LONDON — The teams at Tommy Hilfiger will begin designing entirely in 3-D starting with spring 2022, the company will reveal Thursday during the Web Summit 2019 taking place in Lisbon.
The brand will implement 3-D design within its global design teams at its headquarters in Amsterdam, the Netherlands with a target to create all spring 2022 apparel collections using 3-D digital design.
The company, which had already piloted 3-D men’s wear design, said the decision builds upon its target to digitize its end-to-end value chain. It has also rolled out a virtual showroom worldwide for wholesale buying, with further digitization across the Tommy Hilfiger business model in the pipeline.
“The potential of 3-D design is limitless, allowing us to meet consumer needs faster, as well as design in a more sustainable way,” said Daniel Grieder, chief executive officer of Tommy Hilfiger Global and PVH Europe.
“The technology has become a fundamental tool in our collection design and ready to replace traditional product photography. By fall 2020, our men’s wear shirts will be 100 percent 3-D designed, with no samples made and buyers unable to tell the difference from those presented in the traditional way. This is the future.”
In order to realize its 3-D design goals, the company has founded a tech incubator called Stitch dedicated to digitizing its design practices. Since its 2018 founding, the incubator’s team of software engineers, 3-D design experts and transformation specialists has developed an ecosystem of tools that enables a fully digital design workflow.
The company said its 3-D technology allows for faster turnaround through design automation, seamless integration into the digital showrooms and the software’s multiuser interface.
There is a sustainability angle as well: The company said it is also developing 3-D design software indicators that will measure to what extent a product is circular, with real-time feedback on material and trim selection while other indicators will show how — or whether — products can become more durable and recyclable. The new technology should contribute to sample reduction, time and cost savings.
The company said 10 Tommy Hilfiger divisions have already been trained and educated in 3-D design, with the technology active in 20 product groups, with more to be added. Moving forward, all new Tommy Hilfiger designers will receive 3-D design trainings as a standard. Tommy Hilfiger will also have a collection designed, developed, sold and promoted in a fully digital space, including products modeled on virtual avatars.
The Hilfiger 3-D design team has been attending the Web Summit 2019 in Lisbon, which runs until Thursday, and has been demonstrating the technology at the PVH booth.
Hilfiger isn’t the first company to work 3-D design into the wholesale and design experience. VF Corp., parent of brands including Vans, The North Face and Timberland, opened showrooms in London’s Soho, with a variety of digital features.
Tall, vertical screens feature life-size avatar fit models that can stand, spin and move around, showing off their looks in three dimensions. Users can touch the screen displays to change the lighting and visualize the products in various scenarios.
Every stitch, fabric thickness, color, logo placement, fold and drape from the avatars’ footwear and clothing has been recorded, allowing designers, salespeople and factories to work off the same platform and to communicate quickly and efficiently.