Betabrand and Li & Fung provide a peek at fashion's future.
So says Betabrand, the online retailer that aims to make fashion even faster by selling digital representations of products. This is possible, according to founder Chris Lindland, because “software has advanced to the point where renderings are virtually indistinguishable from the real thing.”
Creating bags in this manner lets Betabrand take consumers through a rapid co-development process with designers to make what the masses want. Take Betabrand’s new Gilda Bag, on track to sell thousands of units in just a few weeks. Its popularity has already led to the launch of two new colors.
“What’s great about this process is that popular and unpopular concepts require the same amount of development and inventory expense,” says Lindland. “By involving customers before those steps, we can better predict hits and greatly minimize the cost of duds.
“Consumers love connecting directly with designers. It’s a new experience that makes their voice a meaningful part of product development. And for this, they’re glad to wait a few months for their order to ship.”
All elements of these digital handbag renderings come directly from Li & Fung's supply chain, where designs get developed from a digitized library of components.
Betabrand and Li & Fung will be experimenting with bags, shoes, and more this summer. By welcoming consumers into the earliest designer brainstorms, we can shave months off the product-development timeline and significantly reduce waste.
San Francisco-based Betabrand is a crowdfunding clothing company that releases new designs daily.