After so many years, this story clicked in mind again while interviewing Oh Tepmongkol-Wheaton, CEO and Co-Founder, The Ohzone, a fashion technology company. During the call, when she was asked about the key differentiating factor of the company, her answer was quite simple and straight-forward: "We are like the God Mother in the Cinderella story who has the magic wand to help small and medium-sized fashion brands transition to e-commerce because of COVID-19." She went on to mention that as the physical and virtual worlds are merging and fashion trade shows are becoming digital trade shows, small players are struggling to increase sales and remain sustainable. "The changing consumer behavior and businesses' inclination toward digital platforms is reshaping the industry standards," mentions Tepmongkol-Wheaton. "Sustainability, targeted marketing results, and efficient turn-key digital solutions are the key to democratizing fashion and giving the small-and medium-sized businesses the chance to survive the future changes."
Keeping this in mind, The Ohzone has busted the common myth that only big players can afford 3D technology and has made it accessible to everyone. The company's 3DREAL™, 3D photorealistic technology, bridges the gap between virtual fashion and real fashion for e-commerce, AR/VR, and gaming. More importantly, this turn-key 3D solution can help both wholesalers and retailers. To elucidate, wholesalers can create interactive virtual showrooms, which can work on both wholesale marketplace like JOOR or NuOrder and on their own websites. Retailers can leverage this technology to ensure better customer experience and increase conversion rate.
The company has created an apparel scan station, where they put an array of cameras to take snapshots of the clothing. Then, they turn it into a 3D garment in 15 minutes. Finally, the company provides clients with a secure 3D product link that they can use on any platform. It allows consumers to get a 360-degree view of the products with simple pitch and zoom without the need for any extra hardware. "3DREAL™ breaks the entry barrier to the digital world by empowering brands to utilize the power of 3D to create a genuine interactive customer experience in a self-contained virtual environment," adds Tepmongkol-Wheaton. No matter how much users zoom on these 3D models, they give a true-to-life sense and do not feel like a computer-generated image.
Additionally, these 3D virtual samples can replace real samples for B2B and B2C with MaterialMagic and Live sync update. Using Live Sync, businesses can easily upload new fabric swatches and colors, and The Ohzone then takes care of the storage with everything fully-hosted on its servers. "Our turn-key digital solution includes 3D model creation, optimized viewer for mobile and web, configuration tool with seamless integration with most e-commerce platform," says Tepmongkol-Wheaton. The clients can get 3D models of their samples at the same cost as professional 360 photography in volume pricing, but without the physical samples. As such, the company saves significant costs and promotes eco-friendly practices—by reducing the use of water and electricity. "Twenty-five percent of textile waste is samples that have never seen the shelves which end up in textile mountains," adds Tepmongkol-Wheaton. For a small fashion brand with 40 styles with 4 colorways a year, the samples consume 912,000 liters of water, 3500 kWh of electricity, 536 grams of CO2, and $240k at $50-250 per sample. "Just for the water usage alone, this can sustain a small Indian village of 168 people for a year," says Tepmongkol-Wheaton.
We are like the God Mother in the Cinderella story who has the magic wand to help small and medium-sized fashion brands transition to e-commerce
In a nutshell, 3DREAL™ helps businesses to ensure a better customer experience by offering them a virtual 3D model of their product. They can also change it according to their target audience. "We are initiating the new-age of experiential e-commerce," says Tepmongkol-Wheaton. This is how the company resolves all the problems associated with production, supply, marketing, and sales.
More importantly, The Ohzone employs engineers with 3D graphics expertise to create virtual samples. For example, it designed 480 virtual illustrations for a client with three styles of shirts and 160 swatches. The client didn't have to make any physical sample but could still demonstrate how the fabric or buttons look. This 3D view was so realistic that the brand did not need to make samples. It turned out to be sustainable for them.
Since the traveling is limited these days, brands cannot participate in trade shows to increase the sale. That's why the company has created a 3D line sheet to help clients communicate with their buyers. They can closely scrutinize the glitter, layering, zipper, buttons, and every other detail of apparel. The Ohzone also collaborated with San Francisco Community Fashion Week to create the world's first interactive fashion show (not a video) via real interactive model without any extra hardware, equipment, or VR, AR headset.
Really, The Ohzone is on the way to radically transform the e-commerce experience and help small and medium-sized brands to compete with their larger counterparts. They are the real God Mother with a magic wand. But, as Tepmongkol-Wheaton mentioned, unlike Cinderella's story, no clock ticks to announce the end of the spell—the brilliance of the magic always shines.