In the competitive arena of the fashion industry where brands today have managed to achieve fast fashion while matching the sustainability norms that have become the need of the hour, it is warranted that the consumers now get exactly what they want. Many brands globally are striving to imbibe technology in the minuscule processes in order to achieve big results and the aim is to create a product that is easily accessible, reaches the consumer efficiently and promises zero wastage, making the term ‘mass customisation’ the biggest trend in the fashion retailing world.
Mass customisation comes with the lethal combination of personalisation and flexibility of custom-made mass-produced products that are directed towards specific target groups, and brands are looking at dimensional aspects, pertaining to body measurements and modular aspects, emphasising on choices and combinations of several smaller components to create unique products. One such brand changing the face of mass customisation in India is Samshék, a fashion-forward tech brand which combines digital experience with inspirational fashion to empower women in a way that they feel confident of their own selves.
Founded in July 2015 by Samiksha Bajaj and Abhishek Bajaj, Samshék’s business concept celebrates the confluence of fashion and quality combined with innovation and sustainability. Being a tech-based fashion house, it aims to bridge the gap between ready-to-wear and digital customisation with an offering of custom-made European outfits such as corporate shirts, dresses, tops, jumpsuits ranging from casual to evening look. “Samshék arises from ‘Sam’ as in Samiksha and ‘shek’ from Abhishek, and it is actually the best combination of our vision,” says Samiksha Bajaj, Founder of Samshék, and rightly so, as she brings to the table an experience of 10 years in the fashion industry, qualified with a dual degree of an MA in entrepreneurship and innovation from London School of Fashion, which complements Abhishek’s vision to standardise the manufacturing process without giving up comfort and style of the customers.
With a vision to provide affordable custom-made luxury clothing for women of each body size and shape, Samshék came up with customisation via 3D scanner and AI, which leads to zero excess inventory providing a sustainable approach to fashion.
All things techno!
Luxury is often synonymous with garments that are tailored to the wearer’s needs, and fall effortlessly on each of their inches and crevices. Yet, sizing and fit are the biggest pain points of the Indian retail industry, as most women don’t fit into the mainstream retail clothing that generally follows international sizing charts. To resolve this issue while minimising textile waste, Samshék has achieved an exemplary level of customisation by introducing 3D body scanners for the first time in India, at the store level. This retail service effortlessly provides an option to virtually customise garments, both online and offline, with no added cost and an agile delivery timeline of about 5 days pan India.
As Abhishek further elucidates, “3D body scanner is a new concept in India which takes about 110 measurements of your body in just 5 seconds and gives fit measurements without any errors, eventually making customisation easy.” The scanner is an in-built device that warrants the customer to wear a body suit, stand in front of the machine and wait for five seconds to complete the body scan and generate 110 precise measurements that are displayed on the app connected to the body scanner. This technology streamlines the whole process and controls damage to the environment and eco-system by avoiding wastage and excessive inventory which become irrelevant with fast moving fashion. If the customer is not comfortable with body scanning, they have the option to give their personalised measurements.
“A complete automation of front-end and back-end for increasing efficiency and reducing our textile waste will be the constant focus for us in the coming future. We also plan to introduce virtual mirror technology to minimise our return rate and move towards a complete zero waste module to champion sustainability.” – Samiksha Bajaj, Founder
Besides adding to the dimensional customisation, the brand also offers virtual modular customisation as an added in-store tech experience, which helps consumers get clothing of their preference through digital automation. Abhishek explains the simplicity of the process, “The buyer just has to select the outfit on the LED screen, and choose the ‘Customisation’ option and this allows them to modify the colour, neckline, sleeve, sleeve length, dress length as per their choice and body shape. They have the option to select from either Samshék sizes or give personalised measurements as well.”
The prowess of the two technological innovations combine together to form a product assortment that caters to different needs and occasions, from casual ready-to-wear to custommade evening ensembles. The range includes tops, dresses, jumpsuits and bottoms in different categories such as birthday dresses, casual tops, casual dresses, vacation dresses, evening wear, evening dresses, party wear skirts, sequin dresses, sequin jumpsuits and even corporate wear like shirts, pants, blazers, jumpsuits and much more.
The brand identifies Maharashtra and Karnataka as its most popular market places and also boasts of an online presence in India and the United States. It has collaborated with a few international market places such as Texas-based Fit Match which works with AI technology to give flawlessly fitted garments along with Balodana in Chicago, which is another custom-made clothing platform that thrives on a similar concept, and is looking forward to expand globally.
Positive path ahead!
Introducing any technology to a dense market such as India has its own set of challenges, the foremost being the longer timeline of processes that mass customisation entails. Samshék effortlessly tackles the same with semi-automated front-end and back-end which help in delivering within 48 hours to make the whole process easy for the brand and the customers through faster logistics. “Bringing this whole new concept of 3D body scanner from paper to actual reality was a challenge in itself ”, says Samiksha, adding, “Another challenge was to make the back-end and front-end team understand the use and benefit of it and get them used to it while maintaining a productive synergy.”
“3D body scanner is a new concept in India which takes about 110 measurements of your body in just 5 seconds and gives fit measurements without any errors, eventually making customisation easy.” – Abhishek Bajaj, Founder, Samshék
For the coming future, Samshék aims to create ripples in the inclusive fashion segment by eradicating the issue of fit for the plus-size women, which is also justified in the sizes offered by the brand that range from XXS to 9XL. It hosts several events and pop-ups in order to increase awareness about the cause and further gives an option of perfect fitting to the plus-size buyers, one such instance being the Fashion Tech Convention that occurred in collaboration with the plus-size influencers event of Pune with styling session and digital styling session, along with a few corporate styling events at rapidly popularising co-working spaces and corporate offices.
Samiksha avers, “In the coming few years, our vision is to be at the forefront of technology and fashion. We want to rejuvenate the fashion industry through technology and create a space which is fashion forward yet efficient and sustainable.”
Opening more retail outlets in the coming 5 years pan India, the brand plans to implement major technological developments such as virtual stylists, virtual changing rooms and robotic manufacturing as a part of its growth plan, as Abhishek chimes in, “A complete automation of front-end and back-end for increasing efficiency and reducing our textile waste will be the constant focus. We also plan to introduce virtual mirror technology to minimise our return rate and move toward a complete zero waste module to champion sustainability.”