A new US-based garment online retailer - a startup from the proverbial garage, is vying to capture a piece of your wardrobe, but in a different way! vPersonalize.com wants consumers to design their own apparel, online, on a 3D model and get it custom made as seen visually. This is the brainchild of India-born Bala Selvarajan, co-founder and Chief Technologist for vPersonalize.com.
A "3D configurator", a web-based application allows one to design their own t-shirt or a backpack for that matter in a browser and get it custom manufactured 'exactly as seen'. A click here, a color there and a slogan and it is done! You can even upload your logo or custom artwork. We are one of the few apps that lets you span images and text across seams", Bala explains to fibre2fashion.
We than asked him the most pertinent question haunting online apparel retailers. How do they take care of dress sizes? He confidently informs, "That was another hard problem to crack. The actual size of a men's T-shirt, for example, varies by as much as 16 inches from XS to 2XL. "This is not a problem if you were only printing on the front or the back - you just leave the additional area blank - but a big problem when you allow images and text to span seams to cover the entire T-shirt."
"Our second big breakthrough - and in fact, the real step towards commercialization of this technology, came about when we solved this problem. Which is why we make the user select the size first? The good news is that the user sees exactly how his or her design will look at that size - as compared to a generic image of a T-shirt you see when you select whatever size", he says with a smile.
Informing about the actual production process, he says, "We have automated the process and the entire workflow is tightly scripted, which means, the individual factory is fungible. We can also work with many different types of materials and printing technologies.
"We are also working to introduce many new products like baseball hats, flip-flops, pillowcase, bedspreads and more! Presently, resource constraints force us to focus only on areas of high priority, but we will get around to these soon".
However, the customized facility that vPersonalize is offering now is not enough for Bala.
"Right now, when we say full-custom, we refer to the ability to print anywhere, including over seams. The design on the T-shirt is full-custom, but the T-shirt itself is not. "When we introduce custom sizes, the t-shirt or the backpack itself becomes customizable", he reveals.
"Why should it always be a size S, M, L or XL? Why can't it be a size Jane or size Dave? One can be shorter,taller or stockier - also it is your prerogative to own a pillow that is 18 inch by 22 inch. With our custom sizing, you can choose the exact width and height of the product and have it custom made. This is in addition to the design customizations we already support", he says excitedly.