As a fashion designer and avid reasercher, I love trends that break the traditional boundaries of retail.
A trend that we have been seeing in the last decade is the digitalization of marketing, community, and most recently, clothing.
The rise of social media as a brand platform, led to the influencer phenomenon which now dominates the personable side of social media marketing and heavily facilitates online communities that are loyal to a brand. Potential customers now find that they have more in common than their brand choice since they relate to the influencer and therefore, other customers.
It wasn’t until 2018, when digital influencers took social media by storm and almost defeated the purpose of the use of influencers as ‘genuine’, turning them into more of a marketing asset than before. The biggest example if this is Lil Miquela, a self proclaimed robot who has now amassed 2.8 Million followers on Instagram and partnered with countless celebrities, influencers and brands like Calvin Klein.
It is only natural then, that brands transition to selling digital clothing as a sustainable and cost effective alternative to over production. Naturally evolving at the same pace as technology does. But what even is digital clothing?
Digital clothing is a 3D rendered version of a garment that does not physically exist. The aim of digital clothing is to ultimately, adopt a demand based production model to reduce waste and to create marketing and sales assets that are much more useful than product photos. Digital clothing gives brands the chance to alter clothing according to customer feedback, similar to the model clothing giants like Zara use but without all the waste and human resource it takes. For example, CLO3D, a digital pattern drafting software that goes above and beyond current industry standard, Gerber by Accumark which only drafts in 2D. Unlike it’s competition, CLO3D creates realistic renderings capable of accounting for movement, fabric elasticity, and detailed fit.
The digital clothing industry is exciting and scary because it will likely lead to a halt in clothing production and a shift of focus to targeted, demand based production. I, for one, can’t wait to shop a virtual showroom and see how the clothes fit and the fabric falls before I even put them on!