June 4, 2020

Every month Embodee summarizes and analyzes key developments and trends in the apparel and footwear industry, including the latest news about 3D product creation, design, and customization technology. Our goal: help you stay informed, save time, and sell more! Sign up to stay in the know. Unsubscribe anytime. 

Embodee's new 3D web platform integrates digital product creation

Embodee has started taking the wraps off its most ambitious endeavor since the company was founded 12 years ago. It’s the development of a 3D web platform that integrates every aspect of digital product creation — from conception, assortment creation, to vibrant, interactive online sales. The Orchids™ platform fills a significant gap that exists between the desire of brands and retailers to go digital, and the tools that are available to help them do so. That's why Embodee created the platform as a way to bridge the market’s digital ambitions and brands’ ability to put them into action. Read more about the platform in The Interline, including how its development fits into the fashion industry’s accelerating embrace of all things digital. To become an early access user, sign up at Embodee.  

New glimmers of hope among depressing apparel sales statistics

Amid now-familiar grim sales numbers for the apparel and footwear industry, the good news for online orders keeps growing. For example, U.S. pajama sales soared 147% in April over March. The “comfort-cozy trend” is among factors that drove an overall 34% jump in apparel e-commerce, CNBC reports. Meanwhile, the huge declines in sales at brick-and-mortar retailers have become less severe as states reopen, with varying degrees of restrictions. For example, Sourcing Journal reports year-over-year store traffic in Florida was down 87% for the week ending May 4 but 55% a week later. Georgia’s numbers were even better. Perhaps signaling further improvement ahead is a Deloitte survey showing subsiding concerns among consumers about their personal health.

Is pandemic the death knell for fashion show extravaganzas? 

The traditional glitter-and-glam fashion show was fraying before the pandemic. Now a series of high-profile cancellations may mean its demise. Some shows have been rescheduled and will return as video events, notably those during the big fashion weeks in Paris and Milan. The same fate may await New York’s fashion week in September. Prestige brands also have been pulling out of the seasonal calendar of new collection releases. “Fashion week as a concept has been degenerating for some time,” Emily Huggard, an author and assistant professor at Parsons, told Glossy. Video platforms such as YouTube and TikTok are among the new but less glamorous homes for showing off the latest inspirations. And some brands are experimenting with virtual reality for their shows.

Competitors collaborate on creating lowest-carbon running shoe

Making the average running shoe creates an enormous carbon footprint — 30 pounds of CO2, a 2013 study found. To significantly reduce that number and combat climate change, two competitors have joined forces. As Fashionista explains, Adidas and Allbirds have pledged to share their innovations in sustainability with the goal of developing sports performance footwear with the lowest carbon footprint so far. The companies aren't just competitors in the marketplace of shoes but for supremacy in the sustainable footwear category. “The recent progress that our brands have made in the name of sustainable innovation has created the perfect momentum for this partnership to influence industry practices forever," said James Carnes, VP of brand strategy at Adidas.

COVID-19 leads to innovations for protecting against infection

The tragedy of a global pandemic is spurring innovation to protect us from COVID-19, other future outbreaks, and everyday pollution. Among the slew of headlines about breakthroughs, prototypes, and new products are three that caught our eye. The University of Pittsburgh announced that its researchers have developed a coating for textiles that repels viruses and withstands repeated washing. Reebok has created designs for three styles of sci-fi-like masks for fitness buffs that Fast Company said “point to an even more dystopian future.” And the Italian company Tonello has launched technology that uses ozone to sanitize and disinfect items at various stages. Its product line includes cabinets for sanitizing garments and footwear.

Shoppers favor comfort, easy-to-clean shoes in our altered world

While still in a frugal state of mind, shoppers are voting with their money to show the marketplace their shoe style preferences in our altered world. The most common denominator is comfort, which fits the work-at-home lifestyle. This translates into athletic sneakers, casual shoes, and seasonally appropriate sandals, according to FN. Shoppers are also seeking easy-to-clean and sanitize shoes because of concerns that COVID-19 could hitchhike on footwear. That means shoes that can be machine washed or disinfected by hand. Kenneth Cole, founder and CEO of his namesake brand, said people will “want footwear that is always comfortable and practical and can be appropriate regardless of their workplace or workspace.”

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