New models: how IKAR is using 3D imaging to present its clothing lines

Clothes manufacturer IKAR, which sells women’s underwear and sportswear lines to retail stores such as American Eagle, Target, Ross, and Nordstrom, is using 3D imaging technology to present its new collection to customers.

Roi Ballin, business development manager at IKAR, says the traditional way of presenting lines involves creating a 2D computer-aided design (CAD), which is sent to its factory where a physical sample of the new product is fabricated. “That takes about two weeks and costs approximately $500. We also design a 2D version in-house using Adobe Illustrator. Then we would show the customer both the physical model and the 2D illustrations.”

Using imaging company CGTrader’s augmented reality and 3D modeling ARsenal product, the business will use the technology to present its September collection to clients.

Under the new process, it sends CGTrader the original CAD file plus 2D illustrations of one of its products in four different angles, along with an image of the texture if necessary. “In less than a week we receive the photorealistic 3D model of the product for evaluation.... We then have an accurate 3D model we can present to our customer – the colour, texture and dimensions can be easily modified whenever we need it.

“This crucially save us time and money – in creating the first iteration of the garment concept as well as the production of the fabric in different colours/textures. Presenting in 3D provides us a very accurate view of the intended active wear and offers us an advantage compared to presenting seamless clothing via 2D designs.”

Ballin says the next plan for the technology will be to use booths in trade shows for it B2B customers, so they can fully browse the collection using an augmented-reality headset.

Immersive shopping

However, it can also be used by its customers’ customers – i.e the end consumer. The company is using spatial computing platform Magic Leap’s technology to give shoppers the opportunity to see how the items would look on them at home, using their body specifications.

“They don’t have the item in hand. Instead they can upload their body shape [specs] and see how the style looks, that will be a huge advantage for the end customers. Today the 3D models are still in the early stages of imaging, but it will get more photorealistic and eventually we will have a product you can see on an actual model via a mobile device.”

Although Ballin notes the company is not yet ready to entirely replace its physical sample process, as many of its clients still want to touch and feel the physical product – even at the presentation stage of its collections.

At the moment there will be an “overlapping” between having a traditional physical collection and the virtual collection, he says. In the future he believes more clients will be used to seeing its collection presented in this way.

The key benefit is customer get to see the full variety of its collection, without having to rely on the standard size and colours of its samples and having to wait. “Time and cost are the same thing in our industry,” he says. “If you miss a deadline then that is a cost.”