Avatars in the Apparel Industry

Research Institute AAFA Title Slide Avatar Talk

Fashion Research Institute’s CEO Shenlei Winkler spoke yesterday at the fall meeting of the American Apparel and Footwear Association’s Information System Committee  about the use of avatars in the apparel industry.

Some of the things we touched on were what an avatar actually is, which for the purposes of our talk is any digital representation or a persona of a physical world person.  This includes everything from static 2-dimensional images to fully 3D models.

We discussed how the industry is currently using avatars, as ‘talking heads’  on web sites for e-commerce or customer service purposes.  We also talked about the use of static 3-D models for purposes of showcasing apparel, also used on retail web sites.

We covered the use of avatars for product design in an offline, non-collaborative setting as well as the use of avatars for fitting, size standardization, nonstandard and plus-sized apparel, and even weight loss.

Then we discussed the coming evolution with our new service Virtual Runway™, with the use of fully 3-D, AI-enabled avatar models to showcase designs and to quickly iterate upon design concepts with a geographically dispersed audience in a collaborative, immersive environment.  We also discussed the use of the patent-pending Black Dress Design Studio for virtual world-based product design and development, allowing granular business information data collection for executive use.

Finally, we closed with some coming previews of the future of avatars in the apparel industry, for marketing, sales, and for product design and development. The talk was well-received and elicited commentary about the future of teh industry.