DTech AI Symposium
Fashion Institute of Technology
Katie Murphy Amphitheatre
227 W 27th St. New York, NY
Mannequins displaying prototypes of the new Girl Scouts of the USA uniforms.
JOIN US ON March 21, 2024
8:45 AM – 5:30 PM
Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing all aspects of industry–and the creative sector faces particularly profound change. The FIT Design and Technology Lab (DTech Lab) recognizes the pressing need to convene key players in the global AI revolution. Our AI Symposium brings together tech companies and creative professionals to share insights about the trends and developments influencing how we engage with AI. FIT students and faculty will join industry leaders to discuss opportunities, challenges, and ethics; to exchange ideas; and to learn about important technology advancements that are shaping the future of fashion and business.

The FIT AI Symposium is an FIT DTech Lab event organized to raise awareness about key aspects of AI and the impact this emerging technology is having on myriad aspects of business, education, and the creative economy.
Program
We are bringing together thought leaders from a range of industries to discuss topics relating to the opportunities, ethics, and potential challenges of AI implementation. Speakers include experts from tech powerhouses such as Google and IBM; as well as Carl-Axel Wahlström, creative director of the world's first AI fashion magazine; Marc Beckman, professor and senior fellow of emerging technologies at New York University; and key FIT faculty who are pioneering AI innovation in design, humanities, and business. Additionally, Maison Meta, the leading global generative AI agency, will present an exciting use case about fashion icon Norma Kamali’s integration of AI into her design process. 

We look to Google to cover topics around the adoption of AI within the global luxury market and core business practices informing how AI and technology are reshaping brand strategies. IBM will tackle the critical topics of trust and veracity. And FIT faculty will address the potentials and problems Al poses to higher education.


8:15 AM
Doors Open
8:45 am
Program begins
8:55 am
Welcome Remarks by Dr. Joyce F. Brown, President of FIT
9:05 am -
9:50 am
Use Cases, Maison Meta
CYRIL FOIRET, FOUNDER AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR
10:00 Am -
11:00 am
FIRESIDE CHAT AND LIVE DEMO
with NORMA KAMALI AND CYRIL FOIRET, MAISON META
11:15 am -
Noon
Ethics of Generative AI
Marc Beckman, CEO DMA United, Senior Fellow Emerging Technology NYU, Professor Luxury Marketing NYU, Host, Some Future Day
Noon -
1:00 pm
Break for Lunch
1:15 PM -
2:15 PM
FIRESIDE CHAT
with KEVIN FRIED, MANAGING DIRECTOR, BRANDED APPAREL AND DURABLES LUXURY AND BUSINESS APPLICATIONS, GOOGLE
2:30 pm -
3:15 pm
Generative AI application in print, Copy Magazine
Carl-Axel Wahlström, Creative Director
3:30 pm -
5:00 pm
PUTTING AI TO WORK FOR RETAIL
KARL HALLER, PARTNER, CONSUMER CENTER OF COMPETENCY LEADER AT IBM
TRUST AND AI - WHY IT MATTERS AND HOW TO GET THERE
HEATHER GENTILE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT MANAGEMENT, IBM DATA AND AI
5:00 pm
AUDIENCE Q&A
5:15 pm
CLOSING REMARKS BY DR. JOYCE F. BROWN
5:30 pm
Symposium ends
Speakers
Photo of Michael Ferraro
Carl-Axel Wahlström
Creative Director and Founder @ COPY Magazine

Carl-Axel Wahlström is a seasoned creative director based in Stockholm. His journey in the world of fashion began in 2008, when he launched Fashion Tale magazine, a richly illustrated publication focused on ideation rather than luxury. Wahlström has collaborated with renowned Swedish brands H&M, & Other Stories, Gant, and Björn Borg. In recent years, his creative pursuits have expanded into the realm of AI. Initially, he dabbled in AI without the intention of creating a magazine. However, the advancement of technology quickly transformed his perspective. After writing thousands of prompts, he found himself capable of generating photorealistic imagery. This newfound capability ignited his passion and led him to integrate AI seamlessly into his work, culminating in the 2023 publication of the world’s first AI fashion magazine, Copy.
Photo of Michael Ferraro
Norma Kamali
Founder, fashion icon and FIT alumna

Norma Kamali, Fashion Illustration ’65, has always dared to dream the unimaginable and make it happen. She has spent over five decades revolutionizing the world of design and continues to do so. She now has invited a remarkable new collaborator, generative AI, into her creative process and is exploring what AI can offer her iconic fashion brand. Kamali is renowned for her innovations and has long been passionate about technology. She learned to use a UNIVAC computer in 1964. She was an early adopter of the internet and, seeing its potential to democratize fashion, she launched her website in 1996, followed by e-commerce in 1998 and an iPhone app in 2009. In recent years, Kamali has grown fascinated with the idea of teaching AI to “think” like her. Once accomplished, AI could mimic Kamali’s thought processes and continue creating collections based on her ideas, even after she’s gone. The unimaginable could happen: her brand could live beyond her! This trailblazing project is now underway. In 2023, Kamali even completed an online Generative AI course offered by MIT. This marks the beginning of a new chapter in her celebrated career, and it may be the most transformative. “This is the most exciting time in my history of 78 years on the planet!”
Photo of Michael Ferraro
Marc Beckman
CEO DMA United, Senior Fellow Emerging Technology NYU, Professor Luxury Marketing NYU, Host, Some Future Day

Marc Beckman is founding partner and CEO of DMA United, an award-winning advertising agency positioned at the nexus of breakthrough tech and trends. His agency has designed and implemented creative campaigns for venerable brands and individuals such as Gucci, Nelson Mandela, MoMA, NBA, Pepsi, Sony, and Warner Bros. Entertainment. Beckman has leveraged blockchain technology to launch platforms and create Web3 marketplaces for clients across the sectors of luxury, fashion, beauty, philanthropy, technology, academics, and government. Beckman’s best-selling book, The Comprehensive Guide: NFTs, Digital Artwork, Blockchain Technology, was one of JP Morgan's 10 must-read titles on the 2022 reading list. He teaches at New York University, where he is an Emerging Technologies Senior Fellow and chair of the Luxury & Fashion Council at Stern School of Business. As co-chair of New York State Bar Association’s Web3 Task Force, Beckman is developing policies and best practices for Web3 and pioneering technologies. He received a BA from Boston University and a JD from Hofstra University.
Photo of Michael Ferraro
Kevin Fried
Managing Director, Branded Apparel and Durables, Google

Kevin Fried is the managing director of Google’s Branded Apparel and Durables Retail Team in the United States. In this role, he partners with Google’s largest retail clients to help them navigate the changing retail landscape, build brands, and drive performance. Before joining Google, he spent seven years at Monster Worldwide in various leadership positions; as VP of advertising sales, he guided Monster’s lead generation and consumer advertising business. Fried earned an MBA from the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business and a BS in advertising from New York Institute of Technology. While in school he led the Carlton Group, which was established to provide advertising services to non-profit organizations. Fried lives in New York City with his wife and three children.
Photo of Michael Ferraro
Karl Haller
Partner, Consumer Center of Competency (CoC) Leader, IBM

Karl leads IBM’s Consumer Industry Center of Competency (CoC), where he works with retailers and consumer goods companies worldwide to digitally transform their business and operationalize the use of advanced capabilities and nextgen technology across the enterprise. Karl has more than 25 years of experience in retail and consumer goods, and has served in executive positions in strategy, business development, customer engagement, and marketing at Brooks Brothers, Tommy Hilfiger, The Limited, and Doner Advertising. Karl began his career in the strategy consulting practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Photo of Michael Ferraro
Heather Gentile
Executive Director of Product watsonx.governance, IBM Data and AI

Heather Gentile is executive director of product for watsonx.governance in IBM’s Data and AI software division, where she focuses on opportunities to develop innovative solutions for IBM’s governance, risk, and compliance portfolio and watsonx.governance. She sits on IBM’s AI ethics board to guide product strategy in support of accelerating responsible, transparent, and explainable AI adoption. Gentile has a passion for innovation and works with IBM’s technology and design teams to lead user experience workshops aimed at finding solutions to AI governance, risk, and compliance challenges. Her expertise spans financial services, regulatory agencies, and other highly regulated industries. Prior to joining IBM, Gentile oversaw the compliance analytics division of regulatory solutions at Wolters Kluwer. She received her undergraduate degree in business administration from Bryant University and her MBA from the University of Massachusetts.
Photo of Michael Ferraro
Cyril Foiret
Founder and creative director, Maison Meta

A founder of the generative AI creative studio Maison Meta, as well as the groundbreaking AI Fashion Week, Cyril Foiret is a self-taught fashion connoisseur, creative director, coder, and AI expert. Originally from Paris, he’s had a passion for the internet since the mid-90s – well before the Google era! Foiret started his career as a wardrobe stylist, then moved to LA to launch the online lifestyle publication “Trendland” in 2006, serving as Creative Director and UX/UI designer for more than a decade. Eager to explore the rapidly evolving technological landscape, Foiret entered the realm of AI as soon as accessible tools emerged in 2022. Capitalizing on his AI expertise and keen fashion sense, he took a significant leap and founded Maison Meta, which in 2023 made it onto the Vogue Business top 100 innovators list. Currently based in Brooklyn, Foiret continues to push creative boundaries at the intersection of fashion and tech – and has a few secret AI projects coming out soon!
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