We all have fears. Fear of failure. Fear of self-disappointment. Fear of heights. Fear of death. Fear of God. Fear of the Devil. Fear of uncertainty. Fear of the inevitable. We fear reality, but also fear losing our grasp on it. When we lie, cheat or steal, fear can always be counted on to provide the deep-seated uneasiness that one day our transgressions will be revealed.
There are many kinds of fear. Fear manifests as the lack of courage to face the unknown, which humans are not wired to handle. This is why we rely so heavily on superstition and pseudo-spirituality to provide some semblance of respite from our personal demons, seeking out fortune tellers and gurus alike. Fear emerges as a ghost of an experience from the past: we fear the reoccurrence of a pain we once felt, and in this way, fear hangs over us like an ever-present shadow. We fear the darkness.
When it comes to pushing ourselves creatively, our fear can hold us back from experimenting and taking chances, which means our work never evolves. We’re afraid of trying anything new because the fear of failure is always standing next to us. What if no one likes the new piece of music or art you create? What if you spend time meticulously crating your magnum opus and it’s met with criticism, or worse: indifference.
The fear of failure ensures that we are continually standing still—we might be safe here, in this place that we’ve always known and become comfortable with—but we’ll never truly feel satisfied. We should fear standing still, but instead we fear breaking free of the confines of complacency.
James Ward, a British psychologist, broke with religion as a young man in 1872 but found himself a bundle of nervous reflexes over which he had no choice and no control. He said: “I have no dread of God, no fear of the Devil, no fear of man, but my head swims as I write it—I fear myself.”
Integral to the Fear of What design philosophy is the juxtaposition between light and darkness, the feminine and the masculine, fragility and strength, fear and hope, man and machine. Fear of What is not designed by a human, instead Fear of What is the world’s first streetwear collection created entirely by machine. The designer behind Fear of What is STiCH, an artificial intelligence machine. A robo-designer which takes over the creation of the collection using an algorithm developed by Urbancoolab, it uses a tool called generative adversarial network (GAN). The GAN is a new technique in AI research that forces two neural networks against one another, using the outcome to improve the overall system. This machine took years of development and millions of dollars , but the most valuable weapon in STiCH’s arsenal is a lack of fear. Each collection carries a unique identifier sequence; a hallmark representing Fear of What as the world’s first AI-designed fashion label. This is the world’s first Ai-designed collection and printed in every piece of the capsule.