Delegates heard how current product design and development practices and processes are all too often lacking essential block pattern making expertise seriously compromising garment fit and adding cost and time to product development. Matalan also appealed to retailers and brands to share their body measurement data in a ‘fit forum’ to facilitate a common measurement starting point thereby reducing consumer frustration and costly product returns. Mass customisation enabled by continuing development of online, e-mobile and 3D digital printing technologies could also revolutionise the way consumers design, order and even make their clothes to fit their bodies. Delegates were cautioned that failure to recognize these developments is not an option.
ASBCI event director, Dr Julie King, head of fashion & textiles at De Montfort University, opened the seminar and introduced the keynote presentation from the renowned global fit guru Ed Gribbin, president of Alvanon. He appealed to companies to give the responsibility of apparel fit to their technical designers as it is they alone who have the skill sets and focus to: “reinstate the lost art of block pattern development and build product that consistently and accurately fits the body.”
As for the future he believes mass customisation is viable but it needs essential elements to flourish: “Enabling technologies (including innovations in online, e-mobile and self scanning technologies or reverse engineer algorithms); willing buyers (consumers who are prepared to use the technologies and engage in the customised clothing concept); retailers and brands who are willing to invest in the mass customisation proposition; and clothing manufacturers who are willing to make ‘one off’ garments. The fit quest he stressed is a “moving target” and: “I predict we’ll be back here again in a few years in need of another sizing and fit seminar.”
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