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Dassault Systèmes FashionLab : driving design tools from the automotive industry into the haute couture and luxury goods industries

If you are not an engineer yourself, do you consider what type of design and engineering tools are needed for haute couture or jewelry? FashionLab, created by Dassault Systèmes in 2011, focuses on this problem. The FashionLab brings creative professionals and engineers together to create the tools for tomorrow's design.

The Dassault Systèmes FashionLab is a technology incubator dedicated to the industry of fashion and luxury products. Is it strange that the company providing the technology for producing jets from Airbus and Boeing or cars from Audi and BMW should be focused on haute couture, luxury time-pieces, or jewelry?

The processes and the challenges faced by these industries are, however, quite similar. Conceptual design, visualizations, phase to the design review to manufacturing demand tools addressing styling, engineering, visualization, modeling, simulation, and project management. The products may be radically different, but the customer demands reflect those of the automotive and aerospace industries.

Dassault Systemes FashionLab started in 2011 and is an incubator for technology applicable for the fashion and design industry, including textile, clothing design and haute couture, high-end design in jewelry, watches, and other luxury segments.

There are 3 programs of incubation: trend-gathering, luxury goods in-store experience, and a 3D holistic design environment for the fashion industry. Each addresses interesting needs of the design community and each touches on technology components at Dassault Systèmes.

There are several partners who represent the program, Julien Fournié and François Quentin are two prominent ambassadors for the program.

The technology touches the workflow from designer to customer. For example, this is particularly interesting in designing the final in-store experience which clearly must be considered from the very beginning – at least it must be so if the goal is to arrive at the best customer experience result.

Specifically, this requires tools which support the designer from the beginning. Tools are needed that allow drawing, creating the design and integrating the following steps to create the final result. This is exactly parallel to the design of a car with the initial concept images to the final production of the product with all of the necessary steps in the development process. Just as with automotive design, initial designs may be sketched by hand, either on paper or on a computer. The sketching may be in 2D or it may be in 3D. And it is important to go from design to visualization of virtual prototypes as effectively as possible. Addressing the work-flow and the tools for this process has the potential to increase efficiency and creativity at the same time.

The Dassault Systèmes FashionLab partners with technology providers like Dell. It is in this changing set of new processes where Dell focuses on products and solutions which can support an efficient workflow. The demands are many, for example, high-resolution rendering, eg: 4K resolutions, with extremely high levels of realism for the design review. Dell remote workstation technology with GPU accelerated realistic renderings is one example of technology supporting this demand from the fashion industry.

This level of demand is present in haute couture, as well as in luxury goods such as jewelry and accessories. The base of this industry is extremely artistic, so tools supporting high levels of creativity and allowing for faster design and more realistic visualization during the design process are critical. Such solutions are based on a series of tools, from software for sketching conceptual design, to visualization tools for the artist, to workstation and graphics hardware.

Dassault Systèmes FashionLab recognizes both the unique requirements of creative professionals in fashion and luxury goods as well as the needs for creative styling, design, and visualization which are common to Dassault Systèmes' traditional customers in other manufacturing industries.