September 2011 management briefing: Size, fit and 3D fashion tools
Garment sizing and fit can be a major challenge for clothing manufacturers. Not only do they change in line with the population's expanding waistlines, but as more and more firms start selling internationally they need to adapt their ranges to new markets. This management briefing looks at the issues – and discusses how 3D technology can be used to help designers, pattern makers and even online retailers to increase sales and reduce returns.
It is a no-brainer that factors such as age, diet culture, and exercise all contribute to a person's size; yet sizing research over the years shows there is a link between how tall or wide a person is and the decade of their formative years.
Although fashion manufacturing and design is not as full of glitz and glam as runway shows or haute-couture magazine spreads, the clothing industry is incorporating some pretty spacey IT to make the end product look flawless - and fit correctly.
With 3D technology selling movies and electronics, it only makes sense that fashion is also focusing on this cutting edge trend. Certain brands are exploring ways in which 3D technology can enhance everything from couture shows to advertisements to e-business; but while the drive for innovation is there, some industry experts say the technology still has a way to go before online fitting rooms are mainstream.
While the goal for many clothing manufacturers and brands is to gain an international presence, there is a key risk associated with selling the same designs in different global markets - the more far and wide that clothing designs go, the more shapes and sizes they must come in.
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- US retail landscape "mediocre" over next 5 years