Ger­ber Tech­nol­ogy Buys Vir­tual Fit Spe­cial­ist Ava­met­ric

WWD Digital Daily - - In Focus: Technology - BY ADRI­ANA LEE

The com­pa­nies team up to give fash­ion smarter vir­tual fit­ting so­lu­tions and per­son­al­ized, on-de­mand prod­ucts.

Ava­met­ric and Ger­ber Tech­nol­ogy have tied the knot, con­nect­ing the vir­tual fab­ric and fit pioneer with a man­u­fac­tur­ing spe­cial­ist and open­ing up new tech pos­si­bil­i­ties for fash­ion.

By ac­quir­ing the six-year- old San Fran­cisco-based Ava­met­ric, which worked with Gap on a vir­tual fit­ting room, Ger­ber is po­si­tion­ing it­self to ad­dress one of the big­gest chal­lenges for re­mote re­tail.

“Con­sumers are look­ing to buy on­line, but they are still go­ing into brick-and­mor­tar be­cause they lack con­fi­dence in the fit they see on­line,” said Ari Bloom, Ava­met­ric’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer.

Ac­cord­ing to a Deloitte study, as much as 90 per­cent of re­tail sales across the globe still hinge on phys­i­cal stores, where con­sumers can eas­ily try on gar­ments in fit­ting rooms.

The chal­lenge helped drive Bloom’s de­ci­sion to join forces with Ger­ber, a long-stand­ing player in au­toma­tion and pro­duc­tion with 50 years of ex­pe­ri­ence. Ger­ber Tech­nol­ogy works with 78,000 cus­tomers across 130 coun­tries, with clients span­ning more than 100 For­tune 500 com­pa­nies in a va­ri­ety of mar­kets — in­clud­ing ap­parel and ac­ces­sories, home and leisure and oth­ers. Ger­ber it­self is owned by AIP, a New York-based pri­vate eq­uity firm that fo­cuses on the tech sec­tor and man­ages more than $3 bil­lion in as­sets.

With the back­ing of a staunch new par­ent com­pany, Bloom said he be­lieves that they can bridge this on­line shop­ping “con­fi­dence gap.”

The deal marks the cul­mi­na­tion of a nearly year­long re­la­tion­ship be­tween the com­pa­nies. Since Novem­ber, Ava­met­ric has been in­te­grat­ing its fab­ric-sim­u­la­tion tech­nol­ogy with Ger­ber’s 3-D de­sign and man­u­fac­tur­ing soft­ware plat­form.

Karsten New­bury, se­nior vice pres­i­dent and gen­eral man­ager of Ger­ber’s

Soft­ware So­lu­tions Group, has de­scribed the chal­lenge of vir­tual fit­ting as a mis­match be­tween new in­no­va­tions and es­tab­lished sys­tems.

“You may hear and see many other

3-D prod­ucts on the mar­ket,” he said.

“We hear from our cus­tomers that most of them are not ac­tu­ally us­ing our com­peti­tors’ 3-D prod­ucts be­cause they find them too dif­fi­cult to use and don’t in­te­grate well with a 2D work­flow.”

No­tably, Ger­ber’s Ac­cuMark

3-D soft­ware cov­ers 2-D and 3-D ap­pli­ca­tions. With the in­te­gra­tion of Ava­met­ric’s tech­nol­ogy, which touts ex­tremely realistic vir­tual fab­ric ren­der­ing, the part­ners sought to de­velop an end-to-end 3-D plat­form with a com­pre­hen­sive range — from con­sumeror­i­ented vir­tual try-on ap­pli­ca­tions all the way to de­sign and pro­duc­tion.

Now they see the ac­qui­si­tion as more than just a way to bring those ef­forts un­der one um­brella.

“Our team had al­ready rec­og­nized Ava­met­ric has the best fab­ric sim­u­la­tion en­gine in the in­dus­try,” said Ger­ber ceo Mo­hit Uberoi. “And now we are able to con­nect con­sumer-fac­ing vir­tual try-on soft­ware with our Ac­cumark and [prod­uct life cy­cle man­age­ment soft­ware] Yu­niquePLM plat­forms to pro­vide an endto-end work­flow that al­lows our cus­tomers to pro­vide their con­sumers per­son­al­ized prod­ucts ‘on de­mand.’”

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