Digital fashion and avatar technology is evolving with use cases that deliver real value for brands and consumers alike.
Balmain teams up with virtual fitting solution BODS. Visitors to the French luxury fashion house’s e-commerce website will be able to create their own personalized 3D avatars and decorate them with precise digital models of their signature stitching and embellishments.
The collaboration launches with seven ready-to-wear designs, alongside five luxurious leather handbags and classic Balmain shoes – all featuring high-level realistic details.
“Our mission at BODS is to honor these distinct attributes while integrating our technology to create an elevated experience that is true to the brand,” Christine Marzano, BODS CEO and former model, said in a statement.
However, it’s not just a fun sharing tool. BODS fitmap uses artificial intelligence (AI) and the 3D creation tool Unreal Engine that powers gaming platforms like Fortnight to help customers choose their ideal size.
When BODS partnered with New York-based Khaite on a beta trial in 2021, the brand saw a 93% increase in session duration and an 11% increase in cart size.
“We believe BODS will significantly help our Balmain customers make more confident decisions,” Simon Cuttini, chief digital officer at Balmain, said in a statement. “This added assurance will improve our conversion rate and, ultimately, lower return rates.”
Misfitting accounts for an estimated 70% of all returned fashion purchases online. Marzano said of Khaet’s trial Forbes That buyers of the brand’s signature wool sweaters previously bought sweaters that were primarily small and too small and then traded them away. “After using BODS, the same people were buying them in medium or large and as a result Khaite changed their entire size guide,” she said.
Of course, in addition to reducing the associated costs, lower returns also mean less waste due to reduced shipping and transportation.
Balmain CEO Jean-Jacques Guiffel added that this collaboration builds on Balmain’s commitment to sustainability. “Forming partnerships with innovators like BODS will allow this house to make significant progress in reducing our carbon footprint, while at the same time enhancing the luxury fashion shopping experience for customers.”
Going forward, the goal is to expand the service to include more of the house’s offerings – both its signatures and seasonal designs from its runway and commercial collections.
Since 2018, Balmain has been releasing a CGI created Balmain Army collection of digital fashion model avatars. During the pandemic, it opened a virtual showroom in partnership with fashion technology company Altava. This was hosted by the avatar of creative director Olivier Rousteing. More recently, it launched the non-fungible token loyalty program Balmain Thread and collaborated with Space Runners on physical sneakers that come with NFT collectibles.
The path shows how technology evolves from testing and learning to tangible business value.
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