How is 3D Changing the Fashion Industry

3D on the web makes it possible to visualize three-dimensional digital assets on the open Internet, to interact with products, view them from all angles and in great detail.

3D assets have been used for many years in different industries (automotive, shipbuilding, industrial design, etc.) to facilitate the design process, to improve the quality of design and communications through documentation. The apparel industry is also starting to understand all the benefits of this technology, which saves a lot of time, money, and CO2 emissions.

3D visualization speeds up the product development process

3D in fashion facilitates the design process and pushes the limits of what is possible with physical products. A development team can review a product design in real-time, and directly iterate and collaborate on a 3D model using annotations. Designers can also visualize variations, movements, and different lighting scenarios in real time.

Implementing 3D in fashion product development simplifies the process and saves valuable time for creative teams, helping companies increase their revenue and reduce operating costs.

The advantage of digital is the flexibility to imagine, prototype and adapt designs to any scenario, any time, during and after production.”

The Fabricant, a digital fashion house based in London

If you want to start creating 3D models, we would recommend those softwares specializing in the fashion industry: mainly Clo, Browzwear and Optitex.

3D visualization is a powerful collaboration tool

Once you’ve created your 3D models, you’ll need a platform to easily share your content with your collaborators. At Sketchfab, we’ve spent 7 years creating the best 3D player on the web.

The ‘public’ face of Sketchfab is thousands of 3D artists sharing their creations, but you can also upload your content privately. Sketchfab can securely store your assets on your account, which allows you to seamlessly share them with your teams for review.

Crocs has integrated Sketchfab into its digital tools and uses it for its Initial Line Review meetings. These meetings, once held in person, are now fully digitized. Stefano Ferniani, Senior Director of Global Innovation at Crocs, explains their goals:

This actually allowed us to digitize two of the biggest product meetings we had, saving a hundred people from traveling to headquarters twice a year for a week around the world.”

—Stefano Ferniani, Senior Director of Global Innovation at Crocs

Stefano also mentions that the quality of the overall review process has improved: products can not only be shared with a wider audience, but they can also be viewed several times by each individual.

3D in fashion can replace physical samples

Physical sample creation is a slow and expensive process. Most samples have to be made using different fabrics types, textures, sizes, etc…

Not having to produce all of these as physical samples and not having to ship them all over the world vastly reduces the time spent in the development process, sampling costs, model costs, and your environmental footprint!  

[Digital samples] saved us from manufacturing 2500 physical samples that were once shipped to the HQ for the meetings.

—Stefano Ferniani, Senior Director of Global Innovation at Crocs

You can also use digital sampling to present your collections. In 2017, Hugo Boss fully digitized the development of products for shirts, ties, and knits. They also announced that the new collection would not be presented with rolling racks, but rather in digital form on large touchscreens.

The high degree of detail provided by 3D virtualization makes it possible to realistically simulate the colors, outlines, and the way the outer material drapes the wearer’s body.

The collection, including the entire range of available colors and combinations, will be offered to customers exclusively in digital form, thereby reducing complexity and ensuring maximum flexibility.

—Dr. Hjördis Kettenbach, Head of Corporate Communications at Hugo Boss

3D in ecommerce increases conversion rates and lowers return rates

You can reuse your 3D models on any website or social media, in 3D ads, brochures or any marketing materials, without having to take photographs of physical products.

3D models can also be used on your ecommerce platform, meaning that you can receive orders right after your design development process and even before having produced your first physical product.

Balenciaga used 3D models to announce the launch of their new Track trainers collection.

3D models enrich your online experience: being able to move the product around, zoom in, zoom out, and see how light reflects on the product will help users make better and faster decisions.

3D configurators allow customers to personalize their products

To respond to the growing desire for personalization and customization, some companies have expanded their product range, thus drastically increasing their costs of production, logistics, and stock.

With a simple 3D configurator you can create customized clothes with the attributes and colors specified by the customer, thereby avoiding the production of unsold products. You no longer have to try to anticipate changes in trends years in advance with no guarantee that a new style will be popular!

To see how 3D in fashion can help your customers personalize their products, try our Nike 3D configurator demo where you can easily design your very own trainers from a selection of different colors.

If you are interested in using 3D and don’t know where to begin, feel free to contact us, we’ll be happy to help!