Case Story | Gaining a competitive edge in the Fashion Industry with 3D integration

Published in
5 min readMay 4, 2023


Kalico Design Limited | A case study on how 3D CAD can reduce lead
time and sampling costs

“I am a veteran designer but also young at heart. In order to stay competitive, I am constantly eager to learn new skills, I look for innovation in every aspect in new design forms, materials, production and work methodology. This is how I inspire young designers under my apprenticeship over the past 20 years”.

Isaac Yuen — Senior Designer and Founder of Kalico Design Limited.

About Isaac and Kalico Design Ltd.

Isaac Yuen is a well-respected fashion designer and is the founder and design director at Kalico, a boutique fashion consultancy based in Hong Kong with clients across China and South East Asia. His long list of achievements dating back to the 1980s makes him incredibly knowledgeable in the fashion industry. Working as chief designer in multiple fashion conglomerates in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australia for brands such as Jeanswest, Hang Ten and Goldlion, he often manages teams of twenty or more designers. Speaking from experience, he mentioned that a well-established design system is needed to
monitor “design productivity”.

“Back in the day, designs had to be productive and all performance needed to be measurable like the adoption rate and ROI, which were my KPI,” said Isaac.

Design productivity means rapid design selection, the ability to meticulously manipulate new designs visually, reducing lead time and improving time-to-market, those were the main pillars of the 1980s fast fashion formula.

His latest achievement was representing Hong Kong at the 1st International Thai Silk Design Contest, which showcases modern and traditional Thai silk and design. This international event attracted industry leaders from 71 countries, gathering creative minds from each corner of the world.

3D is a fashion Industry Game Changer

“During my position in Jeanswest in the ’90s, I introduced 2D CAD to
the company, and my design team immediately improved their
productivity by 50%. More than 10 years ago, I was really curious
about what 3D fashion designer software could do for me, but it did
not go well because the realism and the speed were not there, so I
abandoned the idea,” said Isaac. However, this did not stop him from
exploring 3D applications because he knows that it helps with reducing
sampling cost, time and range planning.

In recent years, many global brands developed high-fidelity 3D
products for their e-commerce platforms, meaning that they can sell
the product before making the product, which is an opportunity Yuen
“cannot miss”. As a result, Isaac’s company has adopted a 3D CAD and
they have been using it for a couple of years. His experience with the
software only satisfied 50% of his expectations and he is yearning for a
more comprehensive system to suit the fast-paced digitization during
COVID. Isaac needs a technology partner that can grow with his
creativity and more importantly, with his customer’s demands of NFTs,
digital showrooms, fashion gamification, and virtual try-on capabilities.
He needs a system that provides all aspects of the digital fashion

Meeting z-emotion

Isaac met z-emotion at a trade show more than 4 years ago.

“At first, I thought they were just a new player on the market with a 3D
CAD still in its infancy stage. But when I tested their content creation
platform z-weave, I immediately discovered how intuitive and fully
accessorized it was, as well as a shallow learning curve. Plus, their
upgrade frequency just amazed me… their team in Seoul is very
engaging, they satisfied my requests and their continuous innovative
ideas just keep surprising me” Isaac said enthusiastically

z-emotion has been developing a complete 3D fashion ecosystem with
new cutting-edge technology ranging from convenient and fast 3D
CAD to virtual try-on and digital showrooms; the quality of rendering is
comparable to retail quality fidelity level.

Digital Innovation in my business

As Isaac mentioned before, he always stays at the peak of his career
and consistently adapts to the market, and makes good use of new
technology. “Back in the day, I introduced 2D CAD to the company that
I worked for. Now, I am one of the advisers of z-emotion”
said Isaac.
‘It demonstrated good ROI by saving costs, reducing lead time, and
improving virtual communication with partners.”

Today, Issac is one of the committee members of the Hong Kong
Fashion Designer Association, and he has been promoting the z-
emotion digital solution to help designers in Hong Kong.

3D is part of the fashion ecosystem

As an experienced fashion design expert, Isaac likes to inspire young
designers to adopt new technology, emphasizing that it improves their
value in the industry. One of his ongoing tasks as a mentor is to
promote more 3D technology adaptation in fashion schools as part of
this curriculum. Isaac envisioned that the appetite for 3D in the fashion
industry is increasing and the development roadmap is only limited to
your imagination. In order to realize the full potential of this technology,
the application of this new technology to build a strong foundation for
the future is inevitable.