FashionLab – a fledgling initiative under Dassault Systèmes – has found the future of high fashion, through the medium of 3D technology.
Fashion is a popular style or practice, especially in clothing, footwear, accessories, makeup, body piercing, or furniture. Fashion is a distinctive and often habitual trend in the style in which a person dresses. It is the prevailing styles in behaviour and the newest creations of textile designers. Because the more technical term costume is regularly linked to the term “fashion”, the use of the former has been relegated to special senses like fancy dress or masquerade wear, while “fashion” generally means clothing, including the study of it. Although aspects of fashion can be feminine or masculine, some trends are androgynous.
Prior to the mid-19th century, most clothing was custom-made. It was handmade for individuals, either as home production or on order from dressmakers and tailors. By the beginning of the 20th century—with the rise of new technologies such as the sewing machine, the rise of global capitalism and the development of the factory system of production, and the proliferation of retail outlets such as department stores—clothing had increasingly come to be mass-produced in standard sizes and sold at fixed prices.
According to Jérôme Bergeret, Director of FashionLab, 3D technology has been “a revelation for the fashion industry,” especially luxury brands. For him, technology is able to unlock the potential of designers and actually free their minds, letting them focus on the core issues of creativity while automating the laborious tasks.
FashionLab was established as a technology incubation project in 2010, dedicated to fashion designers. The idea behind FashionLab is to create tools and services to assist designers in bringing their ideas to life using 3D virtual technology, and adapt Dassault Systemes’ expertise to meet the specific needs of the fashion world. “Today’s fashion industry still makes use of 2D design assets in creating their collections. We want to propose an alternative for the next decade, [wherein] artistic directors, stylists and the fashion community can design in 3D from the first creative instant, produce a virtual prototype of their garment/collection, and enhance the customer experience using 3D technology,” Bergeret says.
Is 3D the future of fashion?
FashionLab firmly believes that 3D will be in the DNA of future collections for the fashion industry. “Our mission is really to demonstrate that this concept can work, from B2B and B2C, from concept to consumer. We’ve made headway over the last three years—we’ve started to design in 3D, to experiment the capacity to design garments in 3D; we’ve worked with everyone from the luxury watch industry to the jewelry industry; and we’ve investigated all these subdomains of the fashion industry,” he says. Its store incubation project, in particular, saw fruition when FashionLab launched a virtual showroom of Fournié’s premier collection.
While the 3D digital and virtual revolution is still at its nascence, FashionLab asserts it will spell a host of benefits for the fashion industry. Currently, today’s retailers often engage in mass production in their efforts to capture what consumers want, but 3D technology could change this. “Since we entered the space of 3D digital strategy, FashionLab sees a tomorrow where, with 3D printing, we wouldn’t have to produce massive volume in a low labor country. We can produce on demand, locally, close to the consumer, and even minimize our ecological footprint,” Bergeret says.
With a 3D design approach, the future of high fashion business can be built on sustainability. At the brick-and-mortar level, which FashionLab had demonstrated in its collaboration with Fournié, the digital store can become an extension of the physical. “In the future, until the customer decides to buy stuff on demand, the product would not exist. It’s all virtual,” he says.
Such concept “imagined” by FashionLab may seem worlds away, especially for big-box retailers, but in the luxury business where bespoke items figure highly into the preferences of a discerning clientele, Bergeret says “this is already happening. In 2020, 50 percent of the luxury business will happen through digital. Everybody’s going through mobility, buying through mobile devices—it’s the story of the world.”
Read full article by Rahul Joshi on EnterpriseINNOVATION.