Our monthly newsletter, NewsBytes, summarizes and analyzes key developments and trends in the apparel and footwear industry, including the latest news about online product customization and personalization technology. Our goal: help you stay informed, save time, and sell more!

May 2021 highlights

Shoe design in the digital age — A vexing question faces those who create shoes as the industry undergoes an accelerated digital transformation: should physical samples or virtual ones set the stage for manufacturing?

Riveting visual experience —  A French brand, showcasing how to market to consumers using extended reality technology, has produced a vision of a 3D world to highlight the company’s aerodynamic clothes.

Combating industrial farming — Patagonia, Gucci, Timberland, and other brands are investing in sustainable farming techniques that seek to limit the release of carbon dioxide and improve soil health. 

Sustainability news roundup — Sustainability and profitability, Nike encourages shoe trade-ins, shape-shifting mannequins and artificial intelligence, and Allbirds’ carbon footprint calculator.

Embodee news — New features for our Orchids™ web platform make it easy to work with prints and graphics in 3D. Without specialized skills, users can import, scale, position, and rotate prints and graphics on 3D products from a web browser.


April 2021 highlights

Longterm change or bubble — NFTs have revved up what had been a tiny niche market for virtual-only products. Will they fundamentally reshape the fashion industry or prove to be a bubble that eventually loses air?


Lessons learned — Companies are focused on what’s next based on lessons learned from the pandemic, including altered consumer habits and expectations. Gerber Technology suggests what’s needed.


New immersive realities — The trade media increasingly features brands deploying augmented and virtual reality to market products in new immersive ways. The potential market could reach $94 billion in 2023. 


Stimulus checks and hoarded cash — The next few months will reveal much about how quickly industry revenue will rebound in the U.S. There’s evidence consumers may be ready to buy more apparel and footwear.


Product innovation — Gucci’s $17.99 virtual shoes, digital libraries for “consistent simulation across digital design platforms,” and new smart clothes for problems with your posture.


By the numbers — Amazon becomes the biggest seller of apparel and footwear in the U.S., Nike racks up $1 billion in digital sales in North America for the first time, and Farfech’s value soars with an IPO.



March 2021 highlights

Soaring e-commerce revenue — Online sales have given brands the best financial news during the pandemic, and clog maker Crocs is a shining example with 92% growth in Q4 to end 2020.

The Kingpin Tech — That’s how an article describes the role of QR codes for fashion sustainability. Increasingly, brands are using the codes on apparel labels as a link to the sustainability history of individual garments.

Clothes and the sharing economy — Ralph Lauren has launched a rental subscription program for one of its apparel lines, hoping to connect with more shoppers, including those concerned about sustainability.

By the numbers — Target’s All in Motion activewear brand brings in $1 billion, Farfetch’s digital-only approach helps it reach profitability, and Nordstrom’s online inventory grows five-fold to 1.5 million items.

Product innovation — Sensors woven in threads to measure body movement for athletes, Allbirds invests $2 million in a company that makes faux leather with plants, and Vivobarefoot debuts an algae water shoe.

Online teamwork in 3D — Watch a recording of Embodee’s recent webinar to see how our new Orchids™ web platform enables teams to collaboratively develop products via a web browser anytime and anywhere.


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