In 2017, the world’s largest integrated fabric manufacturing company – Raymond – approached Imaginarium to help reimagine the Men’s Accessories business. They were struggling with lack of design innovation, expensive unsold inventory, and no way to match consumer trends to the available product mix.
What makes a well dressed man?
Menswear has become more varied and experimental in the past few years. While there were certain rules one would have to follow to be considered as a well dressed man, today the rules are changing. Fashion trends were largely focused on traditional and formal wear whereas trends today are a lot more varied. With the rise of street style, resort wear, fusion wear and more – well dressed comes in various aspects. Despite the different styles of dressing, nearly everyone can agree on one thing; that accessories can elevate an outfit or complete a look with ease.
Over the past few years, accessories for men have evolved from the basic and plain cufflinks, tie pins and lapel pins. There are now variations in materials, shapes, and colour in the staple accessories, and further experimentation through button covers, pocket clips, and brooch pins.
Raymond has been a staple for dapper men everywhere with offerings that include bespoke suiting and traditional wear, along with ready-to-wear pieces for all occasions. They offer accessories like ties and pocket squares. Following the significant uptick of interest in men’s accessories, they decided to start offering other wearables to their customers; filling a significant gap in the present market. The complete look for the complete man.
Star Brooch Pin. Source: Raymond Made to Measure
The beginning of a beautiful partnership.
In 2017, Raymond was looking for a manufacturer that would make men’s accessories based on their specifications. With contemporary cufflinks and tie pins becoming more mainstream, Raymond was gearing up to tap into a previously unexplored facet of men’s dressing. By choosing Imaginarium as a manufacturing partner, Raymond was also able to add a whole new dimension to their men’s accessories – customisation.
Convergent Swirl Cufflinks. Source: Raymond Made to Measure
The partnership began with intense product development and proof of concept. After a few months of concentrated effort, the accessories were commercially launched in 2019. These accessories consisted of tie pins, cufflinks, lapel pins, brooch pins, button covers, and any other accessories that men may use. With Raymond’s foray into accessories – long gone are the days of plain accessories. Their offerings come in exciting new designs and finishes that keep in mind the unique taste and personality of their customers.
To further cater to each individual style, Raymond offers customisation. With the integration of 3D printing, individual customisation is now possible – for one item or one hundred. Designs that would usually take 70-90 days to deliver from the day of ordering, now take one week.
Facet Asymmetric Cufflinks. Source: Raymond Made to Measure
Raymond’s partnership with Imaginarium has enabled them to bring products to the market quicker through faster production, go inventoryless and have a high influx of new designs.
The advantages of 3D printing in manufacturing.
3D printing makes it possible to create or print an object without a mould, which lessens the need for physical inventory. Using a mould dictates the need to manufacture 200-300 pieces to justify the cost. With 3d printing, there is no minimum quantity required allowing an accessory to be designed, manufactured and delivered in record spans of time.
How does the partnership work?
Imaginarium acts as an end-to-end design consultant and works to deliver new designs each quarter; from conception, designing, developing CAD files, manufacturing and shipping. Based on a theme or season, the designers at Imaginarium come up with a number of exclusive designs that are then shortlisted by Raymond. Imaginarium’s designers do thorough market research using market studies, customer surveys, trend studies along with subsequent moodboards and themes that complement the idea of The Raymond Man.
The selected designs are further developed for manufacturing via 3D printing and 3D models are made using CAD softwares. These 3D models are rendered digitally and uploaded to a digital portal. This portal was developed to virtually showcase the various collections that were designed, accessible through the Made to Measure stores. A highly realistic render of each design is uploaded, and with just a few taps customers can select their plating preference (gold, rose gold, rhodium, black rhodium), choice of colour, or even add their initials or zodiac signs. A box of sample accessories is also available at each Made to Measure store to allow a better understanding of the sizes, materials, and colours that are on offer with every accessory.
Once an order has been placed on the portal, Imaginarium is notified and moves into production. The 3D models are used as the blueprint to 3d print a castable resin model using DLP (Digital Light Processing), which is then sent for casting. The designs are cast in brass, silver or gold through investment casting, finished, enamelled, plated – if required, and polished over the next two days. The final design is then packaged and shipped either to the store where the order was placed or directly to the customer. It takes 7 days to receive a custom-made suit from the day of ordering, and the accessory is also delivered to the customer at the same time.
By manufacturing designs as and when the order is placed, the need to hold inventory gets eliminated and this has allowed Raymond to go inventoryless.
Developing one’s own style.
We consider style to be an extension of our personality, a symbol of our individuality. We all know of that one person who has gone to great lengths to acquire an article of clothing to make sure they stand out, that one person who tailors their own clothes, or that one person whose footwear collection leaves you in awe.
Sword Tie Pin. Source: Raymond Made to Measure
With accessories beginning to play a greater role in personal style, Raymond’s multiple collections offer a chance to showcase one’s interests and personality through zodiac cufflinks, pocket clips that feature musical instruments, brooch pins in the shape of bicycles and cars, and tie pins that announce the love for your favourite sport. With the drive to truly showcase a sense of individuality, customisation is the next step to inculcate a distinct style.
In a market plagued by high prices, Raymond’s offering of economically priced accessories has made them easily accessible and available to a wider section of the consumer base, proving that every man can be stylish.
Growth of an idea
Once Raymond had tested out their offerings for men’s accessories at select Made to Measure stores, it was able to bring this idea easily to the remaining Made to Measure stores. By employing a digital platform, each store was able to adapt quickly – all they had to do was install the portal on a tablet while displaying the sample accessories to bring it to their customers.
3D printing and digital visualisation allowed Raymond to expand their brand in a previously untapped offering without high initial investments, the need to hold excess inventory, and quick expansion across all their stores.
If you would like to reinvent your brand and are looking to try something innovative using technologies like 3D printing and digital visualisation, we are the perfect partners for you. Reach out to us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be delighted to assist you.