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Stamp of Quality for Mass Customization

For more than a century the hard-earned Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval has been stamped into the U.S. consumer’s conscience. But with today’s world awash in information, including product reviews of every ilk, the seal’s cachet might suffer from dilution. Nevertheless, it still stands for quality. One day a newly conceived seal could become a coveted sign of quality. It’s a seal vouching not for the integrity of an item for sale but rather the overall value of a growing kind of online buying experience. It’s the experience of you the consumer personalizing an array of diverse products to meet your specific needs and tastes. Those of us knee-deep in helping to provide the experience call it mass customization.

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Startups Innovate in Athletic and Outdoor Apparel Sector

Portland is synonymous with big global brands in the athletic and outdoor apparel world given that Nike, Adidas America, and Columbia Sportswear are headquartered in the area. While they’re the largest and most prominent, smaller startup firms have developed new technologies and methods to help push the industry forward.

The CEOs of three such firms, including Embodee’s André Wolper, discussed their progress and challenges as part of a panel at the Portland Athletic and Outdoor Industry’s third annual celebration. The group, an initiative of the Portland Development Commission, strives to nurture this fast-growing sector that numbers some 800 companies with 14,000 employees throughout Oregon.

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Internet Retailer: Try Me On

Apparel e-retailers have always had an Achilles’ heel. How do they appeal to consumers wary of buying online because they want to know how a piece of clothing fits?

Even with online apparel sales projected to rack up double-digit annual percentage gains for the next few years, according to Forrester Research Inc., retailers know they could sell more online if they could satisfy shoppers accustomed to trying on clothes before making a purchase.

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Virtual Try-On Powers New Season of Hurley Pants

PORTLAND, OR December 1 ­­– Technology start-up Embodee, whose proprietary online apparel try-on and customization services were developed by award-winning creators of visual effects for The Matrix movies, has launched its second year and expanded services with Hurley, a quintessential youth lifestyle brand. Using Embodee technologies, Hurley’s online shoppers can virtually try-on the full line of Hurley denim styles and washes, and other pants, including corduroys and twills. Now with over 500 digitized pant options to choose from, Hurley customers will benefit from Embodee’s life-like visualizations of best fits from each style and wash on them.