It is no secret that the fashion industry has also been very much affected by the current pandemic. As a result, apparel brands have had to find more sustainable and creative ways to build brand awareness and maintain customer engagement. It cannot be predicted what long-term effects the pandemic will have on the sector as a whole, however, one thing can be concluded: the crisis has accelerated the digital transformation in fashion. As some designers have started to question the idea of a traditional catwalk, a new age of digital events and presentations are on the horizon. In this new socially distanced environment, apparel brands are innovating the ways of showcasing their collections with many opting for 3D solutions such as CLO to digitize their garments in a virtual space.
Global fashion weeks, events that have traditionally gathered international editors, models, buyers, press, influencers and celebrities to experience designers’ visions and inspirations, have had to rethink in-person events and shows during these times. As such, designers in all fashion capitals have started experimenting with new strategies to showcase their collections. This can be seen through virtual showrooms, digital runway shows, and events. For example, London Fashion Week will be combining virtual and physical shows in its upcoming event taking place this month, while Milan revealed a “phygital” schedule for the Spring 2021 Men and Women’s season.
This digital transformation is not just relevant for the key fashion week events that have traditionally taken place in New York, London, Milan, and Paris, but also for fashion events hosted in other locations. Helsinki Fashion Week (HFW), for example, was exploring digital alternatives to a physical event long before the global pandemic. Since its debut in 2016, HFW has been a pioneer when it comes to sustainability and transparency in fashion. This year, HFW debuted its very-first digital show, where designers were paired with 3D artists, as well as tech and creative agencies in order to create a “cyberspace utopia” where AI influencers and models walked down virtual runways in 3D garments.
This year’s Paraiso Miami Fashion Week was no exception when it came to changing the playing field of innovative fashion presentations. The Diigitals Agency, the world’s first digital modeling agency, teamed up with LavieByCk to create their very first digital runway in order to launch the A-list designer’s swimwear collection: ‘Le Voyage’. The collection includes vibrant swimsuits made with beautiful Ankara fabrics, modelled by digital influencers and models Shudu, Koffi, Brenn, Dagny, and Boyce. All the garments were digitized in CLO by talented 3D artists Sooyun Kime and Lee Eun Jin.
Many brands have implemented innovative technologies (such as 3D) into various stages of the supply chain as a response to the current crisis. However, the long-lasting benefits that come with this digital transformation are becoming ever more apparent. From product development and design to virtual presentations and fashion shows, digitization can help brands in the fashion industry to be more productive, more sustainable and showcase their collections in a more creative, unrestricted environment.