A digital twin of Tulsi Gabbard would have made my design much more sustaineble

At this time, two years ago, I was in the middle of 20 flights within 17 days, designing a campaign wardrobe for congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

I wanted to create an outfit that reflected her personality. We drew over 40 outfits on a 200 page PDF, and ended up with two final suits. With the help of tailors in Italy, Ghana and New Hampshire, our sketches were brought to life.

Today, we have developed a new creative process that uses digital twins. Now, instead of sketching a 200 page document, or catching flights and wasting resources, we use avatars to simulate fittings, style and fabrics: a sustainable, design and budget-friendly process.

Yes, it was a hell of an amount of flights, especially for a sustainable fashion brand.

What was the main challenge? Testing and fitting.

Congresswoman Tulsi was on the campaign trail at the time, and her schedule was unpredictable. I was trying to imagine an outfit that could speak about the unique candidate she was: an army veteran, youngest legislator ever to be elected in Hawaii’s history, and as well as the youngest woman ever elected to U.S. state legislature.

How would my sketch look on her? How would the fabric fall on her body? How could I help my artisans to have an accurate idea of her body and to make the suits fit perfectly?

Most of these questions were answered in the presentations we had made with all the possible sketches. We started with 40 different outfits, only to narrow it down to 2 final suites. I collected pictures of her to help the tailors better understand her body, while the gaps in between were filled in with imagination.

 

After 10 days, many Whatsapp messages, prototyping, video calls and mannequin fittings, I went to New Hampshire for what would be our first and last fitting. I was very nervous as I wanted my creations to be perfect, and didn’t have any way of forecasting or simulating how the fitting would go on the day. My entire team worked incredibly hard to make sure that everything went according to plan. We used premium materials and put our best work into it.

What if the suit didn’t fit or didn’t look good enough? How much energy, raw materials and hard work would have got wasted?

Luckily, we made it and by working side by side with a tailor in New Hampshire, we were able to adjust the last touches and deliver two outfits. 

Fast forward two years later – I can’t wait to dress the next leader who wants to embody sustainable choices, but when that happens, it will be a completely different story. The next time we won’t need to guess the fit, or to produce long document, or to catch many flights. We will be able to reduce and optimize all of our resources because we have developed a new creative process that uses digital twins instead.

This new process allows us to incorporate avatars to simulate fittings, style and fabric; eliminating wasted resources and softening our footprint considerably – creating change that is sustainable.

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