The challenges faced by today’s fashion brands are many and well documented. However, new technologies offer workflows that can significantly improve a brands bottom line, time-to-market and environmental footprint. Implementing a 3D design workflow, especially when integrated with traditional ones, represents one of the best opportunities for brands to be able to revolutionise their product development and sampling process.
The purpose of the AFC FashTech Lab is to present and trial 3D design workflows where participating fashion businesses can discover the benefits and reach new potentials within their supply chain in a frictionless and cost effective way. Meet the AFC FashTech Lab Technology brands, who throughout the program's duration will be guiding the nine fashion businesses through every step of their digital sampling strategies and workflows.
The creator of Quadrant, a product development platform for today’s fashion brands. Think of Quadrant like, Shopify for Fashion Makers. A single source of truth for all your product development needs that lives in the browser, is intuitive to use, cost effective and powerful.
Q1. Can you tell us about Quadrant, do you have a success story to share about a brand or business implementing the program?
If an industry insider tried to categorise Quadrant they would generally refer to it as a PLM. That is not wrong, but we don’t refer to Quadrant this way because users often think of PLM’s as old, clunky legacy software that they hate to use and costs a fortune. Quadrant is the opposite of that and that’s why we like to describe Quadrant as “Shopify for Fashion Makers”. So just like Shopify has revolutionised many brands' sales funnel, by making e-commerce easy to set up and manage, incorporate lot’s of powerful features but also be super cost effective, Quadrant does for the other side of a brands business; their design and product development.
Quadrant was originally designed to optimise traditional development workflows, but now we have introduced new functionality to facilitate and optimise digital and hybrid workflows, which we see as the future for fashion brands who wish to stay commercially and environmentally sustainable.
We are working with brands here in Australia, the US and Europe and even though each of them are very different in many ways they still share the same basic challenges; Dollars, Time and Carbon. The large amount of money they have to outlay to produce and sell each collection; The risk involved in long rigid lead times and the environmental costs associated with producing and selling each collection. What’s exciting for us is how Quadrant is assisting all the brands we are working with to reduce each of these cost centres.
Q2. What does the future of fashion look like if businesses adapt to more digital design workflows?
Ultimately, it can help disrupt the broken business model that prevails in the fashion industry today. A model that forces brands to sign up for high MOQ’s and continually seek lower unit costs. Actions required all to chase high margins that will allow them to still make a return after they have heavily discounted a significant proportion of each collection because they have such long, rigid lead times which are totally out of sync with fast moving consumer trends.
Digital design workflows can help to facilitate new “on-demand” workflows where brands can test the market without having to produce a single physical item. Business models that use technology to allow designers to test and trial new styles quickly without the same financial and environmental costs. So designers can be more creative, brands can retain higher margins without high MOQs and pressure on supply chain partners and the industry can lose its unwanted status as the second largest polluter after the oil industry.
The ORDRE Group comprises several fashion technologies redefining relationships between luxury brands, retailers, and consumers. Digital innovation is the company’s driving force.
Q1. What limitations are relieved when utilising digital showrooms?
Virtual showrooms provide fashion designers the opportunity to promote and sell their seasonal and core collections outside of traditional fashion market timings and locations. Removing the need to travel to conduct wholesale appointments saves fashion designers time, money and reduces unnecessary carbon emissions.
Q2. Can you share a success story of a brand you’ve worked with and how the ORDRE network allowed them to reach greater exposure? (in comparison to physical showings)
Throughout the last two years of the pandemic, AFC Virtual on ORDRE has assisted many Australian designers including P.E Nation, Helen Kaminski, Aje, and Jac+Jack to sell their wholesale collections to existing and prospective international buyers when travel was not possible. The program resulted in considerable virtual wholesale volume and a number of designers picking up new accounts in Europe, North America and Greater China.
To find out more about the AFC FashTech Lab head to the program page on the AFC website.