Interview with Samson Khaou

Samson Khaou
Samson Khaou
Dassault Systèmes
Dassault Systèmes

IoT, 3D printing, AI motivating India to change core business practices
Dassault Systèmes, the 3DExperience company, provides businesses and people with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations.  Its world-leading solutions transform the way products are designed, produced, and supported. Samson Khaou, MD, Dassault Systèmes dwells on the future of the apparel and fashion retail.

What is next in 3D in textiles and fashion?

One key aspect of 3D in textiles and fashion is that designers are looking beyond 2D to 3D for designing and minimising design physical prototypes. With increase in awareness about the environment, textiles and fashion are becoming more sustainable and socially responsible. Technology is enabling more efficient production and design. When we think about sustainable fashion, we think of aspects like organic or recyclable materials, conscientious shipping, and fair wages for those making the clothes. These are all important, noble pursuits, but a powerful 3D printer, additive manufacturing and an innovative mind could change all that. Designers have begun experimenting with 3D printed pieces of clothing and in doing so are exploring a new philosophy of sustainable fashion by eliminating waste.

Two crucial ways in which 3D is making textiles and fashion more sustainable are:

Decreasing carbon footprints: 3D allows designers to not only design digitally but helps them to run the trial and error before they make their first sample. Through 3D, designers can view what materials will be more suitable and help them decide on materials to be used ahead of time, saving on samples. 

Eliminating production wastage: Testing samples digitally eliminates wastage of production of samples completely. 3D manufactured products only use the materials required for the product. This helps reduce yardage of cut fabrics or excess material purchases.

Please describe the world of textiles and fashion by 2030.

In the next two decades, the retail sector will change dramatically. Innovations such as delivery drones, 3D printers and virtual mirrors will alter the way we shop. Soon customers will be tailoring their purchases using detailed 3-D screens - either holographic, or ones that appear flat with CGI graphics. For the retailer, customisation might seem an unnecessary complication, but it could boost profits when customers expect to be able to return ill-fitting or unwanted purchases for free.

By 2030, the production and sales process will be different in the following ways:

Changing spaces: Walls will no longer define a retailer. Technologies are being developed to allow virtual stores on mobile phones, depending on the shopper's location. If consumers go to a store in 2030, their experience will be a world away from what we experience today. Future stores will be like theatres of ideas with large, virtual walls and mirrors that sense and map shoppers.

Intelligent materials: The world will shift from smartphones to smart materials. Self-repairing fabrics will fix small tears in themselves and they will be used in many products - not just clothes - from mobile phone screens to nail varnish and shoes.

Future manufacturing: Unlike much of today's manufacturing, customised clothing will probably be made in the country it is ordered in, or even in-store.

The delivery process: By 2030, drones flying products directly to people's homes will be a common sight. Many companies are currently planning this type of delivery system. Organisations are investing heavily in robotics companies and developing robots that work with driverless vehicles to deliver goods.

Which regions especially in the apparel and textile domain are employing your software solutions? Where does India stand?

In India, we offer solutions to four market segments: fashion, lifestyle, home and retail sectors in India. We understand how each of these markets functions, and have the right solutions. For the new fashion marketplace, the 3DExperience platform delivers compelling consumer experiences across apparel, footwear, luxury items and accessories. We empower manufacturers of hard goods including toys, leisure goods and sporting goods to rise above the competition and activate digital business transformation. Our solution enables companies in the appliances, power and hand tools, glassware and tableware, and lawn and garden industry to create home consumer experiences that spark the imagination and delight the senses. 

Lastly, the 3DExperience platform from Dassault Systèmes provides companies with the ability to visualise the consumer experience, model different assortment options and refine retail formats, analyse real-time sales data, and ensure that the consumer is provided with the ultimate shopping experience, regardless of channel.   

In Asia, we have had significant success in India with Arvind Lifestyle Brands Limited, Mohan Clothing (Blackberry), Myntra and Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd. These are among the 17,000 international companies in fashion, home, lifestyle and retail successfully collaborating with Dassault Systèmes to create and deliver products that consumers love. 

Do you have solutions for small and medium sized enterprises (SME) (SMB) since they dominate the textile and apparel industry in India and several other regions in Asia?

We recognise they share some key challenges faced by larger enterprises but lack the I.T. resources, budget, project management and robust organisational structure to implement solutions. Hence, Dassault Systemes has launched SME-friendly solutions that are cloud-ready at attractive price points. Enterprise solutions on the cloud saves customers significant upfront investment in hardware and maintenance.
Published on: 25/04/2017

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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