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How technology is transforming the fashion industry

Technology has become an essential part of our daily routines. Today's businesses cannot ignore the rapid technological developments in all industry fields and how customers find ways to adapt to innovation quickly. Sooner or later, all industries will adapt to these changes to survive; it is "do or die". Industries that had previously relied on technology are now moving faster and are developing new customer experience tools to capture attention and engagement.

Maybe you have already seen the use of virtual reality or augmented reality in some state-of-the-art video games and consoles. However, did you know that both augmented and virtual reality are also being used in the fashion industries today?

In today's article, we will explore how technology is changing the world of fashion every step of the way, from the design process, prototyping, manufacturing, and commercialization.

  • Revolutionizing design and materials

A unique design and exclusive materials are probably some of the most important clothing features for a demanding consumer. These two are differential factors when deciding to buy one brand or another. Technology, unsurprisingly, plays a great yet invisible role in devising and producing clothes made from innovative materials.

One of the most popular technologies is using 3D printers in fashion ateliers since they allow for the design of fast and inexpensive three-dimensional prototypes that can later be produced with any fabrics and materials. Another use of the 3D printers in the industry is the virtual duplication of a person´s body and shape that we can use to design or print personalized garments with a perfect fit. Companies such as Elektroloom or Nervous System Design Studio have already used these processes to design and print clothes; although it may seem an alternative way to manufacture, it will surely have its place in the industry soon.

3D printer

Another extraordinary cross of fashion and technology is the integration of a technology device into the clothing itself. This is maybe the first step towards connectivity between our clothes, mobile devices, and the internet. This is the case in Project Jacquard, a project developed by Google to integrate technology into garments as a source of added value. Google and Levi’s began to put this concept into practice by developing the Levi’s Trucker Jacket, which has a chip on the sleeve that guides the user through the streets with the assistance of Google Maps. It also allows you to answer calls, among other functions. Although this item is not available yet in the global market, there is no question that it will soon be.

  • Marketing and Sales

Talking about creating value and communicating better with clients, technology is definitely the way to do it today. It seems like a market symbiosis; as technology takes over the world of sales, marketing and sales are also surrendering to technology's influence and power.

Fashion business marketing has been most impacted by the breaking of technology in the industry, and there is no question that as new forms of marketing evolve, the world of sales will rapidly adapt to them.

An example of this is virtual reality, which has quickly become widespread and increasingly present in our environment. One of the main uses of virtual reality is to replicate or broadcast events without being physically present. Some brands and designers have already started to run fashion shows through virtual reality. This has come to an advantage that allows us to overcome different difficulties, including the ones that we are facing now with the pandemic. These virtual shows have shown to be a good alternative, and, likely, they are here to stay.

On the other hand, augmented reality is also trying to take the stage as well, and offers many opportunities for the fashion retail sector. One of its main applications is to be able to customize your own product.

Nike opted for this option in 2016, implementing the NikeID VR Studio in some of its stores, which allowed you to customize your shoes through augmented reality glasses.

Another extraordinary use of this technology is the new augmented reality fitting rooms. By creating a "virtual avatar," a virtual replica of ourselves, we can try different clothes without being in the store. Kind of comfortable in these times!

There is no question that virtual technologies have vigorously burst into the world of fashion, changing their relationship to their customers. The goal is to offer fully personal enhanced products and a unique shopping experience. Only time will tell if fully customized garments connected to our devices will become the standard fashion in the near future.

If you have found it interesting and you want to learn more about the new technology and market trends that are transforming the fashion industry, take a look at our Fashion, Design and Culture program at


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