Betabrand Bets Big on Fashion with 3D Digital Rendering.
It can take as long as 18 months for a pair of shoes to go from a designer’s sketchpad to a retailer’s register. But now Betabrand is doing it in only 5 days… and aims to make it faster.
Through a marriage of crowdsourcing and 3D digital rendering, the company is able to create and sell new products faster than even Fast Fashion brands.
The process begins by getting consumer feedback. Site visitors are led through a series of polls, the results of which are quickly rendered into products people want.
Like this shirt:
Or this bag:
According to Betabrand founder Chris Lindland, “The quality of digital renderings are now so high, the detail of the fabrics and trims so accurate and lifelike, that products are ready for presale before manufacturing even begins.”
Throughout 2017, Betabrand and manufacturing leader Li & Fung tested four-week development cycles for new footwear and bag designs. Twenty successful products and more than 30,000 presales later, the partners have sped up the process to a mere 4-5 days.
“Online shoppers have clearly changed the way products are purchased,” Lindland says. “Now they’re going to change the way products are made.”
By inviting consumers into product development, Betabrand is speeding up the process by which designers, merchants, and marketers identify what shoppers want. The company then puts design prototypes on pre-sale to determine how large a given production run should be.
Last week, it was digital high heels. This week, the online retailer teamed up with Smartwool to launch a new shirt using 3D digital rendering technology. Its consumers are now co-creating a pair of boots for launch next week.
Brand new design concepts typically ship four months after launch. Says Lindland, “By giving consumers a voice in design, they feel more invested in products — and they don’t mind the wait. And presales are enormously beneficial when it comes to determining our size curve and order volume prior to buying. For this, we reward presale purchasers with discounts up to 30%.”
San Francisco-based Betabrand is an R&D platform for new products, used by independent designers and established brands alike. Notable creations include Dress Pant Yoga Pants, Executive Hoodies, Paparazzi-fighting fashion, Black Sheep Sweaters,The Suitsy, and many more.
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