Trading skills for the future of fashion

Trading skills for the future of fashion

RMIT Fashion Enterprise students have collaborated with Australian tech company Okkular, to gain invaluable practical experience and learn how AI is applied in fashion retail.

The innovative partnership also gave students an opportunity to share their skills in product improvement and market research during the six-week program last year.

Following the initial program, two students, Mia Alhassan and Wilson Roberts, were selected to complete three-month internships with the company, which uses AI to provide automated product tagging and visual search for online retail businesses.

Roberts is now working part-time with Okkular, and explained the company’s process.

“Okkular is trying to create a database with every detail that can be in an item of clothing,” he said.

“They use AI to analyse images of garments including details such as the neckline and sleeve-length, and automate that process for a retailer like Myer that doesn’t have time to do that themselves.

“This also allows a brand to focus on how they can be more sustainable, what they can do to grow, and improve as a business.

“But Okkular don’t have much fashion knowledge or insight, so the partnership also aimed to take on two fashion interns to help advise on that side of things."

 

Alt Text is not present for this image, Taking dc:title 'RMIT Fashion Enterprise student  Wilson Roberts is working with Australian tech company Okkular following his internship with them.' RMIT Fashion Enterprise student Wilson Roberts is working with Australian tech company Okkular following his internship with them.

Wilson looked at the individual components of menswear garments.

“My job as a student was to do some research including checking details for items like t-shirts and asking: ‘Is it short-sleeve, does it have a crew neck? What material is it? Does it have any prints on it?'” he said.

“These details create what we call product tags, so it involves looking at every single tag that creates the garment and how this combination of tags forms a t-shirt.

Two weeks into his internship at Okkular, Wilson was offered a part-time job as a customer success analyst, a role he has had the freedom to define himself.

“It’s been so beneficial for me starting in a smaller brand,” he said.

“Previously, Okkular had no-one working in customer success specifically, so the onus has really been on me to define my own role.

“Rather than going into a big corporation where my voice means very little, I’m actually in a spot where I can develop and choose what I think needs to be done for the brand to move forward.

“My plan before completing the Digital Applications subject was to look for internships over this coming summer, but instead the industry-specific, partnered subject has worked out perfectly for me.

“I’ve completed an internship, got experience working in the industry, met a whole lot of people and I would absolutely recommend it to others.”

 

Story: Thomas Odell

25 February 2022

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25 February 2022

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  • fashion
  • Student experience

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RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.