The Fung Global Retail and Technology team attended the Product Innovation (PI) Apparel Conference on June 27 and 28, 2016 which its organizers describe as a place to discover the technologies disrupting the fashion, apparel and footwear industry. We joined industry leaders at the prestigious Union League Club in New York City.
PI Apparel focused on key areas PLM, innovation, 3D technology, and supply chain and digitalization. We heard from and met with representatives of large retailers, emerging brands, and technology companies. We also had an opportunity to meet with technology vendors. Below are takeaways from the PI Apparel event:
- 3D Technology, prototyping and the use of digitization is here. It isn’t a matter of when to implement, it is a matter of how.
- Innovation is occurring within the design process and shortening it from 4 weeks to a few hours. Examples: Target and Under Armour in collaboration with Optitex
- Being a persuasive change agent is critical to implementing an organizational change. Soon Yu, Global VP, VF Corporation
- Find the one change to make, and make it impactful. Analogy: changing from 2% milk to 1% milk changed a whole community. Do this in your organization. It will produce results.
- When asked if a change can be made, focus on the possibility, not the challenge. Cindy Payero, VP – DKNY Wholesale Systems, The Donna Karan Company LLC
- Streamline administration, not creativity. Allison Page, Adidas, VP – Brand Operations Strategy and Projects
- “3D adoption is here. Embrace the process.” Simon Kim, Chief Strategy Officer, CLO Virtual Fashion
- Future fashion innovations may involve dissolvable clothes using salt baths to make trendy attire disappear, also known as ‘fashion snapchat.’ Bob Bland, CEO Founder, Manufacture New York
- Supply chain innovator Bob Bland created Manufacture NY in Brooklyn which is an integrated supply chain housing 160,000 square feet of design, operational and warehouse space encouraging designers to collaborate, create, and produce their ideas.
- Established brands must find ways to innovate while keeping their core strengths. Mike Gawtry, Director, Sporting Equipment, Travel and Innovation, LL Bean
- The key to customization is to keep it relevant. There are barriers to entry, so you have to make the experience and the product credible and high quality. Tim Williams, CEO, YR Store
- In order to be successful, you have to “connect the connectors” between fashion, technology, and design. This can be accomplished by non-traditional partnerships, leveraging existing infrastructure, and investing in research and development. Despina Papadopoulous, Founder; Principled Design NYU
Read our report to get more insights from the event.