Why NY-Based Womenswear Label Marté Started Virtual Sample Room


Juan Martinez describes his women's outwear line Marté as a contemporary label with a 50's flare. Think bold, artfully inspired timeless statement pieces made of wool and alpaca at the brand's core. He also collaborates with Mayan families in Guatemala to produce handwoven textiles.  During his 3 years in business, he developed traction through boutique sales in the United State and Canada before transitioning to an online only model that offers made-to-measure and bespoke custom services.

While working on his last collection, he felt the financial strain of the traditional sample making process and ventured into 3D sampling. After his own success, he started Virtual Sample Room. 
Our Q&A with with him sheds light on his experience and what his new company is about. 

Marté goes beyond outerwear. What is the company's mission? 

Marté is a contemporary outerwear brand with a mission to lead the fashion industry’s transition to a more efficient life cycle process which aims to deliver increased economic, societal, and environmental outcomes. This circular process transforms the way clothing and accessories are designed, sold, utilized, and recycled. We offer high-quality bespoke fashion.

Why did you try 3D technology for sampling?

I ran out of options and financial resources after developing my last collection. I became frustrated at compromising options even before knowing if a style would sell. I tried 3D sampling because of its low cost and high efficiency deliverables in comparison to physical samples. I was able to have more creative freedom during the development process and send linesheets to buyers before I put anything on the sewing machine, thus allowing me to test the market and reduce costs and risks greatly. 

What are the benefits? 

There are 3 main reasons why designer brands should invest in 3D sampling for their workflows:

First, 3D samples produced today are true-to-life. The virtual textiles move and drape just like actual fabrics, allowing design teams to test materials and prints in real time. Virtual sampling also eliminates the pattern making and adjustments costs, resulting in huge savings for companies.

Second, by using 3D sampling, designers can make decisions faster, accelerating the development and production process exponentially allowing for a lean, quicker and more targeted market arrival. 

Third, sales costs are reduced to a minimum. Imagine being able to send pictures, linesheets, and videos of the styles to buyers before you even cut the fabric. This is a game-changer for designers.

What impact has 3D  technolgy had on your business model?

Embracing 3D technology evened the playing field for my brand.  It gave me the flexibility to explore new options and refine my approach to innovation.  3D technology has allowed me to create an online bespoke business, something that I wasn't able to do before mainly because because of the high costs it represented. Our new website, which will be up and running by early next year,  will allow customers to customize their garments to express their personality and fit their body.

What were your current challenges before 3D?

Before 3D my main challenges were financial. As an emerging designer, I struggled to develop my collections due to the high costs of patterns, fabrics, sewing, and fitting of samples. Many times having to compromise and not sample styles I truly loved.

3D technology has helped me reduce costs enormously while giving me the opportunity to test the market, experiment more and deliver better-developed products.


Virtual Sample Room


Virtual Sample Room


You started Virtual Sample Room. Can you tell us about it? 

I created The Virtual Sample Room because I wanted to share the benefits I am getting from the 3D design and sampling process. The mission here is to help emerging designers reduce the financial struggles they go through each season. 

We are a group of experienced and innovative designers, pattern makers, and tech enthusiasts  working together to push fashion forward. We focus on helping companies increase accuracy, minimize risk, shorten their calendar, and expand their product offering while reducing design and development costs.


Virtual Sample Room

The Virtual Sample Room is now looking for fashion designers, tailors, and pattern makers who are passionate about innovation and technology to join our team. All interested professionals can email us their cover letter and resume at team@martellc.com

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