Digital transformation in the fashion industry
Fashion’s digital transformation is now or never, claims a recent McKinsey report. The report states that some apparel, fashion, and luxury companies will not survive the current crisis and that much depends on their digital and analytics capabilities.
For leaders with the ability and willingness to invest, the pandemic has clearly been an accelerator. Those who have invested in digital capabilities have seen 19% Total Return to Shareholders over the long-term versus 12% over those who have not.
Digital is not only an increasingly important sales channel; it can also help companies adapt cost structures and make each step of the value chain better, faster, and cheaper, explains McKinsey.
Equally so is the importance of technical innovation in pedagogy
“Embedding technology innovation in pedagogy is important as students enter an increasingly networked and virtual world says Fashion Program Director Russell Ponting.
We see the potential for enabling greater access to learning through a range of experiences that promote flexibility in a student’s ability to interact with their course. Tech innovation allows students to share their learning and allows for channels of group activity that extend the notion of shared knowledge beyond the confines of a traditional classroom”
Extended Reality (XR) training for branded fashion design students
Our fashion students can now access a new Extended Reality (XR) training experience which simulates studio environments. In this new fashion XR experience students are taken to an immersive world where they perform multiple tasks in 360 and 3D environments.
Virtual Design Room is a simulation of several activities typically occurring in real-world fashion studios. Branded Fashion Design students are provided with the opportunity to virtually 'learn by doing' and reflect on their experience.
Students will immerse themselves with interactive learning activities, online simulation, and experimentation in a risk-free virtual environment. The XR environment will have a variety of interactive scenarios and video demonstrations covering sewing and garment construction.
Through virtual inductions and interactive drag and drop activities, students will be introduced to the different tools, equipment and machinery that they will need to make a garment. The inductions will also cover Workplace Health and Safety practices in a sewing workroom.
“XR provides an immersive, real-life learning experience allowing students to build work-ready skills, empathy building, and technical skills in a safe learning environment. It’s a work placement in a virtual space,” said Eoghan Hogan, Director of Product Innovation, Digital & Global Enterprise.
Virtual Design Room Manager
Branded Fashion Students will also be introduced to processes and techniques in designing and draping garments on a virtual dress form. Through the guidance of a Virtual Design Room Manager, students will go through the experience of how to respond to a brief, design and construct a look with an accompanying technical pack. Subjects using the XR experience include Fashion Studio 1 - Sewing and Construction, Fashion Studio 2 - Drape and Design and Fashion Studio 3 - Shape, Form and Design.
What is virtual dress form?
“The COVID pandemic has accelerated digital innovation in the fashion industry, and it is now common to hear talk of digital fashion, virtual catwalks, collaborations between fashion and gaming companies, and customised avatars,” explains Russell Ponting.
"Our students reflect this transformation, and many are now exploring digital fashion as not only a representational visual tool, but also in areas such as brand positioning and the potential for digitisation to contribute to the sustainability question. Collaborating with 3D artists or learning the technology themselves, students are positioning themselves as future leaders in a digitally enabled fashion industry."
Our introduction of XR reflects our values of being bold and creative
This is not Billy Blue’s first step into the XR space, and it will not be our last The 2021 AFR BOSS Most Innovative Companies List recognised the work of Torrens University in bringing course guides to life through the Start your adventure: Billy Blue an Augmented Reality (AR) 3D experience.
The radical new take on the traditional prospectus enabled school leavers and prospective students to immerse themselves in virtual design showrooms, tour fashion studios, and get up close with the works of our accomplished graduates and current students.
To explore more about the steps our students are taking to bridge the gap between fashion and technology, meet three of our students and see the amazing work they’ve created here.