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Adversarial clothing to protect privacy


Cap_able is an Italian fashion tech startup founded by Rachele Didero, Federica Busani and Professor Giovanni Maria Conti, in collaboration with Politecnico di Milano, with the goal to produce clothing that preserves people's privacy and sensitive data from cameras with facial recognition.

The startup has garnered attention from national and international magazines, and the co-founder Rachele Didero and the Fashion Labs of the Department of Design of Politecnico di Milano were featured in a video interview for the Italian Tech section of La Repubblica.

The idea for Cap_able was born in the summer of 2019 in a New York pub, where Rachele had moved to attend classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan. Since then, Rachele has been working with her team to realize her idea, with the support of the Engineering Department of Politecnico di Milano (Deib).

Cap_able's patented fabric uses adversarial patterns to confuse facial recognition algorithms. The startup spent months studying machine learning, fabrics and body volumes to understand which colors and shapes to combine to hinder the activity of facial recognition AIs. This knowledge enabled the startup to launch its first Manifesto Collection, although its main goal remains to raise awareness of privacy.

In 2023 the two co-founders were included by Forbes Italy among the 100 Future Leaders Under 30 in Italy, while the company became a spin-off of the Politecnico di Milano.

Today co-founder Rachele Didero continues her research on the topic within the Department of Design, with a PhD in "Textile and Machine Learning for Privacy."

Attached is an article from La Stampa dedicated to the project.