Sportswear brand Under Armour has collaborated with a global fashion technology company Alvanon to inspire fashion brands to embrace 3D. The two companies partnered on a project to develop new 3D tools, particularly working with 3D avatar size sets, to make better product, with improved sizing and standardisation, that delivers next-level accuracy.
Many companies, including Under Armour, have turned to 3D virtualization to significantly reduce the time and cost of product design and development and minimise physical sampling. Prior to the 3D collaboration, Under Armour partnered with Alvanon to sculpt all of the brand’s physical fit forms to the company’s proprietary fits. With this new collaboration, Alvanon built on those fit forms to create a range of digital avatars for Under Armour. Those new avatars replicate its proprietary fits and represent the full spectrum of ‘real’ bodies across men’s, women’s and kids.
“When we fit product on fit forms across the size scale, it does not always follow a mathematical equation of traditional grading,” says Jami Dunbar, vice president, apparel and accessories development and supply chain operations at Under. “We worked with Alvanon to understand and define those nuances and embody them in its avatars. One of the things working in volume allowed us to do is consider a lot of different body shapes. Now we can move confidently in 3D to fit bodies.”
Under was also an instrumental beta partner in Alvanon’s recent development of the Alvanon Body Platform, which allows brands and retailers to access and share their 3D fit and core body standards with supply chain partners.
“Under Armour had been using 3D in its core size for some time and this was the next progression of how we can develop that on a full-size range and make sure that we are really fitting everyone in the market exceptionally well,” adds Tracy Rickert, senior consultant at Alvanon. “Today’s consumers expect apparel to fit and look good on them at every size. That’s where 3D can help. Whether you’re using ASTM parametric or custom we believe these virtual assets (standard avatar size sets) will help brands and retailers resolve their sizing issues much faster.”
“3D is definitely changing our industry; everyone in retail is starting to touch the technology,” states Dunbar. “And the beautiful thing about it is that there’s a great deal of collaboration across brands. Everyone protects their IP, but we all know working together is the way forward, and the way we’re all going to be able to visualise and make great product.”