As the fashion and retail industry continue to progress, more and more companies are finding themselves adapting 3D technologies. One innovative 3D designer came up with an idea that would allow for companies to explore all the possibilities of 3D design quite easily. In 2017, CLO power user Juan C Martinez founded Virtual Apparel Solutions. He created this company by bringing in other power users from CLOLLAB that have extensive industry experience in product development, technical design, textile design, and pattern making to assist in creating the 3D garments for their clientele. We sat down with Juan C Martinez to discuss his purpose in creating Virtual Apparel Solutions, how CLO has been integral in the process, and what he thinks the industry will look like years down the line:
What was your motivation for creating Virtual Apparel Solutions?
I founded Virtual Apparel Solutions to encourage, educate, and influence emerging designers and established brands in New York to use 3D and VR technology to develop better collections efficiently. As the trust in the company and the technology grew, I brought in other power users from CLOLLAB to help me in the creation of 3D garments and accessories for the various clients. The result was the creation of a dynamic company built by designers and for designers with a focus on delivering top-quality virtual assets for the fashion industry.
After years of working as a designer in the fashion industry for many years and seeing first hand the waste of resources on a daily basis, I wanted to contribute to fashion’s transition towards becoming a circular industry. I strongly believe that fashion must innovate and implement more circular strategies in order to move forward and show responsibility for the goods it creates.
What has your experience been like as a 3D designer? What companies have you worked with?
From the moment I discovered 3D I felt creative freedom and with a wealth of possibilities limited only by my imagination. It was almost overwhelming. My curious nature took me to learn several 3D softwares and my detail oriented personality pushed me to always strive for perfection—that means hundreds, if not thousands, of hours in front of my beloved computer. I trained at one of the top schools in the world and with 10 years of experience in design and product development, my work is a refined asset and it speaks for itself. This allowed me to work for some of the most interesting emerging designers worldwide as well as established companies and digital influencers, including: Gucci, Guess, LVMH, Adidas, The North Face, Levi’s, Ministry of Supply, Ralph Lauren, Burberry, Nine West, MCM, and Tory Burch among others. I have also digitized luxury and designer gowns to dress the top virtual influencers today: Shudu and Dagny from The Diigitals Agency for Harper’s Bazaar and SModa publications.
How has CLO been integral in this process for you?
I am passionate about design, fashion and innovation. CLO, I feel, has found a way to blend these three aspects to perfection, delivering a solution that helps designers create the future of fashion. Personally, CLO not only gave me the possibility to explore 3D in an easy to maneuver efficient environment, but a community I could count on. CLOLLAB has been of enormous value to me. I love to collaborate, exchange ideas, and share my experiences with other designers. We are all focused on moving fashion forward and we are family.
Why do you think 3D design is important?
There are four key points that I believe make 3D design essential for the evolution of the fashion industry as a whole: 1) It provides creative freedom during the development process, resulting in well studied and carefully developed products. 2) It reduces lead times and development costs. 3) It helps create a more collaborative creative process. 4) It is a sustainable practice that doesn’t ask you to compromise.
How do you think 3D and CLO will play a part in the fashion industry 5 years from now?
I believe 3D, and CLO as a leader in this sector, will work on creating software solutions to solve fashion’s most pressing issues, but also to innovate in the production and VR sales areas like AI assisted on-demand virtual design, VR shopping, VR self awareness and living, fabric weaving on-demand, and robotics assisted production.
CLOLLAB was created to allow users access to other expert 3D designers all across the globe, and it’s very exiting to see our users collaborate in a way that is truly pushing fashion forward. Projects like those created by Martinez help keep innovation and creativity alive in the industry.