With digital and gaming culture moving at an ever-more-rapid pace, and the explosion of user-generated content in social gaming environments, the need has never been greater for flexible on-demand digital production, allowing brands and creators to realise their vision for allied physical garments.
Kornit Digital is working with apparel fulfillers, designers, retailers, and brands to deliver sustainable, scalable, on-demand digital decoration solutions enabling a new breed of digital creators to bring garments to life in the physical world, serving engaged audiences quickly and keeping waste and water usage to a minimum.
Scott Walton, Director of Business Development at Kornit, underlines Kornit’s philosophy:
“We’re inspired by the boundless self-expression we see among the new breed of digital creators in social gaming and web3 platforms and their audiences. Kornit is committed to empowering these communities and the platforms that serve them with the hyper- customization capabilities to translate their imaginations into brilliant, uncompromising apparel.”
The business recently collaborated with well-known digital fashion artist Stephy Fung (who has worked with brands such as Gucci, Dell, and X-Box) and PhygitalTwin to bring her first physical apparel into the world for London Fashion Week. Kornit is also sponsoring the New Codes Digital Fashion Summit at the Royal Institution in London this fall.
Growth in digital self-expression
The wider context is one of significant anticipated growth in digital self-expression, with related implications for physical style. Social gaming, which provides a substantial theatre for digital style and self-expression, has been forecasted by Maximise Market Research to grow at a CAGR of 16.01% to reach US$76.8 billion by 2029, with the global digital clothing market forecast by Reportlinker to grow to $2.5 billion by 2028 with a CAGR of 26.6%. With the power of virtual customization, the market for gaming skins is also strong and growing - with sales of in-game items including skins reported to have reached US$50 billion by the end of 2022. Many in the gaming sector now anticipate the emerging suite of AI tools will result in huge proliferation of user-generated assets and creativity.
In a sign of what is coming for fashion, this year the elite Parsons School of Design launched a Roblox design course, equipping students with skills in “researching and prototyping digital and physical fashion for immersive environments.” The course accompanies a Roblox/Parsons study which found that 70% of Gen-Z dress avatars like their physical style to some degree. A similar proportion also take physical style inspiration from their avatars, bearing out the intuition that our personal identity and affiliations are increasingly a composite of physical and digital personas.
Strategy of Kornit while moving to the creator economy
Looking to the future, Omer Kulka, Chief Innovation Officer at Kornit Digital, reflects: “The world is experiencing a digital transformation like never before. The lines between the physical and virtual are quickly blurring – creating a new ‘phygital’ universe where immediacy, customization and personalized experiences are the rule not the exception. As the digital-native generation comes of age to build the new ‘creator economy’, the Kornit 4.0 strategy is perfectly aligned to capture these new opportunities in fashion and textiles. We’re helping to transform what is often considered slow and wasteful to a place where creators, designers, and brands unleash new possibilities without traditional production limitations. With on-demand digital production, brands and producers can now move at the speed of culture – bringing together the immediacy and creativity of converging physical and virtual worlds, driving unprecedented sustainability, harnessing lean manufacturing, and fulfilling the promise of an industry no longer burdened by legacy production. In this new world of fashion and textiles, the only limit is your imagination.”