Launch of else.shoes™, an Integrated Platform for Mass Customization in the Footwear Industry
Milan, 21 September 2017 – At theMICAM, the international B2B exhibition dedicated to footwear that took place in Milan from 17 to 20 September, ELSE Corp– a Virtual Retail Company, along with its main business partners, presented an innovative experimental platform for the Footwear Industry: else.shoes™. It is the result of more than two years of technology research and numerous tests and pilot projects, carried out thanks to the company’s partners and customers. During this long journey of “learning by doing”, ELSE Corp has had the opportunity to work with key strategic partners, brands, retailers and even another startups focused on customized footwear and industrial made to measure, as well as leading CAD, ICT and industrial production players.
ELSE Corp’s solutions for Virtual Retail have been interesting for countless partners involved both from the initial stage of the project, thanks to whom it was possible to develop the E.L.S.E. platform (acronym for “Exclusive Luxury Shopping Experience“) designed to Mass Customize fashion products in 3D; as well as partners who recently joined in to collaborate on the startup’s new RTFS (Real Time Fashion System) project. They have also become partners of the startup’s Team ELSE.ai, selected to participate in the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE®, an AI and cognitive computing competition challenging teams globally to develop and demonstrate how humans can collaborate with powerful AI technologies to tackle the world’s grand challenges.
Among the various innovative companies that collaborate with ELSE Corp toward changing the Fashion Retail industry, are the following renowned companies, projects and the startup’s official business partners:
- ATOM Lab: Atom Group’s research lab, a real “factory on demand”, that develops experimental technologies and projects to create new methods of production.
- ShoeMaster UK: a leading provider of CAD/CAM systems offering 2D and 3D solutions for the footwear industry. ShoeMaster International is part of the ATOM group.
- IBV: The Instituto de Biomecánica (IBV) is a technological centre that studies the behavior of the human body and its interaction with products, environments and services; promoting people’s well-being through the combination of knowledge in areas such as biomechanics, ergonomics and emotional engineering, applied to diverse sectors.
- Predit: a platform that integrates all business processes for the development of new products across the entire value chain and provides predictions on the success of new collections based on predictive analysis algorithms; its goal is to help companies successfully tackle the new challenges related to Fast Fashion business models.
- Techedge Group: a multinational company, providing solutions to many companies around the world. It is the official partner of several software vendors, including SAP, Microsoft, Oracle and Amazon Web Service.
- DIS – Design Italian Shoes: is a custom-made shoe brand based in Le Marche, with more than 100 years of shoe handcrafting traditions. Though their innovative 3D configurator, DIS allows customers to choose any shoe model, personalize it in just a few clicks and have them custom-made in Italy in just 10 days.
- VAR Group: a leading Italian company specialised in provisioning IT services and solutions to the Enterprise and SME segments.
Else Corp is also supported by leading ICT companies through their startup programs such as Microsoft BizSpark Plus, SAP Focus and IBM Global Entrepreneur.
The ambitious goal of the company, which acts as a guide for its partners, consists of a total transformation and revolution of the Fashion Retail sector based on two principles, in two directions, that are integral to the startup’s strategic vision:
- Virtual Retail: an innovative hi-tech industrial process for 3D & Cloud based Mass Customization of fashion products. It transforms brand distribution channels into new concept spaces within brick and mortar stores (shop in shop, popup & temporary shops) named Virtual Fashion Corners, where a ‘new customer experience’ of Virtual 3D Shopping, focused on product personalization can be easily realized. It represents a turning point for future methods of retail and manufacturing, providing new innovative strategies for the sales, design, production, distribution and marketing of fashion products.
- Real Time Fashion System: driven by an integration of 3D/2D CAD systems, Cloud Computing and Artificial Intelligence, which lead to accurate predictions of individual customers’ style & size needs (MySize and MyStyle), as well as providing brands with real-time product demand planning and predictability. Going from analytics & prediction to demand planning; personal demand to optimised product design and from individual product design to on-demand manufacturing. Evolving the existing E.L.S.E. platform, the RTFS further enhances the customer experience of virtual shopping and optimizes the Virtual Retail production chain with machine learning, AI, deep learning & procedural modelling.
The true involvement of the startup’s collaborators was showcased at theMICAM, in Milan from 17 to 20 September. ELSE Corp introduced the public to all the experiments that till now have only been carried out internally, thanks to the collaborations with their commercial partners, brands, retailers and experts who have been precursors to this new project, believing in the value of Made in Italy through the new Industry 4.0 technologies. They are convinced that to promote the uniqueness and high quality of products as well as supply chain transparency, it is necessary to become truly innovative, finding new business models and revolutionary approaches to the market by reconstructing links with the international industry and focusing on customer loyalty and the reduction of risks related to distribution.
The participation in this momentous change in the Fashion industry implies a deep commitment, great responsibility and above all, awareness of wanting to be a part of this transformation. For this reason, ELSE Corp and its Partners are seeking the true pioneers- brands, retailers and designers, to take together, the first major steps towards this new way of conceiving the Fashion System; thus becoming “pilot” commercial projects, experiencing the Virtual Retail model through the else.shoes™ technological platform and its related services, provided by the company and its partners.
The advantages offered by the revolutionary Virtual Retail project and above all, by the else.shoes™ platform, impact different players of the fashion retail industry:
- Brands: new business models related to Mass Customization, accelerated “time to market” through Virtual Collections, improved market positioning as brands can offer personalized products, leading to increased client loyalty and customer engagement through Virtual CRM.
- Retailers: they will see an improvement in sales per square meter and a new ‘low risk’ operating formula based on ‘no stock retail’ where stock is centralized and reduced. They can also offer new premium services instore such as 3D feet scanning and 3D Product Personalization.
- Clients: will be offered a new truly VIP service now available to everyone, related to individual design and fit, a more engaging shopping experience, an improvement in purchase decisions and increased customer empowerment and satisfaction.
ELSE Corp’s lounge was busy all day with curious and interested visitors who wanted to witness the “3d Retail Revolution”, transforming the fashion retail industry.
For more information: http://www.else-corp.com/themicam2017