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Industry Experts Weigh In on What’s Next for Denim’s Digital Evolution

Speed to market, sustainability and efficiency are all drivers of innovation in the denim industry, but the influx of technology is what’s going to drive the sector forward.

“Without technology, you don’t go anywhere,” said Adriano Goldschmied, Genious Group CEO and founder and MYR strategic business partner.

Goldschmied was among the denim innovators speaking at “Denim at Intersection of Fashion and Technology,” a Sourcing at Magic panel in Las Vegas Sunday. He was joined by MYR CEO and president Umberto Brocchetto, MYR head of business development Dalia Benefatto, Fitcode co-founder Rian Buckley and Jeanologia mass customization director Alex Penadés.

“The digital world is changing our world,” Goldschmied said. That said, however, the denim guru believes garment design is trailing other sectors when it comes to adapting to this new world. And with denim being a category that prides itself on heritage and traditions, Goldschmied said there’s “a certain resistance to innovation.”

Enter MYR, an easy-to-use software that produces original looks in high definition and quality, and acts as a digital portal that connects all of the players in the denim supply chain.

“Textile and digital is a fundamental step for the fashion industry,” Benefatto said. “It’s an opportunity, not something that should be feared.”

With MYR, designers can their build entire collections via a touch screen, work in real time with laundries and discover new suppliers. More importantly, brands can drastically reduce the costs associated in the prototype phase by 60 to 70 percent, Brocchetto reported. The software creates 3-D renderings of designs, allowing brands to perfect concepts before they every reach the laundry.

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“Every time you toss a sample, it’s $10,000 out of the window,” Goldschmied said. That’s time, talent and money that could be better spent on developing new and innovative products, he continued.

In its own effort to avoid that scenario, Jeanologia’s 5.Zero laundry plant guarantees zero waste and pollution and localizes protoyping.

The innovative plants—there are more than 20 around the world—allow up to an 85 percent savings on water and chemical usage, while streamlining the production process. Instead of traveling to laundries and shipping samples back and forth, brands can house the smart plant on their campus.

The result, Penadés said, is a simplified design process, faster speed to market, scalability and a greener footprint.

Fitcode, a fashion data company that assists with finding the best-fitting jeans, brings innovation to the consumer level. Women—and now men—can take the Fitcode quiz online to receive personalized jeans recommendations from brands like AG, Citizens of Humanity and Joe’s Jeans.

Buckley said Fitcode has a 94 percent quiz completion rate and its users are three-times more likely to buy. Fitcode consumers are also some of the most engaged. According to Buckley, they are seven-times more likely to view a product page and six-times more likely to revisit a brand’s website.

The next step? Merging technologies like MYR and Fitcode to create the right product for the right consumer. Buckley said there’s a future where brands using MYR can further streamline their design process by incorporating Fitcode’s data.

“You’re using the customer data that we have to make [jeans] for your customer,” she said. “And that’s what we want to do—we really want to move this whole thing from being supply driven to demand driven. It’s no longer the days of when brands just made [a lot of] jeans and threw them out there. Let’s look at who the customer is, let’s make it for your customer.”