The Jewelry & Fashion Industry's Digital Transformation: Opportunities and Challenges

Article  /  CriticalThinking   Research   Market
Published: 02.06.2023
Sogand Nobahar
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Photo by Dynamic Wang .
Photo by Dynamic Wang 

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The jewelry industry is closely linked to the fashion industry, both following trends set by fashion designers, celebrities, and influencers. Fashion is an ever-evolving industry, and customers seek new and exciting ways to engage with brands. Let's explore the future of these industries and how we can improve their impact.
AI generated Earrings by Orbyline for the first AI Fashion Week (2023).

Influenced by cultural and societal changes, the fashion and jewelry industries are constantly evolving. From being a necessity for the body to a form of self-expression and identity, these industries have come a long way. Just like fashion, our identities have also evolved. With the rise of social media, we have started creating different versions of ourselves through words, images, and videos. We currently possess both digital and social identities, and in the near future, we are likely to have virtual identities as well. All three identities will soon intersect, and our fashion choices will play an integral part in shaping them.

Photo by Markus Spiske

As technology advances, the fashion and jewelry industry is being forced to adapt to the changing landscape. The global pandemic has accelerated technological advancements, with many brands exploring the digital world through marketing, metaverse, and web3. However, while these virtual forays are innovative and forward-thinking, the digital transformation of physical product creation processes is still in its infancy.

The fashion and jewelry industry faces the crucial need to anticipate and adapt to the convergence of physical, blended physical and digital, and virtual realities. This requires integrating each encounter into a captivating brand narrative and establishing a system that not only facilitates the change required to combat the harm we've caused but also equips us for the virtual world ahead.

The process of digital transformation can be a significant challenge for any industry, as companies strive to improve their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance while facing increased scrutiny and cost pressures. Currently, most brands prioritize design when implementing digital solutions. Contrary to common misconception, 3D design technology can enhance product development and production quality, rather than diminishing creativity or artisanal craftsmanship. It improves ideation, prototyping, and physical product creation, resulting in superior products that generate less waste and benefits designers, buyers, and consumers.

ASTROPIA, a 3D, digital fashion collection by Orbyline.

Creating digital products is not simply using a tool; it represents a new medium that can serve as a lifeline for product-producing brands to achieve genuine sustainability. However, for this to happen, it must trigger a comprehensive transformation beyond surface-level changes. When creators can freely express their imaginations through digital tools without the burden of adoption, we will begin to see the downstream advantages of this upstream transformation.

Digital transformation requires a significant shift in mindset and culture within the industry, recognizing that digital technology impacts every aspect of the product journey. This includes designers, technical designers, merchants, vendors and suppliers, marketing, B2B accounts, B2C interactions, technology solutions, consumers, and more.

Embracing digital technology results in increased accuracy, intentional purpose, faster processes, better communication, reduced waste, and numerous benefits. Once an organization successfully adopts digital technology, it can leverage it in various ways across the business. There is no one-size-fits-all solution or specific roadmap for this transformation; it involves continuous change, support, and technological advancements at all levels of the organization.

Photo by Dynamic Wang 

Digitization not only optimizes physical product creation but also enables greater personalization and on-demand manufacturing. By creating digital twins of products, organizations can easily modify and personalize products to meet individual customer needs and preferences. This enhances the customer experience while reducing waste by producing only what is necessary and desired.

Furthermore, the ability to create and modify digital twins quickly and efficiently makes on-demand manufacturing more feasible. This allows products to be produced in smaller quantities and a shorter time frame, reducing inventory costs and waste. It also enables brands to swiftly respond to trends and consumer demand, leading to a more agile and responsive supply chain.

Another significant benefit of value chain digitization is increased transparency and traceability. Through the use of digital tools, brands can track and monitor every step of the product journey, ensuring greater quality control, accountability, and sustainability. As consumers grow increasingly concerned about the environmental and social impact of the products they purchase, digitization allows brands to provide greater transparency and information about their products.

Photo by Ross Findon

In conclusion:

The fashion and jewelry industries are changing rapidly, and brands must adapt to stay relevant. By embracing digital tools such as AI, 3D design, and on-demand manufacturing, brands can create sustainable and personalized products. However, this transformation requires investment in new technologies and a cultural shift. It is crucial for the jewelry and fashion industries to embrace the digital future, not just to survive but to thrive in a rapidly changing world. Brands must be willing to experiment and focus on the customer, combining digital transformation with immersive experiences to create innovative and sustainable products that meet the needs of customers in this ever-evolving landscape.

Unfortunately, for the moment, the digital world is primarily dominated by high fashion and high jewelry brands. However, in the near future, it is hoped that more contemporary designers and small brands will join the digital realm. The digital world has the potential to better understand their work in a more conceptual way, with fewer limitations compared to the traditional physical market. We need an influx of unconventional ideas and fresh perspectives to embrace web3 and contribute to the evolving landscape.


About the author

Sogand Nobahar is a dynamic multidisciplinary designer and creative director driven by a profound passion for vibrant colours and stylish aesthetics. Throughout her career, she has embraced a diverse range of roles, including design, photography, and creative project direction, finding immense joy and fulfilment in every aspect of her work.
Sogand actively engages in a wide array of projects, catering to the needs of both traditional Web2 platforms and the exciting world of Web3. Her dedication lies in empowering artists and small businesses to express their unique personalities through aesthetics that authentically reflect their vision.

In addition to her creative work, Sogand has also embraced her entrepreneurial side. In 2017, she started her own contemporary jewelry brand. Furthermore, in 2022, she co-founded a startup and ventured into the exciting world of digital fashion and jewelry, always seeking new opportunities and pushing boundaries.

In her writings, Sogand openly shares her own experiences and challenges as both a designer and business owner. She believes in being transparent and supporting other creatives by discussing her struggles, creating a sense of mutual support in their creative journeys. Additionally, she likes to share her research and insights on using digital tools to effectively market products, drawing from the valuable lessons she has learned throughout her entrepreneurial endeavours.
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