Chalk up another old-school method getting a dose of new-school technology.
This time, it’s in the world of fine fashion. More specifically, the art of tailoring.
While places like London and Milan are renowned for their tailoring skills in crafting exquisite, made-to-measure suits, Hong Kong is often overlooked as a center of excellence itself.
Like their European counterparts, tailors there spend years honing their craft, and the city’s tailoring industry is famed for its quality and speed, attracting presidents and royalty alike.
But the process is about to get even faster at one store, thanks to a new innovation – a “3-D tape measure.”
Step Into the Tailoring Pod
Typically, tailors take around 25 measurements of the body with a traditional measuring tape.
But as one customer of Hong Kong apparel store Gay Giano says, “I’ve tried the traditional measuring method. It felt more personal, but it took up more of my time. And I felt like the 3-D managed to measure more thoroughly and more parts of myself.”
The procedure is simple.
Slip into whatever item of clothing you’re trying on and, rather than having a human tailor work his way around with the measuring tape, you step into a pod that takes a 3-D scan of the body and clothing.
The differences are stark.
Not only is the process faster, the 3-D tape measure boasts 14 infrared sensors that can take up to 120 measurements with pinpoint accuracy.
Help or Hindrance?
Some technologies help humans; others phase them out.
Count this one as a little of both.
As Hong Kong’s retail sector has come under pressure recently, due to a slowdown and growing competition from cheaper places like China, it’s hurt wages and discouraged would-be tailors from entering the profession.
So cutting-edge technology like this isn’t contributing to the decline, but filling a need in the market.
As Gay Giano Business Development Director Matthew Lee says, “There’s a huge disconnect between these traditional craftsmen and the next generation. There’s no one taking over. So we felt that, if that’s the case, it’s either a dying trade or we can revitalize it with technology.”
That’s why Gay Giano has spent many months and around $13,000 to develop the 3-D measuring technology – a high-tech twist on an old-fashioned trade.