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How CLO’s 3D Prototyping is Boosting Productivity for One Brand

Before the 3D department at Germany-based women’s designer fashion brand Marc Cain was founded in 2016, product design and development was a slow-moving process. Prior to its creation, the working method was very manual. Initially, cuts were plotted on paper and glued together by hand, print placements were held to the body and measured and outfits were drawn. Now, all these processes can be replaced or supported with 3D, enabling the company to save hundreds of hours in the design process and ultimately bring more products to market at a faster pace.

Since implementing CLO into its workflow, the fashion brand has seen benefits outside the design department as well. For example, Marc Cain’s sales teams can offer more products and colorways to potential buyers, while its marketing teams can get a better read on what end consumers are interested in—all using virtual prototypes.

“Databases of sections and Illustrator drawings were already available for a long time,” says Urs Konstantin Rouette, managing director of design, technical development, manufacturing, procurement and logistics at Marc Cain. “With the creation of 3D content, it is now possible to combine these two databases, and patternmakers and designers can communicate using the same tool. 3D 360-degree views are also increasingly used as technical sketches instead of Illustrator and will be integrated into model descriptions in the future.”

The Marc Cain team has seen additional changes using CLO, like the ability for designers to generate and visualize a large number of their designs directly in 3D from the beginning and patternmakers’ ability to utilize it for the first fit check. With this, each design can be thoroughly checked before creating a physical prototype.

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“The elaboration with color, print and the respective ingredients immediately give an impression of the design and help to decide on the perfect product. Furthermore, outfits and theme overviews can be generated in advance with the simulations, which is a great advantage for collection planning,” says Rouette. “You simply have a lot more possibilities once you have learned to use the tool well and have gained experience with the 3D perspective.”

By using 3D predecessor models and materials from the database, a large part of the collection can be visualized fairly quickly. Since it is also part of Marc Cain’s DNA that the design models can be combined with each other, it helps to visualize outfits ahead of time and to make the product framework plan much more visual.

All the potential that 3D offers is heightened when the platform is integrated end to end. Whether it is being used at purchasing, design, cutting, production, marketing or sales, significant changes can be made with small steps at each of these points. “We use the simulations for model cut optimization, print placement, collection decisions, model representations in marketing and to support sales with complete collection overviews,” Rouette says. “The next step will be to derive technical sketches from the simulation. All of this is still in its infancy, but on the right track.”

Rouette sees 3D visualization as an added value driver in its use across the entire supply chain.

“We see the greatest benefit in the independence from physical real limits, such as the availability of goods, sample parts, production capacities and transport times in the always time-critical sampling phase. Simulations can already be prepared photo-realistically in such a way that they can also supplement or partially replace the photographic material,” says Rouette. He believes that with continued adoption of digital solutions like CLO, 3D simulation will become a source of information and a basis for decision-making for companies and the industry.

CLO creates cutting-edge 3D garment visualization technologies that cultivate a more creative and sustainable landscape for apparel industries. CLO can be used to express a variety of design details for every type of garment from simple t-shirts to complex outerwear. Additional information is available at and you can stay updated about all things CLO on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.