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Experiencing Digital Workflow with Ann Hardiman

Updated: Nov 15, 2023

In recent months, VESTIS LABS had the amazing opportunity to work with Ann Hardiman! Ann is an experienced design director for famous UK fashion brands like Oliver Bonas, Oasis, and Coasts. Ann worked with VESTIS LABS to develop her design through an entirely digital process.

VESTIS LABS' digital workflow follows a 4 step process: 1) upload design concept on VESTIS LABS platform, 2) determine fit avatar’s look/measurements and sample size, 3) virtual prototyping and fitting, and finally, 4) render final digital samples, create digital pattern and tech pack for production. Ann was able to easily upload her initial sketch with key measurements and different fabric and trim options to see which suited the design the most. The avatar fit size, in this case a standard UK size 10, and the avatar look was also determined before development to be able to get the right emotional and realistic set up during the fitting and review. After the initial development, Ann was able to give real time feedback about details she wanted to change in 360 degree rotation and they were changed quickly after the comment was submitted to develop the final product.

Multiple rounds of comments and adjustments were made according to the comments quickly. Some of the examples of changes and fit details that Ann submitted to VESTIS LABS the first round was to reduce the gap in the chest and make the dress fits better, added more fullness at the sleeve head, and to close in the front neckline. The second round of amends added elastic to the sleeves near the elbows for ease and fit.

We had the pleasure of interviewing Ann to hear her thoughts on the process and about her experience. There can be concerns about making the process fully digital because it is different and a new way of doing things but as Ann says, “it has been game-changing. The steps from 2-D to 3-D grabbed me in, to see the design come to life…the level of detail is phenomenal. It’s like doing an actual fit session”. Not only that, but it makes the process easier. It removes a decent chunk of human error. With a digital 3-D prototype there is less left up to imagination so the whole team knows the vision of the clothing. With the removal of human error, there is also consistency with suppliers country to country as each gets the prototypes and designs. The most exciting part of the process for Ann was trying something new and seeing it in 3-D!

The solution is intuitive and easy to follow. As Ann said, it was like an actual fit session and it comes very naturally. Except you can get the design closer to the right vision much quicker or even get it right the first time. With digital workflow, it is also easy to make subtle changes and completely change the garment to see different versions of your vision. With VESTIS LABS’ digital workflow, it can be hard for designers to feel as though they let go of some of the control or other members of the team to feel as though they are being pushed out, but neither of those are true. VESTIS LABS only follows what the designer says and does not take any liberties with the design from the initial sketch to the final product. It is also a great way for teams to start working with technology in a new digital age and to understand the benefits.

Walking animation during virtual fitting session helps to visualise how the garment drapes and moves

Finally, a large pro of utilizing VESTIS LABS is the reduction of waste. Ann states, “It makes decision making easier and reduces the needs to produce physical samples for every design before collection review”. By creating digital samples, it creates a path for a sustainable fashion industry.

It was wonderful to work with Ann and help her in her design process! Technology can be intimidating and natural to be skeptical when new, but with VESTIS LABS the positives outweigh any of the negatives to create an intuitive, easy, and sustainable process of product creation.

Tune in for the upcoming heart-to-heart chat with Ann Hardiman.



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