Thursday, March 6, 2008

Future Technologies

The overwhelming success of the Apple iPod has proved that technology can also be fashionable but can fashion be technological? With 3D visualization software consumers can get a lot more input into design. This type of software already allows for a more life like shopping experience and for manufacturers to communicate their ideas and designs more effectively, but the future holds much more in-store. A technology, so far in its infancy, has emerged. It is called rapid prototyping (RP) or 3D printing. The technology is based on printer-like machines firing computer guided laser beams at materials, such as nylon, heating the powder and fusing it layer by layer into complex, solid 3D shapes. (New Scientist, 30 September 2000, p 24).
The advancement of 3D visualization software such as ours combined with the fantastical prospects of 3D printing will create a new era in fashion. Imagine consumers designing their own garments, then printing them and wearing them! A future of fashion on demand… a future of mass customization of clothes at home…. We are not there yet and it would probably take a considerable amount of time but I just can’t wait!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Masterpiece in Mass Production

The industrial revolution has brought the advantages of mass production to many industries. In high fashion the emphasis remained on creative designs and skilled craftsmanship. Ready-made garments started becoming popular and more accepted only when clothes-making machines advanced. However, the complete artistic freedom enabled by custom-made designs is still favored by many. I suppose that, I too, would love all my clothes to be masterpieces created by the spark of inspiration and perspiration exerted by a fashion designer at work, every stitch calculated for the achievement of a more perfect garment. Unfortunately, as I am no Hollywood Star or Real-estate billionaire, my choice of clothing is confined to those created by the miracles of mass production. The tools created at Browzwear are going to change all that. Designers that utilize 3D visualization tools are exceedingly librated to experiment, they are less bound to the rigidness of procedure dictated by the nature of mass production. They can communicate more efficiently with the manufacturer and make sure that the final product is a precise duplicate of their computer generated masterpiece.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Global Fashion in My Wardrobe

Last week I inadvertently noticed that my shirt was made in china. Not that this is a great surprise but I was curious to see what other far corners of the world my wardrobe gathered from. I opened my closet a few shirts traveled a long way from their native India, some have crossed oceans from their origins in the United States others came from fashion capitals in Europe, there was even a representative of the kingdom of Jordan.
How did they all get to my closet? This is the question I'll do my best to answer in this post.

The globalization in my wardrobe has much to do, I suppose, with a wider trend. In today's global village, retailers shop for their goods globally. Fashion retailers are no different. They shop for textiles and apparel products from all corners of the world hoping to acquire cost benefits and gain an edge on the competition. But this offshore sourcing trend is not as simple as it may sound. Managing the logistics and supply chain for textiles and apparel suppliers and retailers demands collaboration of the parties involved and has to be flexible enough to cope with the dynamic patterns of demand, especially for fashionable items. Good collaboration is developed almost like a piece of well woven fabric. There is a need for planning. The aim is to create continuity and sustainable value for everyone involved.

In the recent version of V-Stitcher, Browzwear's 3D fashion design and communication software we developed new tools, in an endeavor to encourage collaboration within the fashion supply chain. We found that our customers appreciate intuitive forms of communication such as customized camera angles, so the parties can all see the garment from the exact same angle. We also added "3D notes" so you can leave a note on the virtual garment for all to see. In a sense we are not just mimicking the design process as it is carried out in real life but improving it, fostering a more productive relationship between retailers, manufacturers and brands.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Making the World a Better Place

Hi you all. I know…I know… You are probably looking at the title of the post and wondering what 3D fashion design and communication have to do with making this world any better. Well, consider this: According to the Council for Textile Recycling in addition to 4 million tons of post-consumer fabric waste in the USA alone, 25,000 tons of new textile fiber is disposed of by North American spinning mills, weavers and fabric manufacturers each year!!! Any yarn that is overproduced or does not meet the exact specifications of the purchaser is considered waste, even though it is perfectly useable.

Every time a garment prototype is made, fabric material is wasted, and all the fabric that’s transported back and forth, not to mention the designers and buyers flown in by the wonders of modern transportation, pollute the air we breathe.

By transferring the entire prototyping and design/pattern making process to the virtual realm we not only reduce costs and textile waste, we reduce the amount of land, water, energy, pesticides and human labor that goes into textile production…thus making the world a better place!