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Infographic Alert: Multichannel Marketing Can Be Puzzling

November 2, 2013 Leave a comment

 etail-west

November 1, 2013 –

by Elyse Dupre and James Jarnot

Creating optimal customer experiences is a top priority for many retailers. In fact, 65% of retail executives polled say providing the best customer experience possible is the most important factor when obtaining approval for sales and marketing technology investments, according to the “Breaking Through Customer Engagement Barriers with Innovative Marketing and Technologies” report by Infogroup Targeting Solutions and Retail Touchpoints. And the best customer experiences are those that are relevant—powered by multichannel customer data and messaging.

However, piecing this multichannel data together can leave marketers feeling puzzled. According to the report, 47% of retail executives rank “using their existing customer data effectively,” as their greatest marketing challenge, followed by “integrating social and mobile data” (18%), “using analytics” (11%), and “integrating new data” (8%).

When it comes to completing the overall picture of the customer, a majority of marketers (58%) agree that transactional and purchase history information are the most valuable types of data, the report notes. Following far behind in importance are behavioral and attitudinal data (14%) and demographic data (14%). Just 5% of respondents say social media data is the most valuable, and only 2% list Web browsing history data as important, according to the report. This lack of emphasis on key areas of customer data may leave puzzling gaps in insight.

Real-time data also proves to be a brain twister. The report cites that less than a quarter of respondents (23%) use real-time data to generate customer offers frequently and less than one third (30%) admit to doing so infrequently. In fact, 11% say they don’t use real-time data to produce customer offers at all. However, 36% say they would like to do so in the future.

But piecing together multichannel data isn’t the only thing retailers are stumped on. They also struggle with multichannel messaging. According to the report, only 37% of retail executives provide consistent marketing messages across all channels. Of the remaining 63%, 50% say they synchronize their messaging across some channels, but not all, and 13% say they treat each channel separately.

InfographicWeekly082313

Elyse Dupre is a reporter at Direct Marketing News and covers ever-evolving trends in the marketing world.James Jarnot is the Art Director at Direct Marketing News.

Alvanon: Innovative, Integrated Fit Solutions for the Apparel Industry

Alavnon uses and links cutting-edge technology to create an innovative transformational process that results in a full service fit and sizing company that offers brands the elusive goal of determining a custom sizing standard for their brand and developing custom forms [that reflect their clientele] and pattern blocks to ensure quality and consistent fit for their product.

Products and Services

 

Listed below are current products and services provided by Alvanon:

AlvaInsight develops fit specifications and grade rules to provide the best fit for the “sweet spot” of your target customer base. Integrated methodology combines technical design expertise, analytical skill, our global body measurement and shape database to redefine particular product specifications and apply anatomically aligned grade rules.

AlvaScan is the first step to improving fit by capturing the exact body specifications of your target market. This customized scanning service utilizes portable and easy-to-use, cutting edge technology to gather relevant data. AlvaScan utilizes safe millimeter wave scanners, to accurately measure a fully clothed body in seconds. These 3D full body scanners (produced by Intellifit Corp, with www.it-fits.info as the link underlying Intellifit Corp) have been employed worldwide and have gathered data for more than 200,000 subjects. This is the most cost-effective method for gathering large amounts of scan data accurately. We have also partnered with various National Size Surveys and have included this data in our measurement databases, giving more breadth and depth to our analysis.

AlvaForm fit mannequins represent the core body standard within a company’s supply chain. The AlvaForm Standard facilitates communication and creates alignment between all parties. The result is improved speed to market and an optimized fit approval process.

AlvaBlock  Customized for you target customer – basic blocks for correct and consistent fit.

AlvaTraining Alvanon has partnered with several training authorities around the world to educate your supply chain on how to effectively implement and measure results for AlvaForm, AlvaBlock and AlvaPhoto systems. They also provide training to your designers, merchandisers, pattern makers, retail store staff on the new fit and how it relates to your customers.

Product Catalog links

Academic Partnership Page

Alvanon’s Latest Creation Your Personal Fit Model

News Articles on Alvanon.

More on Alvanon products and services here on previous blog posting.

Target Australia National Sizing Survey

Target Australia is partnering with Alvanon to body scan about 25,000 people from 4/30/12 to 5/30/12 to get their body measurements down to the exact millimetre. It will be recorded, processed and Target will come up with sizing that best suits the Target Australia population,”

Target managing director Dene Rogers predicts the technology will revolutionise the way we buy and fit clothes. Here is a link to the official Target Australia National Size Survey page describing the body scanning sizing project is here. Scroll down to see two official Target videos demonstrating and explaining the project.

Here is a detailed article on the Target Australia National Size Survey Project titled: Sizing up Australia – is Target’s 3D body scanner the shape of things to come?   by Kate Kennedy, Lecturer, School of Fashion and Textiles at RMIT University.

This article mentions the long desired hope for development of a public domain database to inform both the industry and consumers on Australia’s size and shape. Many people within the Australia textile, clothing and footwear (TCF) industry will no doubt be viewing Target’s body-scanning project with a certain amount of envy.

I believe many people in the US (AAFA) American Apparel & Footwear Association [as well as Target US] will also be viewing Target Australia’s body-scanning project with a certain amount of envy. Development of an expanded SIZEUSA public domain database would be excellent for generic industry, consumers and educational researchers. Perhaps this is something that AAFA as an organization would consider supporting. [SizeUSA was a two-year National Sizing Survey was sponsored by clothing and textile companies, the Army, Navy and several universities. Lead researcher for the study was Dr. Cynthia Istook, a North Carolina State University textiles professor who teamed up with AlvaProducts using TC2 scanners –source] Matching brand specific items to customers is a win for customers who end up with reliable and good fit and retailers who increase sales [especially online] and reduce returns.

Link to article about the SizeUSA research: Changing the Way Apparel Companies Think about Body Shape.

Anyone that would like to submit a guest blog posting on the subject of expanding on the SizeUSA public database research project, please contact me at polvinem@buffalostate.edu

First (Ever!) Virtual World-Based Fashion Design Conference

December 2, 2009 Leave a comment

Head on over to Shenlei Winkler’s [FRI] post detailing last minute preparation for the Threading the Needle Fashion Design Conference

Patterning History:
Preparing for the First (Ever!)
Virtual World-Based
Fashion Design Conference.

I visited the conference area in the images below. Shenlei orientated my avatar and provided it with clothing, hair, skin and shoes. Thank you Shenlei! Here is a link to the FRI orientation page. I visited the conference area where I will be presenting.

I managed to snap an image of Steven Zucker obsessing about his avatar’s nose. It look just fine to me Steven! 🙂

Threading the Needle:The Future of Fashion Design Conference

November 28, 2009 2 comments

Fashion Research Institute  will be presenting and sponsoring the first virtual world-based fashion design conference in history. It is titled: Threading the Needle: The Future of Fashion Design. This is a free conference for for fashion design students and new designers it will run will run Thursday, December 3rd from 8 am – 5 pm EDT.

Conference speakers include Kerry Bannigan (CEO, Nolcha Fashion Week); Fiona Jenvey (CEO, Mudpie); Beth Harris (Director of Digital Learning, MOMA-NYC); Crosby Noricks (Founder, PR Couture); Suzie Norris-Reeves (FHEA, Head of School, Southampton Solent University); Elaine Polvinen (Professor & Coordinator – Fashion Textile Technology, Buffalo State University); Michiel Thissen  (Founder, Mythos Consultancy); Shenlei Winkler (CEO, Fashion Research Institute); Steven Zucker (Dean of Graduate Studies, FIT).

The conference is free for all attendees – simply create a user account on the ScienceSim grid at sciencesim.com. Then download the software, and log in. It’s that simple, and both the software and the conference are free. 

You will need to make a simple change to the viewer to ‘point’ it to ScienceSim:

 When you start the Hippo viewer, click on the “Grids” button to select one of the grids. The first time you run Hippo, you will need to click on the “Grids” button. Click on the “Add” button at the top, enter the URL http://grid.sciencesim.com/ in the Login URI field, then click on the “Get Grid Info” button to fill in the details. If you will be using Hippo exclusively to access the ScienceSim grid, then make sciencesim the default.

Attendees will want to log in a little early and customize their avatars, so they feel comfortable with their avatar representation and with the interface.  There are 45 minute orientation sessions which will be provided on November 19th and 26th from 1-2 pm EDT, and November 29 from 9-10 am EDT.  Experienced mentors will be on hand to guide you through the orientation, which takes about 30 minutes, with 15 minutes to customize your avatar.

For more information, please visit http://needlethreading.com/ or contact admin @ fashionresearchinstitute.com.

Virtual Fashion – What is it?

June 18, 2008 5 comments

Shenlei Winkler (aka: Shenlei Flashart in SL] has an excellent post titled, “Avatar Apparel vs. the Real Apparel Industry,” clarifying the differences between what FRI [Fashion Research Institute]  terms, virtual fashion that is designed specifically for virtual worlds and gaming and the “1.7 trillion USD apparel industry.”

Actually it’s even becoming even more confusing then Shenlei mentions because the global apparel industry is now transitioning over to multi dimensional product development applications like Optitex [in the video below & see previous posts] that will empower the industry to develop in virtual 3D digital format [using virtual avatars] from square one.

So the term “virtual fashion” can refer to fashion developed specifically for end use in the the virtual world or fashion that is developed “virtually” via a multi dimensional application or “in the virtual world” for the real world global apparel industry. To add to the confusion 🙂 I  have developed a totally in world Introduction to Virtual Fashion online college course that prepares real world students of fashion to think, create, develop and work together and communicate in a virtual world setting. Register for College Level Intro to Virtual Fashion in SL [fall 08′] I believe that an application like Second Life provides fashion education programs with the tools to teach students a specialized (fashion) conceptual skill set from working in a 3D virtual reality environment that is free and open access for all fashion programs. Gaining these introductory virtual skills will begin to prepare students for emerging employer expectations relating to 3D conceptualization.

Some real life fashion designers like Nyla from the House of Nyla design and create one of a kind real world fashions and replicate them for virtual sales in a virtual world like Second Life.

 

House Of Nyla

 

And then there are the real life fashion designers like KOZMARA that create real world fashions using a multi dimensional product development application like Optitex that enables virtual development of a real world garment that can be easily manufactured.

KOZMARA

What Shenlei is developing with IBM is real world apparel production design and development in a virtual world setting – this is really quite exciting and it takes a bit just to wrap your brain around it but once you do it leads to endless possibilities!

Shenlei goes on to describe how virtual fashion for end use in a virtual world is often developed in a 3D application like Photoshop or Illustrator and is never actually manufactured so the designer does not have to conform to a variety of size, trend, quality, production and time constraints.

She continues with a comparison of funds generated by the gaming industries and the global apparel industries. In her post, she eloquently details the four years of dedicated highly focused multi-faceted cross training involved in preparation to become a fashion designer in today’s global fashion industry.

All of these real world production details that a fashion design student must gain an understanding of are not required for a virtual fashion designer that designs specifically for the virtual gaming worlds. As Shenlei states, “the realities of manufacturability and wearer’s comfort are not even a consideration.”

Her blog post explains that the FRI research is not about fashion designing for the virtual world but working “in” and using virtual worlds to develop real world apparel for manufacture. FRI is,”focused on helping the apparel industry to cut its time to market, slash its development costs, reduce its carbon footprint, and enhance its profitability and revenue opportunities.”  FRI is, “using virtual worlds to insulate designers from technology and to enable them to focus on design.”
 

The real world apparel industry product development research that FRI is conducting is exceptionally exciting and has the potential to have a transformational impact on the global apparel industry. Anyone involved in the real world apparel industry is welcome to visit the Fashion Research Institute [FRI] in SL.  The FRI has made available new resident avatar kits in the welcome area of the FRI corporate sim complex in Second Life tm Shengri La. Here is a link to Shenlei’s post titled “Beautiful People….”

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

Technology Day at FIT Part V: MVM Louise Guay

Technology Day at FIT: Teaching and learning in Four Dimensions

This brings us to the closing remarks: Virtual Identity and Visual Search was to be presented by Louise Guay, PhD., Founder and President of My Virtual Model [MVM].  I was extremely disappointed that Ms Guay was unable to make it to the Technology Day conference but she did manage to send a video of he presentation. I am including it here .

Louise mentions and illustrates how the Virtual Model and Virtual Home applications augment the users power to extend themselves. She mentions some of the ever expanding brands that MVM works with. She speaks about how the BrandMe application provides the user with access to mix and match (and save) multiple brands as well as post the virtual model to e-mail, blogs or a variety of social sites including FaceBook.

She is very excited about the new MVM Visual Search application and explains when and where it will be released. The video illustrates the data base visual search application that will enable the user to try on literally any product.

Link to my FLICKR images from the conference.

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

It’s a Reality: OptiTex Enables Total Integration 2D>3D>2D Fashion Product Development

October 19, 2007 5 comments

The system is here that does it all – OptiTex integrates all of my apparel/textile retooling addictions into one application. The user can draft a computerized sloper into the PDS (Pattern Design System) that can be endlessly modified to include original styling lines. A grading table can be easily applied to adding multiple sizing to enable marker making.

 

Modulate is an interactive parametric, one-of-a-kind, made –to-measure software engine that is truly unique.. Each parametric style fits a particular set of dimensions that belong to specific people or represent particular manufacturing requirements.

The user can visualize each step in real time while defining the model. 

No need to print off the prototype pattern and assemble a muslin sample to fit on to a dress form. This system has 3D virtual avatar that take the place of traditional dress forms. The 3D virtual avatar sample size can be easily customized.

  

3D Runway designer is a 3D draping cloth simulation and modeling engine that enables textile designs to be applied to a specific type of fabric and draping, weight, volume, density, etc. properties of the fabric can be programmed in to simulate the real thing. This is used for garment draping and 3D visualization. The fabric is simulated on to the garment pattern and the model can be placed into static poses that can be captured from a 360 degree angle.

3D Runway Creator for Modulate enables the user to use a wide range of parametric avatar mannequins that have 40 adjustable body measurements.The potential client gets to see either a layout containing multiple front, back, side views or an animated runway scene with the fashion avatar wearing the fashion prototype “before it’s manufactured.” Once the client receives the video clip of the fashion prototype – they can easily request modifications to the design prototype.

This fully integrated 2D>3D>2D system can transform the fashion product development process by saving valuable development time. 

I always like to “push” new technology developments into the “what if” dreams. What if the 3D fashion avatars created with this system could someday be uploaded into a virtual world like say – Second Life? Fashion designers could develop new disigns and market them in SL and RL. SL designers would have an application that can easily make their SL fashions a reality for production.

Here are some links to OptiTex Videos

OptiTex is a company (along with MVM) at the forefront of virtual product development and retailing movement. The company has developed a number of high profile strategic partnerships some were mentioned in the MCPC 2007 entry.  One partnership of note is  Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style show on Bravo, and there will be a really major upcoming product release with Bernina called Bernina MyLabel. Click this link to view the new 3D fashion pattern software for home sewers called MyLabel This product will provide home sewers with a library of garment templates. The user will be able to input their measurements into the system and a customized 3D avatar representing the user will appear. The selected garment template will automatically adjust to the users measurements and a pattern can be printed out. This system will transform the home sewing market!

One last note – OptiTex just released a new virtual avatar called Adam. “Beginning in November, Adam will appear within OptiTex’s 3D new Version 10 3D modules and related applications, serving as a complement to Jasmine, the female 3D supermodel and a large family of boy, girl and baby avatars. ” To read the entire press release click here.

Other Optitex Posts:

 

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