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!

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.


February 2021 highlights

Emerging market: virtual personas — Digital fashion designers and agencies are working to develop digital-only products for “digi-sapiens,” people who create and occupy personas in virtual places.

Digital fashion models — The day may not be far off when we can’t tell whether the model sashaying down a catwalk in a fashion show video is real or virtual. That’s how authentic digital models have become.

Are the robots coming? — Industrial robots may finally find jobs working sewing apparel, thanks to a new process for stiffening garment pieces with a plastic laminate that easily washes off.

Combatting knockoffs — Lawyers at Nike and its Converse brand have sued 589 websites and 676 social media accounts, accusing them of infringing on trademarks by making and marketing counterfeit products.

By the numbers — Value of Dr. Martens and Mytheresa soars after IPOs. Ninety percent of shoppers like text messages from brands. Holiday online shopping topped $201 billion in the U.S.

Previous editions

2021: January

2020:  October  September  August  July  June  May  April  March  February  January

2019:  December  November  October  September