Bridging the Gap: How is Changing Design Education

Bridging the Gap: How is Changing Design Education

We often talk about how helps seasoned designers in their creative process, but our impact stretches far deeper than that. An AI sketch-to-image generator can be an essential asset in training designers of all ages and industries. 

Read on to learn more about how can accelerate fashion and footwear design education.

AI in Fashion Education: The Story of Erica Horne

Meet Erica Horne – the founder of CAD for Fashion, Education and industry’s approachable experts in creative digital technology..  Erica's journey with is a great example of how AI tools can change the way fashion and footwear design is taught and practised. 

Erica first discovered through social media, which led her to explore its capabilities. "I clicked on it straight away," Erica recalls, “And used up all free credits in one go” The results were so impressive that she immediately shared her findings with the community, which “went crazy for it”. Of course, she couldn’t miss an opportunity to integrate such a versatile tool into her workshops and courses.

Cutting Time and Waste

At CAD for Fashion Studio & Academy, Erica uses to enhance the visual communication of design ideas. She works with aspiring, established and corporate design teams to make their workflows quicker and more efficient with AI.

"We conduct workshops where teams can see their designs come to life through in seconds. It's fascinating to see how quickly they can now make decisions about collections without waiting weeks for 3D rendering and sample production," Erica elaborates. 

Credit: CAD for Fashion

In traditional fashion design processes, creating multiple physical samples is standard practice to visualize different designs and iterate on these ideas. However, this method is not only costly but also environmentally taxing. changes this dynamic by allowing designers to see a photorealistic image of their designs before a single piece of fabric is cut. 

"Using, we can experiment with colors, textures, and fit without the need for physical samples," explains Erica. This capability is especially valuable in a corporate setting where decisions must be made quickly, and the cost implications of sample production can be significant.

 "We now use to create virtual samples that are discussed in design meetings, allowing for immediate feedback that can be incorporated into the design in real time," Erica adds. This transition not only speeds up the design process but also significantly cuts down on waste. 

Erica’s workshops also serve as a platform for discussing the broader implications of AI in fashion, such as the potential for reduced material waste and the ability to respond swiftly to fashion trends without the lag of sample production. 

Credit: CAD for Fashion

"Before, we’ve had companies request 15 samples of a garment to only choose three of them. The rest would never get sold. They would sit in a giant storage wardrobe or end up in a bin. In rare cases, at sample sales. And those samples might come from Turkey, China, India, but the fabrics that make up those samples would have come from another part of the world, too. So if you've got five things coming from all different parts of the world to one place, then get flown to another place, you also get the carbon emissions on top.

So it all adds up. If we can reduce samples as much as possible, it's only a good thing.”

Democratizing Design Education

Beyond the efficiency gains, Erica also appreciates the transformative impact of on accessibility. Traditionally, fashion design education has been an exclusive field requiring access to expensive software and materials. provides a user-friendly and affordable platform, allowing anyone to experiment with their design ideas. In turn, this "democratisation" of design education opens doors for a wider range of voices and perspectives to enter the fashion industry.

“Some of the teams that we work with simply don't have the means, to create 3D versions of all of the garments, particularly for more complex garments like outerwear, or fur items, or even knit. It’s an intensive, time-consuming process that requires skills, which are often not there. helps bridge this gap by helping refine your future design before investing in 3D in any way. You don’t need any expensive software or training to see your concepts come to life”.

Credit: CAD for Fashion

Impact on Students and Young Designers

This enthusiasm translates to Erica's workshops for younger students as well. Witnessing initial sketches magically come to life through instantly sparks creativity and excitement in the room.

Erica recalls, "It's incredible to see how much students engage when they see what their designs could actually look like."  In a recent workshop with children, Erica witnessed it firsthand. She especially recalls how a young boy, initially reserved, lit up with a huge smile when he saw his hoodie design come to life through "That was the first time he smiled all day." Seeing their ideas become reality gave learners a huge confidence boost which at school age can have a big impact on their future.

Looking Ahead

As our technology evolves, Erica looks forward to exploring more advanced features of and integrating them into her curriculum. She is particularly excited about the platform's potential for customization and deeper integration with other digital design tools. "The next step," she suggests, "is to enhance the AI's understanding of specific fashion terminology and details, which would further refine the outputs and make them even more valuable in both educational and professional settings."

Credit: CAD for Fashion

Bring to Your School

Erica Horne's story has been one of the reasons behind our decision to make free for all design education institutions across the globe. So if you are teaching or studying design via a school, a university or an online course, you may be eligible to use our software for free. 

Follow the link to apply for our special programme for fashion and footwear design education below.