The Future. New York-based designer Norma Kamali is downloading her brain into a proprietary AI system so that her company will forever be able to draw upon her creative vision after she dies. As many companies wrestle with succession, developing AI clones of aging figureheads may become a common way of not just continuing their legacy but also protecting their brand from radical reinvention.
Kamali is copying and pasting herself.
- Kamali is working with AI agency Maison Meta on a custom AI system that’s trained on all of the tens of thousands of designs made across her 50-year career.
- The system, which uses Stable Diffusion XL and an open-source tool called Fooocus, would allow staffers at the brand to generate designs from text prompts.
- Each piece that the AI draws on for “generations” is meticulously tagged and categorized.
- The entire system is housed in a computer in her office… which means that it’ll likely forever remain her office.
Kamali doesn’t think that AI will replace human designers, but she does believe that the system can provide a foundation of inspiration to keep the brand relevant even when the name behind it, her name, has passed on — a dilemma that’s faced many founder-led fashion brands.
But as Kamali notes, it’ll be up to the humans at the company to ensure that the AI designs are stitched with some soul.