3D Won’t Replace Traditional Fashion Design (It Will Make it Better)

By Lauriane
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dressmaking still life - pink measure tape, pins, thimble, shears on fabrics

There’s something about fashion apparel that inspires people. It is, perhaps, the oldest craft, art form, and profession in the world, evolving from the simple utility of animal skins to the modern, purpose-built, tech apparel of today. People are passionate about their clothes: the fit, the color, the style, and the way it compliments their form. And why not? There are so many aspects to enjoy about apparel. There is the coziness of fleece or the comfort of a tee-shirt. Fabrics that, because of the thread construction, shimmer like fluttering fall leaves. There is the bliss of finding those pants with the perfect fit that seem to effortlessly compliment the human form.

Apparel is a fundamentally physical experience, so how can we hope to improve the experience with the cold preciseness of digital technology?

black-and-white-modelHumans tend to be binary in nature: plus or minus, black or white, either/or. The reality is that there is so little in life that is totally clear cut. The truth is generally found all along the line between the extremes, and so it is with physical and digital fashion design. Fashion design is, and always will be, about how a physical garment looks and feels on the body. But the fact remains that there are certain things that are either difficult, or impossible, to do in the real world. Many of these things, however, can be extremely easy to accomplish in the digital domain.

For instance, when creating a physical garment, there is no way to instantly change its color, material, or shape. Further, it takes a massive amount of effort to rearrange a physical retail space in order to try different assortments, layouts, and fixtures. However, making these types of changes are nearly instantaneous in the digital world. And although the digital realm is very good about showing options and allowing you to make changes, it can tell you very little about how a garment feels and nothing about the quality of its construction. And it’s because of this last flaw in digital tools that many in the fashion world often throw these tools out completely.

But is there a middle ground? Is it possible to have the benefits of digital while retaining the authenticity of physical?

Many industries have moved to a digitalized concept, a digital version of tangible things has many of the same attributes of its physical counterpart, such as size, weight, bendability, stretchiness, color, texture, etc. The idea behind this is that different scenarios can be tested on it far more quickly and efficiently than having to take the time to construct and test versions physically. This is done routinely in aerospace and automotive industries where real mechanical physics are applied to digital vehicles, which are flown or driven many times before a single physical part is ever created.

So, can 3D be applied to apparel and fashion? Many companies now are using the right tools to make their fashion brands more powerful.


joshua-black-whiteDesigners can sketch their ideas on a 3D form to get a clear idea of how a garment will look from all angles.
Garments can be simulated with actual material physics to see how they drape and fit long before fabric is ever cut. A multitude of retail assortment ideas can be tested in a digital space without having to construct and make constant changes to a physical showroom. The result? A physical garment that is truer to the designers’ intent, in less time, and with less expense, with a physical retail experience for the consumer that is more pleasing and relevant. For the brand that moves to digital, it means improved sales, increased margins, and a happier consumer.

Take a journey with Joshua Young, 3D product creation expert and a veteran of almost 20 years with Nike, who explains the limitations of existing apparel methods and how using innovative solutions for apparel is changing the game for apparel brands and consumers.

Learn more about 3D in Consumer Goods, Fashion and Retail:

Virtual Technology finds a “Sweet Spot” on Retail Shelves

By David
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Watch the Video!

Adapting to Change with a Digital Platform

When it comes to delivering a consumer shopping experience, retailers have been slacking big time – and they may not even know it.

According to the Retail Indicator Branch of the US Census Bureau, between 2000 and 2012, e-commerce sales across all retail channels grew by 19.1% annually, while overall sales only grew by 3.2%.

The shift towards technology-influenced shopping has bred a new species of consumer with higher expectations of service and perceived quality. This poses a huge challenge to retailers who rely on shopper engagement to drive sales. With consumer loyalty at an all-time low and the effectiveness of traditional marketing tactics on a steady decline, brand manufacturers need stronger solutions to recapture consumer attention, restore buying confidence and drive real business value.

How Virtual Collaboration Fosters Growth

Revamping the consumer shopping experience…starting with collaboration!

Creating the optimum shelf experience is retail priority number one. With more consumers doing their big basket shopping at convenience stores, retailers need solutions to capitalize on those trends and drive increases in average basket size per shopper. To help them, brand manufacturers and retailers team up and collaborate using the Perfect Shelf industry solution experience. By realistically simulating how store shelf designs are deployed, they can create consumer-responsive merchandising and assortment strategies that lift both category sales and margins.

Watch the Video!

This collaboration between brand manufacturers and their retail allies accelerates the effort towards finding the best solutions for cost-effective design, merchandising compliance, and brand experience enhancement. A shared virtual environment to define merchandising strategies and enterprise objectives is the ideal platform brand manufacturers and retailers want and need to fortify a strong partnership that creates opportunity.

Why Retailers Need Technology to Improve Shelf Productivity

Carrying nearly twice as many SKUs as they did 25 years ago, today’s retailers face a productivity crisis of making less revenue per item. With profit margins getting squeezed more than ever before, how can retailers fight back?

Strategic shelf planning is critical for managing high volumes of product inventory. Retailers seeking to achieve higher inventory turnover rates and reduce carrying costs must be able to respond quickly and with precision to the ever-changing store assortments. Virtually simulating store layout, shelving, and fixture scenarios in a 3D environment provides retailers with an enriched interpretation of each stage of the consumer buying cycle. This enhanced visibility fosters the creation of in-store merchandising plans that synergize product assortments to optimize shopper engagement. In addition to improving merchandising results, retailers grasp a stronger sense of how shoppers navigate the store to drive better decision-making in inventory management.

By connecting the dots between shopper insights and shelf planning, retailers are positioned to:

  • Maximize product engagement by optimizing merchandising plans and refining store design layout
  • Deliver operational excellence through better and faster category management decisions
  • Improve shelf compliance to reduce inventory costs and increase productivity

How can brand manufacturers position themselves above competition?

It starts with enhancing brand experience. Perfect Shelf allows CPG brand manufacturers to fully utilize the consumer insights and business metrics needed to design the optimal category strategy with its retail partners. Features like virtual reality sessions enable category managers to continuously share and adapt 3DEXPERIENCEs for internal executive reviews or team on-boarding, avoiding ineffective 2D planograms or the expense of physical mock ups.

Whether it’s preparing to optimize a new product launch, design a promotional plan or even deliver a comprehensive range review, these digital solutions serve as a game-changing asset for brand manufacturers seeking a competitive advantage.

The Benefits of Enhanced Shelf Design

The advantages of shelf design technology don’t stop there. As brand manufacturers look to ensure these newly developed shelf strategies align with compliance metrics and merchandising rules, they turn to the Design value component of Perfect Shelf for answers. With an intuitive and systematic design, “Drag & Drop capabilities” provide smart positioning and advanced product assortment filtering and searching – the ingredients needed for accelerating inventory management.

Category managers can efficiently design shelf space recommendations by virtually creating 3D shelves, fixtures and merchandising elements meeting retailer standards and brand equity goals. Brand manufacturers are then able to:

  • Cultivate a stronger sense of operational management
  • Develop a better understanding of their product categories
  • Make precise decisions in merchandising design

Using the Dassault Systèmes Perfect Shelf industry solution experience, brand manufacturers can combine strong brands, visible point-of-sale materials, and a highly professional sales force to win category leadership while boosting sales for its retail partners. Learn how Perfect Shelf can help you create better merchandising plans and improve your retailer relationships.

Don’t believe us? Let the industry’s winning players tell you themselves. Learn how to become a leading brand manufacturer by virtually redefining its infrastructure and discover what simulation has the potential to do for your retail business.

By realistically simulating retail settings inside immersive, lifelike 3-D environments, Retailers and Consumer Packaged Goods companies can better imagine, validate and deploy optimum shopping experiences, increase product appeal, drive brand and category profitability and differentiate themselves from the competition.

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3 Questions To Mark Harrop, Founder and Managing Director of WhichPLM

By Celia
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Mark Harrop has been interviewed by Celia Newhouse, Marketing Director Consumer Goods & Retail at Dassault Systèmes

Mark Harrop, Founder and Managing Director of WhichPLM

Mark HARROP, Founder and Managing Director of WhichPLM

@WhichPLM

@markplm 

 

 

In the past few months WhichPLM released 2 reports that are absolutely must reads if you are in the business of fashion and technology. The first one is the Annual Review 2014 published in November and if you haven’t gotten your hands on it yet, here it is (click here). The second one is the first Supplier Evaluation of 3DEXPERIENCE Company Dassault Systèmes. What is special about this evaluation is that it doesn’t just look at the technical aspect of the vendor’s technology but studies and assesses areas like R&D roadmap, executive vision and customer satisfaction (yes, they actually called 3DS customers to ask how happy they were!).

I recently talked to Mark Harrop on the phone and asked him 3 questions that I thought I would share with you:

CN: In the 1990’s and years 2000, many fashion brands invested in PLM  and PDM technologies.  Where are these companies standing today and where should they invest tomorrow?

MH:Although some PLM vendors do work extremely hard to build a smooth and robust upgrade path today, the way that PDM/PLM solutions were deployed in the 1990’s and earlier part of the millennium – notably the “toolbox” method – led to a situation where most PLM solutions were tailored to each customer’s needs so extensively that they might as well have been entirely bespoke. Because of this, expectations from the consumer space (the move from Windows 7 to 8, or OSX 10.8 to 10.9) cannot be applied to legacy PDM/PLM implementations, since the numbered version paradigm has in some cases been abandoned.

New PLM customers drawn by the touted reductions in implementation time, the comparatively low cost of ownership, and the potentially rapid “ROI” return on investment – for these customers and others across the market – PLM “OOTB” proven best-practice methodologies has now become essential to the smooth running of any business that depends upon product innovation to meet changing consumer needs.

CN: Do you think that going digital and investing more in technology is essential for apparel companies if they want to remain competitive and why?

MH: Today, I believe that PLM has crossed the chasm, and is beginning to ascend the slope to where we might see peak adoption rates on a global

basis. In previous years we have occasionally referred to PLM as being functionally incomplete, or at least lacking in some of what we consider to

be the essential processes and capabilities. In 2014 customers of PLM can now shop for PLM with confidence, safe in the knowledge that a set of core competencies could be assumed.  PLM today is in the most part considered to be a complete solution, capable of delivering against its ROI promises, and already in the hands of both early adopters and the more forward-thinking members of the broader community. And I expect that things will continue to progress even faster with the growth and integration of E-PLM (Extended-PLM) solutions and the use of PLM as an enterprise backbone for extended integration and data consolidation that has created a situation whereby PLM is rightly considered a true enterprise solution, like ERP – something that is evidenced by the significant market growth seen in recent years.

CN: There is a new generation of users out there that is more technology savvy than the previous one.  Isn’t this a real opportunity for apparel companies to leverage this new generation?

MH: The new generation entering the retail, brands and manufacturing market place has little or no reservations of using “smart” technologies the likes of PLM-E-PLM, in fact if anything they expect to see and use smart technologies in their daily lives. Very pleased to say gone are the days were we had to hold people’s hands whilst operating a mouse for the first time! I’m so certain of this transition that I would even say that people will move from business to business to work on smarter technologies than stay working as “fire fighters” in companies that can’t keep pace with the challenges of operating in an ever faster retail world.


I encourage you to make whichPLM.com a favorite in your browser as well as Consumer Goods & Retail !

Celia NEWHOUSE, Marketing Director, Consumer Goods & Retail Dassault SystèmesCelia NEWHOUSE, Marketing Director, Consumer Goods & Retail Dassault Systèmes

@Celia_Newhouse  

 

 

 

Discover My Collection for Fashion, powered by the 3DEXPERIENCE platform provides brands and retailers with a new approach to collaborative innovation and helps them design the products consumers love, while improving global efficiencies and speed to market by up to 50%. My Unified Development and Sourcing,the integrated fashion PLM part of this solution, helps fashion brands and retailers developing their collections on time, at the right price and with the desired quality.

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