Retail in Asia


Meet the world-class homegrown AI player of the future – EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Code-Create

When it comes to the global center for high technology and innovation, Silicon Valley in Northern California may be the first place that comes to everyone’s mind. Little did you know, Science Park in Hong Kong is also one of the hottest technology incubation hubs to watch out for. Established in 2001 for up-and-coming local technology startups, Science Park has been the fertile ground for tech-minds to get together and exchange ideas by building a community through collaborations and activations.

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Among the list of exciting and innovative tech startups, Retail in Asia had the pleasure to meet with Kim Wong, Co-Founder & CEO at Code-Create – a local startup focusing on Artificial Intelligence in Design, powered by InnoHK Research Clusters of the HKSAR Government. Together we discussed the company’s strong basis in image recognition and what it could bring to the community, how is AiDA solution (designer assistant) benefiting designers in their work process and Code-Create’s first AI Fashion Show happening in December.

RiA: Can you give us a brief introduction on Code Create?

Wong: We are excited to share that Code-Create is a spin-off of the Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence in Design (AiDLab) under the InnoHK Research Clusters of the HKSAR Government to commercialize the state-of-the-art fashion AI technologies developed by the lab.

RiA: The function of image recognition has been widely adopted by a number of tech giants in the market, e.g. Baidu and Google, what makes Code Create’s offering stand out?

Wong: Image recognition is a general and basic task in computer vision. With the development of Deep Neural Network, the accuracy of recognition models are increasingly improved and thus applied in many industrial scenarios with its outstanding performance. However, such data-driven technology is highly relied on the training data. Each technical company will develop the deep model based on their specific business scene. For example, Baidu and Google may be better at searching tech and their recognition model will be better at recognizing general objectives. Our Code Create is specifically focused on fashion. With many years improvement and iteration, we have a very matured attributes system as well as its corresponding large amount dataset.  The function of fashion attributes recognition model that we provide is the most accurate and comprehensive one among the market. (info by Aemika)

RiA: With Code-Create’s strong basis in image recognition, do you see the brand evolving into a social media platform in the future, e.g. the alternative of Pinterest?

Wong: Code-Create have a global vision to be the world leader in fashion AI and we have 4 focus areas:

1. Enhance operation efficiencies through Mixi

  • For users (i.e. fashion designers, merchandisers, retailers) to accomplish the works with better efficiency
  • An improved and enhanced customer service and omni-channel shopping experience

2. Build a vertical design platform starting with AiDA and adding on new AI features such as fabric search, pattern making and others.

  • It’s a scalable system with more and more new features and functions to be added. It’s also a system that can be integrated with different design systems or platforms.

3. Education

  • Curriculum on use of the Code-Create’s systems in Universities, Tertiary Institutions and Secondary Schools
  • Scholarship schemes for the education sectors

4. Communities

  • User community hub for ideas sharing and technical discussions
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for the betterment of the society
Source: Code-Create

RiA: The AiDA solution (designer assistant) involves a rich databank, how can users ensure the privacy of their own intellectual property with Code Create?

Wong: Each AiDA user will have a specific account with password protection to ensure designers’ privacy of their collections.

RiA: One of the strong suits of Code Create being its AI search solution – “Mixi Solution”, can you give us a brief introduction on this function and where can we expect to see it coming to life?

Wong: Mixi is an intelligent fine-grained fashion attribute and colour recognition tool by using the AI technologies. It can be used for both online shopping platforms and brick and mortar stores. Customers can easily find fashion items with their preferred fashion attributes and colors within a second. Fashion brands can easily exhibit their products online based on precise colour and fashion attribute grouping through the auto tagging technology. This solution is a perfect tool to enhance online / offline shopping experience through e-commerce sites, physical stores and even shopping mall.

We are constantly enhancing the Mixi system and we will soon expand it in beauty.

RiA: How did you bring your previous work experience in luxury fashion forward to the development of Code Create?

Wong: I believe my extensive fashion experience will serve as a bridge between fashion and technologies and ensure that all the solutions under Code-Create will be practical for the industry instead of just academic research.

With my proven track record in conceptualising and executing long-term strategic plans for brand management, merchandising, omni-channel retail operations, CRM, business development and marketing, with deep knowledge of fashion consumer behavior, I am able to lead the growth of Code-Create from a startup business into a global leader.

RiA: Can you tell us a bit about Code Create’s first AI Fashion Show happening in December? What should the audience expect?

Wong: The fashion show on December 19th at M+ Museum which is organized by the Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence in Design (AiDLab) under the InnoHK Research Clusters of the HKSAR Government, will be the first worldwide AI fashion show featuring 6 established international designers’ + their 8 mentees’ collections through AiDA.  The show is funded by CreateHK. Code-Create, as a spinoff of the AiDLab, endeavors to implement, market and extend the AI fashion and related technologies, and will be the key strategic partner for the show. The show will be an amazing treat for the audience through beautiful designs, amazing visual / audio experience and an insightful panel discussion such that the audience can understand how the designers work with AiDA in their journey of designing their collections.

RiA: What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a local tech start up in Hong Kong?

Wong: Being a local tech startup has the full advantage of working closely with the talented research team in HK with an international perspective. The ecosystem of supporting tech start up in Hong Kong such as incubation programmes, tech investment funds and networks, space, etc. has been well established in recent years and it is foreseen that more resources will be set aside by the government and private investors.

RiA: Where do you see Code Create in 5 years?

Wong: I see Code-Create as an international fashion AI leader in both commercial and education sectors. Our target market is not limited to HK and Mainland China, we see great opportunities in Korea, Southeast Asia and Europe.

Beside the commercial goals Code-Create is passionate in cultivating, supporting and educating young talents about AI in fashion design by promoting AiDA to be incorporated into the curriculum.  Through AiDA we will cultivate a design community to share ideas and experience, support and mentor young talents, promote local designers to the international market.

Code-Create will also partner with different AI fashion design related solutions providers to build a world class comprehensive platform for the fashion design and product development sectors.