top of page
  • hervedewintre

Scotomalab: “digital technology presents huge opportunities”

Grégoire Willerval founded Scotomalab when he graduated from ESMOD in 2016. His company, which specialises in the design of 3D collections, is now attracting some of the big names in fashion and design. We went to meet him.


La société Scotomalab conçoit et numérise des vêtements 3D qui s'inscrivent à la fois dans une logique de production et une optique de communication.


Planet ESMOD: How would you describe yourself in a few words?


Grégoire Willerval: I was part of the ESMOD class of 2016, and I really wanted to understand garments and learn how to construct them. Over the course of my studies I took the men’s fashion, 3D design and digital printing options. We were working with several different software programs at the time, including a pilot system developed by Dassault, although CLO 3D, which I recommend, has now demonstrated how efficient it is when it comes to designing soft materials and understanding the fall of the fabric and gravity. I’m a fan of entrepreneurship in general, so I founded my own men's fashion brand during my school years, and my pieces were very eye-catching and colourful, with lots of prints and an athletic edge.


How did Scotomalab come about?


I mainly worked in trend bureaus after graduating, and I received a fair number of requests for pattern-making work from independent designers. Four years ago, along with Irene Astete, who was working on 3D-related issues within the Kering group, we founded Scotomalab. Our company originally developed 3D patterns and models to simplify production and provide a photorealistic preview of a collection.


Did this activity consequently evolve?


It’s definitely still a major part of what we do, but we soon started receiving orders for content creation for both campaigns and the metaverse. I like to describe Scotomalab as a laboratory that combines French artisan expertise with the extensive possibilities that digital technology offers. We are unravelling the new paradigms of fashion.


What do these possibilities mean in practical terms?


Digital technology opens up previously unimaginable new horizons for the textile world, including 3D pattern-making, digital fashion shows, styling, of course, the creation of avatars and indeed whole worlds reflecting a mood board and the brand’s target, and last but not least, immersive customer experiences. The important thing, as far as I’m concerned, is to be able to speak the same language as the major fashion houses— something that we at Scotomalab do very well as we have been trained in all of the fashion-related trades and professions. Then, of course, you have to know how to translate this language into a new digital environment.


Do you have a specific example of the benefits of 3D design?


Take, for example, a garment that has been designed in 3D or digitised for production purposes. The life of this virtual garment doesn’t stop there, because it also allows us to edit images that can be used to communicate about the product. These could be still images, of course, but also videos showing the garments in motion, so including a 3D garment means there are no limitations. In addition to the initial objective of creating a look-book or an advertisement for one or several products, it’s also a great way of communicating about the brand universe and the collection itself.

Depuis cinq ans, les maisons de mode, les créateurs et les bureaux de tendances accordent leur confiance à la société fondée par Grégroire Willerval. Les vêtements 3D réalisés par l'entreprise sont photoréalistes. Ils seront utilisés à chaque étape de la production. Les prototypes et vêtements créés peuvent également s'insérer dans un univers virtuel complet.



Innovation sometimes sparks apprehension and fear. Do you understand where this comes from?


This conflict between the rearguard and the vanguard is nothing new; it actually resurfaces every time we witness a stylistic or technological revolution. As far as 3D design is concerned, I’d like to stress that this technology offers a number of valid potential solutions to the legitimate questions that society is now asking with regard to sustainability and inclusivity. As we are involved at the start of the creative process, we can adopt a responsible approach using 3D design, the first consequence of this being that it helps reduce or even eliminate physical prototypes, which has an impact on the whole chain. The second consequence is that featuring digital garments in fashion shows or virtual showrooms avoids unnecessary travel for those concerned and reduces pre-production sample requirements, all of which, of course, has a significant impact on the carbon footprint of designing and presenting a collection. As far as inclusivity is concerned, using photo-grammetry (3D scanning) to create avatars makes it easier to explore sizes that don't conform to the endless standards in force.


Are you happy with how your business has developed in its first years?


Brands have clearly shown a lot of interest in our services, with G-shock, Boss (Hugo Boss), Domyos, Ninamouha, Exclusible, Nelly Rodi, Carlin, Inmouv, 2G2L Paris, Exalis Berlin, INDG, NDA Paris, Kingsize studio, Sevdaliza, Les Garçonnes, Céline Shen, Yokai, La Darude, DDP and Cem Cinar, as well as some of the major names in the world of luxury goods that I cannot mention—brands, designers and trend agencies—all placing their trust in us since we started out, not only for pattern-making and styling but also for content and campaign creation.


How do you see the future of 3D design?


It’s advancing at quite a pace. The lockdowns we experienced prompted companies to make knowledge of 3D design more accessible and encourage a broader understanding of the issues associated with it. Most brands are now aware of the CLO 3D solution but many are yet to start using it, and very few have incorporated it into the overall process of producing and developing either the brand or the garment. 3D design departments remain pretty isolated when they should, in fact, be infiltrating all stages of the production chain. The future, which is already a reality for some brands, will involve switching all aspects of their operations to 3D, from factories to product design. From a creative perspective, the 3D aspect will soon no longer be considered an aesthetic enhancement but rather a tool for developing comprehensive and immersive universes—games, the metaverse, etc. It will also make it possible to reuse a pattern that can be industrialised based on a scan of a physical garment, offering a new way to rework archive and vintage pieces.






10 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page