3D-Focused Discussions Deliver Optimism and Education at PI Apparel EU
As the apparel trade-show industry continues to incorporate virtual experiences into major events and smaller productions, many of the major players in this arena have returned to the calendar in some capacity. For PI Apparel producer MarketKey, this has led to an offering of webinars, online roundtables and virtual apparel-technology events that follow a similar model to its conferences held onsite in cities including New York, Hong Kong and Los Angeles prior to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During its Oct. 19–20 run, the virtual conference connected brands, decisionmakers, technology-solutions providers and garment-industry leaders to engage in panel discussions, participate in roundtable meetings and network. David Wilcox, head of communications for PI Apparel, felt that despite the current uncertainty regarding the continued course of the pandemic and its effects on the apparel industry, unveiling new advancements in technology cultivated optimism for the fashion business so it could move forward.
“The reaction to this year’s event has been really positive. There was a great atmosphere in the rooms, and the speakers kept the energy going throughout,” Wilcox said. “Digitalization of assets from product creation through to the sales floor is not only possible but necessary for the industry to come through these times stronger.”
Prior to the fashion industry’s adoption of these fresh, innovative technologies, garment-business leaders must understand their purpose. During the session “3D—A Process, Not a Tool. How 3D Implementation in the Design2Sell Process Works,” Andreas Seidl, chief executive officer of the Kaiserslautern, Germany–headquartered software-and-consulting firm Human Solutions, emphasized that utilizing 3D technology successfully is much more than simply purchasing new products and expecting increased efficiency.
“We are looking for a new 3D workflow, and each company starting with 3D is redefining its own process,” Seidl said. “This is a very important change process inside the company. It’s more than buying a tool and using it. It is a change process, and all people must be involved in the process.”
Supporting this sentiment during another panel, The Fabricant founder Kerry Murphy explained that while restrictions on events due to the coronavirus pandemic led fashion to explore digital-show options, there is a disconnect regarding the apparel industry’s understanding of these processes. As a leader in the photorealistic 3D-fashion-design niche, Murphy hoped that this period of growing pains would yield greater understanding by brands and designers to recognize the arduous work that this technology demands.
“The biggest realization [by designers] was that 3D is not just a few clicks of a button and you have beautiful renderings coming out,” Murphy explained. “It’s quite a complicated process, especially if you have zero knowledge of it. It’s a new mindset and new skill set.”
On the calendar for PI Apparel is a New York–based virtual event focused on the supply chain, which will be held Nov. 9–11. Additionally, MarketKey will host its next PI Apparel Spotlight event Nov. 5, when the focus will be placed on “Sustainability in Education—The Educators’ Summit 2020.”
“Our online Spotlight series continues with a deep dive into education in November, so we look forward to that and the future of online events running in addition to our physical events,” Wilcox said.