Fashion industries, like others, are rapidly adopting new and advanced technology. It is 2021, and they’re now using social media apps, like Instagram and TikTok, and oddly, even video games such as Animal Crossing, to connect to their target audiences. Beyond this though, lies another area of tech advancement in fashion: 3D.
Fashion brands using 3D tech have become a popular trend on most social media apps. Even more significantly, 3D fashion collaborations like those found between fashion leaders like Puma and 3D advocates like The Fabricant, as well as promotions like Anifa Mvuemba’s recent virtual runway show, demonstrate how fashion brands can use 3D tech at multiple points of their fashion products’ internal and external lifecycles. In these cases and in the big picture, the adoption of 3D tech tools in fashion benefits both the brands and the tech makers themselves, but also the end consumer. Here’s why and which tools your team can start using to get in on the 3D trend.
3D Fashion Takes Center Stage
Digital fashion tools in general give brands’ internal teams the opportunity to:
Save money on materials
Decrease their need to hire additional product models
Avoid material waste
Create true to life visualizations of products before they’re finished
Even though brands still use models to display their clothing in marketing materials, to most consumers, modeling their clothes internally using digital fashion tools before the sampling and production stages allows them to make mistakes and edits with little to no financial or material consequences. For example, creating a 3D look with an avatar still prioritizes measurement, fit, flow, etc. but decreases the amount of actual fabric and trim used to fix a mistake or change up a design feature.
Many brands use 3D software tools such as CLO 3D, Browzwear, and Marvelous Designer to design and model their clothes virtually. There are many others out there on the market, but here’s why these are three of our favorites to use during the stage of fashion product development:
CLO 3D – 15 Years of Research Resulting in a Collaborative 3D Clothing Solution
CLO 3D is a well-known and affordable 3D software that companies and individuals use to create virtual fashion. With CLO 3D, users have the option to start with 2D pattern designs and then use this software to give their designs dimension. This tech is user friendly for all individuals looking to create and seek information about 3D clothing before signing up.
30-day free trial with registration
Lessons on how to create 3D designs and an avatar
Informative software guides that detail how each feature works
Ability to connect with other CLO 3D users
Option to use 2D design
$50/month or $450/year
A few different user bug reports on fabric exporting buttons and on repeat avatar patterns
Limited avatar fit measurements
Browzwear – 3D Software That Saves Time on Physical Sampling
Several large fashion companies like Nike use Browzwear to boost their product development. This platform caters to more 650 businesses designing 3D fashion for their brands. Browzwear differs from other 3D software tools because it offers blogs and webinars on the user experience, how to navigate their software, and the fashion industry. Lastly, they also share a live series about sustainable fashion hosted by real fashion experts. With Browzwear users will gain tons of information on 3D fashion and the fashion industry overall.
Offers multiple 3D fashion software options such as VStitcher and Lotta
Webinars for independent users and businesses on VSticher animation workflow
Browzwear University offers education on VSticher and other programs and features
Pricing not available on site
Independent users need to be approved for the Browzwear Indie Program
No user community
Marvelous Designer – One of the Most Realistic 3D Clothing Software Tools in the Market
Marvelous Designer offers realistic material and simulation for fashion brands designing virtual fashion while also providing auto-sizing for their avatars. Unlike some other 3D software tools, Marvelous Designer allows users to customize an avatar and add animations to it once they finish their final product designs.
$39/month for individual users
Realistic and accurate fabric representations
Realistic simulations of clothing movement
Great key features such as animation and trim details
Offers a user community that allows Marvelous Designer users to communicate with one another or with the company
Pricing from $39–$1,900 dollars depending on package or material
These tools can greatly assist fashion brands seeking to create and collaborate on their own 3D designs internally, but fashion brands that are newer to working with 3D tech might prefer to follow Puma’s lead and partner with a company like The Fabricant to model out their 3D fashions.
3D fashion assists brands to not only save money on fabric, materials, shipping, and model casting, but can also give customers a new and sales enhancing way to shop. Now in many online stores, customers have the ability to visualize how they will look in certain products by uploading a photo of themselves to a virtual fitting room. With a worldwide pandemic, online shopping in the last year has increased. While some people enjoy physically shopping, others prefer to stay inside, where virtual fashion try-on options will benefit them more than additional in-store fitting rooms.
Technology is constantly growing and fashion brands are trying to keep up. However, brands that make use of 3D fashion tech will be at the forefront of the latest and greatest tools for designing and marketing their products to customers in better and more efficient ways than have ever been done before.
Content marketing internship @MakersValley. Chastiny Walker majored in digital communication and media at West Texas A&M University. She enjoys being in a creative and collaborative environment that allows her to bring her skills to the table. In her free time, you can catch her playing video games, reading a book, or spending time with her loved ones.