Manufacturers, brands and retailers in the fashion and apparel industry shared perspectives on the future of design, product development and manufacturing during Lectra’s Fashion Forward seminar
Lectra, the world leader in integrated technology solutions dedicated to industries using fabrics, leather, technical textiles and composite materials, gathered over 110 industry stakeholders from 21 countries to imagine the future of fashion during a recent thought-leadership event in Bordeaux, France. Over two days, leading industry players and market specialists explored a range of pivotal subjects set to impact the fashion and apparel industry, in particular four fundamental elements: millennials, digitalization, Industry 4.0 and China. Participants also took a closer look at how advanced technologies enable businesses to effectively meet today’s challenges. Innovation propels fashion forward Demonstrating the power of Industry 4.0, US-based global performance brand Under Armour presented their new state-of-the-art facility in Baltimore, which focuses on harnessing change: “The Lighthouse is a first of its kind, state of the art facility that’s revolutionizing the way all products are made. It’s our secret weapon to develop new technology and make products on a smaller scale allowing for improvements to both efficiency and quality,” Jami Dunbar, Vice-President, Lighthouse Apparel, Under Armour, told the audience. Celine U, Head of Merchandising at successful Chinese children’s wear brand Les Enphants, provided context on new challenges that companies are facing in the region. She explained how adopting Lectra Fashion PLM is helping the company pursue its goal to expand across Asia. Impressed by the benefits they have seen from the PLM, Les Enphants are now planning to extend its use from design through to order management. Zeta Beckett, 3D senior pattern technologist for UK-based retailer Matalan, talked about the influence of technology on product development. “For Matalan, Lectra’s 3D is making the world a lot smaller; it makes it possible for us to achieve our targets when it comes to faster product development, more accurate and consistent fit, improved cost control, and better collaboration with suppliers.” Examining the impact of the millennials on the future fashion industry, Edwin Keh, CEO, The Hong-Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HK RITA) proposed that millennials are ‘new consumers’, massively influencing and reshaping the supply chain: “How we make things is becoming the central question. The answer has to engage the hearts and minds of this new consumer and reflect their high standards–to be smart and green. In addition, the brand has to bear up to scrutiny.”
A recurring theme throughout the event was the notion that locking-in the right partnerships, with the right innovations, will enable fashion and apparel companies to turn challenges into opportunities. “By anticipating change, and placing customers’ needs at the heart of its technology, Lectra is committed to continually innovating, helping its customers to succeed in a fast-evolving industry,” concluded Céline Choussy Bedouet, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Lectra.