How Fashion, Apparel, and Footwear Brands Can Win with Digital Design Tools
Written By: Blake Simms

Designing trendy products for fashion, apparel, and footwear brands can be a complicated process involving multiple stakeholders, decision makers, material suppliers, and more. Despite this complexity, retailers and brands face constant pressure to usher their product designs through the ideation to creation stages as quickly as possible or risk their products getting left in the dust.

As development cycle times shorten, the old way of capturing trends, inspiration, and design ideas with foam core boards and other manual ideation methods has only become a hindrance. Today’s digital tools offer not only speed, but several other key improvements to the retail product creation process.


For designers and other creatives, their physical work space is a highly visual place where concepts and designs begin to take shape. Hundreds of ideas could live there, but they are confined to that single location, with no perfect way to extend access to collaborators or other stakeholders.

It’s not hard to imagine things like swatches, material samples, and important notes getting lost, misplaced, or misinterpreted amidst the chaos of a design space. Bringing this work space into a digital environment allows designers to organize and consolidate all their ideas and projects in one tidy place. And with a digital work space, designers can work anywhere - on the go, at home, or in the office – without losing anything from their concept boards.


Another benefit to digitizing product design is that it becomes more easily accessible to others. Multiple users can work on the same line simultaneously, from different locations and on different devices.

Digital storyboards can also be printed or exported to share with non-users, and your organization can enable security and permissions for those who do have access to the platform.


The design process becomes much more efficient with a digital platform that’s accessible across an entire organization. Different users can update looks in real-time and provide instant feedback instead of waiting for a final product or deliverable only to have to go back and iterate further. In addition, comprehensive change tracking and revision history will log every step, update, and alteration for referenceso there is never a need to backtrack or start over.

Also important is software that integrates well with your PLM tool for business intelligence, accelerated decision-making, and managing supplier relationships.

Readiness for the Future

When it comes to fashion, apparel, and footwear design, it takes innovative solutions to create innovative products. Digital design technology has the capability to make concept storyboards more interactive and shareable, incorporating video, images, text, social media, comments, and reusable board templates. All of this can be updated from a cloud-based device that fits in your pocket, providing a foundation for future success.

Watch a replay of our webinar with, featuring PTC’s Darren Glenister, to discover the Top Design and Storyboarding Tips for Your Retail Product Creation Process.

Tags: Augmented Reality Retail and Consumer Products Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)
About the Author Blake Simms

Blake has an extensive international career in marketing and business development within the technology, fashion, retail and consumer products industries.

With a Degree in International Marketing Management, Strategy & Communications, Blake has worked for a variety of leading global organizations and supported them in developing and delivering their strategic vision and corporate goals.

As a Marketing Director, Blake has designed, implemented and executed both international and regional go-to-market strategies, with a strong focus on increasing brand awareness and reputation, developing acquisition/lead generation initiatives and delivering powerful sales-enablement tools.