embracing individuality and living life to the fullest.


The fashion industry has witnessed a remarkable fusion of technology and artistry, and Afegbua stands at the forefront of this revolution. His innovative use of AI technology transcends traditional boundaries, enabling him to create fashion pieces that resonate with self-expression and empowerment. Through his seniors fashion show which is scheduled to hold in the Negatively in August, Afegbua breathes life into the concept of celebrating one’s true self, regardless of societal expectations.


During the interview, Afegbua shed light on his creative process, unveiling the intricate dance between AI technology and his vivid imagination. The process entails training AI to comprehend African culture and its unique clothing aesthetics.  By teaching AI to understand the essence of African identity, Afegbua can harness its potential to generate awe-inspiring designs that celebrate and preserve the rich heritage of the continent.


Malik Afegbua

TNR: How did you become interested in combining Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology with fashion design?

Malik: I wouldn’t call it just fashion designing; I combine technology with everything I do. As a filmmaker, I believe in bridging the gap between different sectors using tech. Fashion is just one aspect of it, but it has a profound impact on how we express ourselves and our culture.


What’s your creative process when working with AI tech to create these fashion pieces?

The process is multifaceted and varies depending on the idea or inspiration. AI training plays a crucial role, especially when representing African culture. We lack sufficient data, so training AI to understand our clothing and culture becomes essential. From there, the possibilities are endless. I use different processes, sometimes starting from an idea or a picture, and allow AI to generate outputs based on those inputs. It’s about combining imagination and technology to create something truly unique.


Ladies love him

Of all cultures, why did you choose to focus on African culture when using AI to showcase fashion?

African culture is often underrepresented in the media, and I want to challenge that narrative. I believe in telling original African stories that highlight our heritage, our royalty, and our history beyond slavery. By using AI to showcase African culture, we can promote a positive image and celebrate our identity.


What inspired you to create the seniors fashion show, and how do you hope to challenge ageism in society with this show?

The idea for the fashion show originated from my relationship with my mother, who is my therapy. I wanted to put a smile on someone else’s face and make a positive impact. As the project grew, I engaged with organizations like the World Coalition of Aged Society to shed light on the importance of celebrating older individuals and challenging ageism. The seniors fashion show became a platform to showcase their style, beauty, and vitality, proving that age should never limit one’s self-expression.



From your perspective, how do you see the role of AI technology evolving in the fashion industry in the future?

AI will play a massive role in the fashion industry’s future. It allows designers to explore new methods, enhance their creativity, and bridge the gap between imagination and reality. For example, in an upcoming fashion show for elders, all the outfits are designed using AI, presenting unique designs never seen before. AI’s potential extends beyond fashion, benefiting the film industry as well. I recently collaborated with Marvel Studios, using AI to design costumes for an upcoming film.


Do you think AI technology will replace human workers in the fashion and film making industry?

While some speculate about AI replacing human workers, I believe it will enhance their abilities rather than replace them. AI is a tool that professionals can use to enhance their skills, not a substitute for their expertise. Machines lack emotions and cannot make the right decisions all the time. It’s essential to understand that AI should complement human creativity, not replace it.



What role do you see AI playing in the film making industry, apart from fashion design?

AI has enormous potential in the film industry. It can be used in various stages, from conceptualization to production. For instance, I recently collaborated with the designer of Wakanda, and we used AI to create not just costumes but also the art direction and the overall world of the film.


AI offers solutions for film production, pitching, and countless other aspects. It streamlines processes, enhances creativity, and provides a glimpse into what the final product will look like. The possibilities are vast, and I’m excited to see how AI continues to shape the future of filmmaking.


Can you describe the inspiration behind the designs for the senior fashion show and the message you hoped to convey?

The designs for the senior fashion show speak volumes about royalty, uniqueness, and African culture. However, I wanted to go beyond the traditional African aesthetic. Drawing from my experience in digitally creating costumes for my films, I infused a futuristic touch into the designs. The message behind the show is simple: live life to the fullest, follow your dreams, and be true to yourself regardless of societal expectations.


If you were to summarize the main message you hope people take away from your work, what would it be?

The core message of my work is all about self-expression, empowerment, and embracing one’s individuality. I want people to understand that they have the power to shape their own narratives and break free from societal norms. Whether it’s through fashion, film, or any other form of expression, individuals should live their lives unapologetically, pursuing their passions and defying limitations.


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