Approximately how many fashion companies exist within your ambit till date? List some biggies in the list.
We feel that regardless of how many there currently are, there should be more companies in the 3D space; after all, it is an area that is yet to be explored for scalability, ease of use, sharing, and collaboration. Realising the void that exists in the space, Embodee, as mentioned above, introduced the Orchids web platform as an agnostic innovative approach to 3D that helps many of those who are already in the space quite surprised by how it all makes sense now.
Problems with size and fit is always a cause of worry in the virtual fitting environment. How does Embodee take care of this?
Drape and fit are handled upstream by authoring tools that specialise in this area. With the Orchids web platform, we help in this area by offering visualisations of the different fits and drapes to the masses and by providing integrations for buyers through the means of web-based sell-in tools, market testing tools, and e-commerce.
How can brands cut back on costs and speed time to market by utilising 3D? How much time can be saved in comparison to physical samples?
Current 3D authoring solutions already provide ways of reducing the number of physical samples needed. Depending on the product category, sampling can be reduced by anywhere between ~15-50 per cent; with the introduction of Orchids web platform the ROI equation changes even more. When looking at the 3D content creation process, it is typical for the same person to create the model and all its variant creation, a process that can collectively take considerable additional time which is not being spent creating a new model. Our Orchids web platform has introduced a new way of creating in 3D in which the 3D designer focuses on the model creation and any other users in the product development process, skilled in 3D or not, can create variants in any web browser without taking any additional time from the 3D designer. Working this way improves productivity, dramatically increasing the ROI of the overall 3D investment.
What are the new innovations Embodee is coming up with?
We have been focused on developing the Orchids web platform that has a completely new approach to the creation, production, and selling of apparel products, online and in 3D. For the last three years, our efforts have been geared toward creating this solution that helps the apparel industry adapt to the ever-growing digital transformation in the space, while simultaneously cutting waste and inefficiencies.
Our unique and innovative Orchids platform helps the fashion industry develop 3D products online more efficiently and collaboratively. It brings every participant of the product's lifecycle together: designers, 3D artists, product managers, supply chain partners, external buyers, and others into one easy-to-use web platform. Now teams can collectively help the product development process and get the most out of their 3D by collaborating online regardless of their location.
Its on-demand renderings of 3D products are unsurpassed in visual quality and interactivity and can be showcased in vibrant online shopping experiences, used to gather instant consumer feedback, as an internal sell-in tool, and others.
What sort of skill sets and backgrounds do your employees have? What is your current team size?
Our team is a tight-knit group of dedicated and passionate individuals that exceed limits and expectations in everything that they do. Led by our founder Andre Wolper, an engineer with over 25 years of experience as an innovator (originally a microprocessor architect turned patent holder in design and apparel digitisation methods) the rest of our team has deep knowledge and experience in the areas of software scalable web applications, 3D rendering, shader development, and user-friendly experience design all with a great knack for innovation. Our small team of software experts is distributed across San Juan, Puerto Rico, Portland, Oregon, and Sofia, Bulgaria.
What should be the textile industry's top priority going forward?
Sustainability plays a big role in how this industry moves forward. Focusing on what sells and on having fewer inventories will subsequently support on-demand manufacturing and factories that will reposition to fulfill needs accordingly. The industry should also focus on technologies such as blockchain and cleaner ways of developing textile and sewn goods. There is also the need to develop a skill set to drive the next generation of those entering the design and development segments of the market, as well as working in conjunction with the education community to develop programmes to support present and future technologies.
How are people reacting to concepts like virtual fitting rooms and digital fashion shows in the present situation?
We think that the reactions are positive, as the common goal is to achieve a digital workflow from start to finish, from digital product development all the way to digital showrooms and online stores. Tommy Hilfiger was one of the pioneers in this regard, when he first launched it in 2015, the trend has continued since then. Brands and retailers have further pushed 3D providers on their quest to deliver virtual dressing rooms which require much more than simply presenting digital variant options on a website, but there still is a need for full interactivity with body measurements and real-time draping. Solutions for these challenges are hard to come by given where the internet infrastructure is and considering where 3D solutions are at this time.
Going ahead, will e-commerce and digital fashion walk hand in hand or replace one other?
In our view, they go hand-in-hand, when you hear the words e-commerce and digital they click as the same, therefore consumer expectation is that anything digital will find its 'endpoint' in some form of an e-commerce experience. Currently, there's the initiation of a tighter relationship between the two and it's just going to grow from this point on. Digital is here to stay and be an integral part of our lives even after the world achieves a hold over Covid-19.
We are too deep into the change process to back up and go back to how life was prior to the pandemic. In that sense, good lessons were learned in many areas where we thought change was not possible, Covid-19 has proven we can do better as a world.
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