Does 3D Tech Ensure The Future For Couture?

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Opinion Piece 

Written Jan 2014 

Do you find online shopping difficult due to inconsistent sizing? Do you find yourself hauling around shop after shop wondering what size you really are? One minute you’re the new Cara Delevingne but just a few hundred yards down the street you’ve instantly gained several pounds. And to think, with all that walking too. With the rise of online refunds highlighting the insufficiency of standardised ready-to-wear sizing, 3D technology could give way for a new type of couture.

The Left Shoe Company is game. They require customers in all their finery to have their feet scanned wearing a pair of bright yellow socks (how many feet have been in there before mine?) Promptly, a 3D rendering of the customer’s feet are at the company’s fingertips ready to generate a highly personalised product. Admittedly, this sounds appealing, bar the socks. Nike and Adidas use this latest technology to create prototypes within 48 hours (that’s fast compared to their prior 4-6 weeks.) Levi’s implement a 3D body scanner taking measurements at 16 angles to create a graphic of the customer’s body within seconds (can everyone see my size?) Additionally, speed and custom-orders improve business efficiency by minimising the risk of unsold inventory and returns; a problem many companies are facing.

However, ready-to-wear is a modern amenity. It’s functional, inexpensive to mass produce and fantastic if you’re as skinny as Kate Moss or as shapely as Marilyn. We live in a fast paced, consumerist world; we want everything and we want it now. Perhaps this 3D technology instead ensures a future for ready-to-wear.

NOTE: I recently visited New York City and happened to “bump” into The Left Shoe Company’s store; surreal.


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