Digital Fashion Framework: Changing Fashion Forever?

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Jemima Heard
January 19, 2021

Fashion is facing an existential crisis. Pre-pandemic, the industry contributed an amazing £26billion and 800,000 jobs to the UK economy. Even then it was considered a vulnerable sector due to its almost complete reliance on:

As well as encountering:

Mid-pandemic, the situation can be considered as 'dire'. The industry recorded all-time low economic profits for the year of 2020. So what can help the industry recover? 

We spoke to Eva Lili Bartha (Lili), Founder of Digital Fashion Framework (DFF), about her innovative business, the issues with the Fashion industry, why she's embracing immersive tech, and her experience on the ACE IT programme.

A young white woman with long brown hair and blonde highlights smiles at the camera. She is wearing long, dark-blue statement earrings and a white sweatshirt. She is against a neutral background of a soft beige colour.
Digital Fashion Framework's Lili speaks to us about her business.

Hi Lili, thanks for talking to us! First, please tell us about yourself?

I am a London-based postdisciplinary designer. My work focusses on discovering new horizons in fashion and embodiment, with the use of innovative tools and cross-realm work.

My design works aim at reinventing the notion of ‘experience’, ‘presence’ and ‘wear’ by experimenting with digital and physical, audio with visual, and soft robotics with haptic feedback.

The image shows two versions of the same outfit. The first, in the background, is a photo of a white, delicately-featured model wearing a purple knit sweater with white edging, on top of a pair of smart white trousers. The second shows a digital ender of the same outfit.
DFF's Digital Style rendered over a Sandermann promotional photo for the campaign, Digital Denmark which supports the digitisation of sustainable independent fashion labels (Lookbook image & outfit design credit: @SandermannStudio).

My perspective on the creative sector derives from a background that combines a scientific mindset with an innovative design thinking, as besides having a BA and MA in Fashion (Via Design and Business Denmark, Royal College of Art, London) I am also a trained Mathematician (Applied Mathematics Bsc and Msc, University of Szeged). Studying the building blocks of the universe, my mathematical background led me to question definitive systems, norms and traditions.

Why did you choose to innovate in Digital Fashion?

Fashion is the second most pollutive industry in the world. The negative socio-environmental footprint is enormous, and designers still often overlook their own responsibility towards a systematic change. I believe that digital and physical fashion combined will move the industry forward towards a better future. My team and I are proud to promote a new era of fashion, with more accessible content, more inclusive, diverse and equal solutions, a more democratic work hierarchy, and a positive, supportive atmosphere, emphasising the essence of building communities.

Why are you focussing on Immersive Tech?

According to our research, 70% of shoppers would engage more with a product, if they experienced it in a new, immersive way. We believe that embracing immersive technologies and enabling customers to consume fashion in new ways will establish longer lasting and deeper relationships with products, reducing the rate of returns, as well as altering how we ‘consume’ fashion.

Photo shows a digital rendering of two virtual-reality style male model avatars. The first Avatar, closest to the camera, is a fit and muscular male wearing a black tank-top. The second is a white, skinny male wearing a black, round-neck tshirt. Both men are bald. They're standing in a 3D-rendered digital showcase room, showing large glossy white balls reflecting in the glossy-white floor. The back wall of the area mimics an early-morning sky on a cold but cloudless day: Pale whites and blues at the horizon that graduate into a deeper, calming blue.
#3Dversify digital humans from DFF to tackle the negative footprint of physical photoshoots

You started working with the ACE IT team in the summer of 2020 - what have you achieved so far?

With the ACE IT programme, we received more than support. We've created new connections, expanded our network, and accelerated our business development, as we are focusing on being investment ready.

What has been a challenge to the progression of your business?

2020 has been a year of disruptions. These slowed down our product developments due to hardship in logistics. We are now combatting this by keeping our focus flexible in terms of hardware and software needs.

Persuading clients to try out new solutions has also been a challenge. Many of them are interested in new products but are afraid of unknown features and potential impact on their business.

White Place, a Virtual Reality world, created using Interactive Machine Learning from DFF's latest commission work, Beyond Vision.

How are you finding the experience of the ACE IT programme?

ACE IT has been a great incubator to work with, we have encountered people who are interested in our business, believe in our innovation and values, and helped so much already. Having the opportunity to participate in workshops, we got one on one mentoring as well as encouragement from the cohort. Being part of such inspiring community accelerated our business development even more.

Let's talk about your journey as an innovator. What does a 'typical day' look like for you?

Assessment of tasks and handling comms in the morning. Working on current client projects and R&D throughout the day. Reflecting and summarising things to do with business development at the end of the day.

A model presenting live how Future Wardrobe works, an immersive retail installation, to experience fashion in AR and VR.

What were you doing before you founded your company?

Completing my Masters in Fashion at the Royal College of Art in London.

How did this experience help you build your company?

Being a founder in one of the most competitive and ever-changing industries is a big challenge, and requires ultimate dedication and passion towards the innovation. When participating in incubators, while we get a chance to develop our businesses, we also develop ourselves as entrepreneurs, reassuring ourselves, that new ideas that can initiate systematic change deserve our endless efforts, as we all work towards improving industries, and creating positive impact.

Two women stand, face to face, wearing the purple and white outfit seen at the top of the page. One of the women is trapped in a box and stares at the camera. The women and the box seem to have been placed in a meadow at sunset. Behind them, the sky is a dramatic mix of purple and orange. They stand on wild, flowering grasses between large, white rocks. Behind the rocks, digital walls box in the two models.
Another piece of DFF artwork showing the ways that showing the ways that innovative digital media can compliment physical design.

Finally, it'd be great to find out more about you. What's your favourite thing to do outside of work?

Playing my violin and piano, and currently training for a marathon. And of course hiking, hopefully soon not just by looking at google maps!

And what would be your specialist subject on Mastermind?

3D, XR and AI.

Get involved

Digital Fashion Framework are a current member of the ACE IT programme. Applications for the new ACE IT cohort, which supports businesses to adopt or create new immersive tech products, are open now. Find out more.

Application deadline is Sunday 7 March 2020, 11:59pm.

Want to connect with Lili? Add her on Linkedin now and visit the Digital Fashion Framework website here.