How Kornit Is Changing the Landscape of Fashion Apparel Manufacturing
A cultural transformation in the fashion industry
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It’s no secret that the current high-volume manufacturing model used by the fashion industry is not sustainable. Historically, the fashion industry works on an 18-month lead time from initial design concepts to finished products. This high-volume model consumes massive amounts of water and energy, and approximately 20%-30% of apparel that is manufactured does not sell at full retail price. Brands and retailers forecast anticipated sales months in advance to allow enough time to manufacture the finished goods. The problem with the volume-based manufacturing model is that over-forecasting is often the norm (i.e., someone decides to order much more product than will ever sell at full retail pricing). Today, culture and social change occur almost daily, so speed to market is of paramount importance.
Kornit Digital—a worldwide market leader in sustainable, on-demand digital fashion and textile production—is working to change how fashion and apparel are manufactured. It’s partnered with some leading-edge fashion brands and designers to hold Kornit Fashion Week events in New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Milan, Tel Aviv, and (most recently) London from May 15-17, 2022, which I had the opportunity to attend.
Kornit Fashion Week London illustrated what can be accomplished when technology and the fashion world come together to solve the wasteful models used, and demonstrated how Kornit and its growing network of visionary collaborators are lending a hand to a cultural transformation in the fashion industry. Those who attended found genuine progress in the real-world experiences of producers and brands who have grown their businesses; the thought leaders who recognize the disruptive trends that call for innovation; as well as the artists and entrepreneurs overcoming minimum order quantitychallenges to see their creations fulfilled with higher-quality garments, less waste, and lower investment risk.
Key Participants: Designers, Brands, e-Com, and Sustainable Printing Technology
Kornit Fashion Week London was produced by world-renowned fashion icon, producer, and entrepreneur Motty Reif. The three-day event was held at the historic Freemason's Hall and celebrated fashion in all its guises—with no boundaries in terms of age, color, size, gender, or sexuality. The event was attended by a multitude of fashion designers, retailers, brands, fulfillers, and e-commerce players in addition to global investors and members of the press. Attendees also included a wide range of experiences, demonstrating the confluence of the design, technology, and the fashion world.
The event kicked off with a gala reception followed by a fantastic fashion show from Manish Arora, an Indian designer based in New Delhi. Arora created an immersive experience that fully embraced our new digital world, including virtual and augmented reality, stating: “I’m all about color and its uplifting effect on humanity—so what better way to celebrate the colors and beauty of the world than by bringing some of these incredible and diverse artists together, and then take them from our own reality into the metaverse via an extraordinary VR [virtual reality] experience.”
|Attendees were able to touch and feel designs by Manish Arora.|
Motty Reif added: “The reason why I started this project was to challenge and transform the old notions of beauty. For me, fashion is people in the grandest sense, so I wanted to celebrate beauty in all shapes, ages, genders, colors, and religions. It feels like a liberation from the old ideals.”
Additional fashion shows throughout the three-day event included Maison ARTC, Love Hero, LITKOVSKAYA, Alon Livné, Just Hype, Preen by Thorton Bregazzi, Aharon Genish, Georgia Hardinge, Anyango Mpinga, House of Jaffa, and Julia Clancey. Livné chose to print gradient color-changes using cutting-edge sustainable Kornit printing solutions and through a puzzle-like collage to create wearable art. The collection featured bold and artistic new body shapes created with 3D-patterns and wearable sculptures, hand-crafted by Livné, alongside club-inspired feminine silhouettes matched with fresh takes on classic evening wear. Featuring a wide range of diverse models, the show blended gender, ethnicity, and size into one unique presentation celebrating life at Freemason’s Hall.
British streetwear brand Just Hype featured a ready-to-wear collection boasting the contrast of streetwear in a high-end universe, with monochrome and neutral color palettes spanning the collection alongside pink and red injections. The collection encompassed oversized and exaggerated silhouettes in a range of cotton-based tracksuits, t-shirts, and dresses that stayed true to the brand’s conception. Just Hype showcased their story via an immersive visual backdrop alongside an electric live performance by drill artists K TRAP, Youngs Teflon, and Do Road—exploring the dark side of love.
Preen by Thornton Bregazzi served breakfast in bed, with Daphne Self (the oldest supermodel in the world) tucked up with her family of models among the silky bedding installation. Aharon Genish transformed conservative items from different historical periods into works of a poetic and romantic nature, while (at the same time) maintaining the importance and respect for the values of history and tradition. Georgia Hardinge sent her designs down the runway with Scottish supermodel Eunice Olumide opening as a mermaid in glistening green and Daisy Lowe closing as the bride in white. Anyango Mpinga sent a group of activists—including Aja Barber, Orsola de Castro, and Kelly Knox—down the runway with printed messages of sisterhood and solidarity in the designs. House of Jaffa explored life in the Middle East and created an escapist and romantic mosaic of fashion visuals and emotions. Julia Clancey closed down Kornit Fashion Week London in an extraordinary assault on the senses with gospel choir singers, roller-skaters, and dancers.
|Kornit Fashion Week ended with an emphatic exclamation as the rules for fashion
and textiles were rewritten by Julia Clancey.
Keypoint Intelligence Opinion
Recognition and praise should be given to Kornit Digital and its efforts to bring change to the fashion industry. The company’s efforts (while small) are noteworthy and have received tremendous praise from the attendees, many of whom I spoke with said they were not that aware of digital printing technology and were amazed by what is possible. Mountains as big as the fashion industry are not moved with a single shovel, but Kornit Fashion Week London had a pretty big one!
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