Q&A / FASHIONTECH

”We will see more service-based companies in the future combining remake, digitalism, art, and automation”

MOHAMMED KOSSIR
On how to — literally — breaking patterns
October 08, 2021

Kossir is business manager and co-owner of The Pattern Agency, one of the key players on the market when it comes to finding patterns and prints for different industries.

— We’re best explained as a fully digitalized pattern agency that focuses on Scandinavian designs and is available online — for anyone located anywhere in Sweden. But we also plan to expand to other countries in the near future, he tells, continuing,

— The platform is very similar to an e-commerce site. At the moment we cooperate with around 40 designers that are affiliated with our platform. These designers all have their unique Scandinavian designs and patterns uploaded to our site, in Photoshop or Illustrator formats, ready for printing. We have around 250 basic patterns and, in total, over 500 unique designs. When a purchase is made, the print is removed from our website for the duration of the exclusive period ranging between 1–3 years. Our Pattern Pitch service lets customers create a design brief where they can specify colours, patterns, license periods up to 20 years, and budgets for the task which is then sent out to all our designers. Once the designers reply with suggestions, the customer chooses who they wish to proceed with. This feature can be used to create specific patterns or complete collections — the sky is the limit.

— We are moving away from traditional sales of patterns and prints by offering this solution directly to our customers via the web. They are free to browse our platform and find designs that suit their needs. If they have something specific in mind that cannot be found in our database they can use Pattern Pitch. This concept stems from the lifestyle we have in society today, where anyone with access to the internet can go to an online store and purchase what they want in an instant. More and more companies are offering customizable products for end-users — ranging from clothes to housewares. We feel that our customers should have the same possibilities in customizing their requests for designs and not be limited by a product portfolio.

How are you and your industry doing in these special times? And how has the industry evolved, thanks to tech and innovation and other key aspects?

— The design industry in general, and the fashion and textile industry in particular, have been forced to digitize the internal processes because of the pandemic. Before, the industry was working with digital tools to reach the consumers but internally, the set-up was still very old school.

— I would say that the pandemic has taken its toll on all industries that are people and production dependent. This means that our customers, which might be in the fashion industry, perhaps have had a decrease in demand as people around the world have not been keen on spending money on non-essentials. This of course impacts us as well, as we are closely related to our customers’ needs. However, the silver lining is that we are an IT company. We can connect with our customers online which has been very favorable during the pandemic. Not only is the customer relationship smooth, fast, and digital, this also means that we have less environmental impact as our salespeople do not need to travel to showcase our product portfolio. In general, our industry has always been a bit reserved and traditional when it comes to the way sales of designs or patterns have been made in the past. Face-to-face meetings were always the preferred way. But we believe that future society is digital and sooner or later all industries and all people will need to adapt to a fast-paced IT world. And I am happy to say that we have already started this journey and hope to pioneer it for customers and competitors alike, says Kossir. He adds:

— In terms of the shift to more sustainable practices and circular business models, I think the concept of remake — where you simply update your existing clothes by adding design elements such as prints or embroidery — is in a budding stage. I believe we will see more service-based companies in the future that combine remake, digitalism, art, and automation.

”Other countries tend to have a different perspective on what the term ‘Scandi-minimalism’ means”

Scandi-minimalism is a common expression. Are your clients braver now than before in terms of using colours and patterns?

— I would say that current trends are leaning towards the safe and known as well as everything perceived as natural. In the current state of the world, people rely on what they already know and recognize. Nature and its ornaments and colour palette will continue to be a big influence in both interiors and fashion. I would say that our clients are braver as some of them work with interiors that last longer. And children’s wear is more colourful and print-orientated. We are also looking to launch the platform on other markets, and other countries tend to have a different perspective on what the term ”Scandi-minimalism” means. In Japan, for example, Scandinavian design is perceived as Stig Lindberg prints and Lisa Larsson figurines. 

In 2022, The Pattern Agency will release The Forecast.

— It’s our strive at providing a service that provides our customers with design insight, both current and future. Based on historical and current data from different industries and end-user feedback, The Forecast uses AI to project and present design influences.

We are also revamping our online presence through the help of Digital Marketing students at Borås Yrkeshögskola. They will act as our head of marketing for 5 months and we can’t wait to see what they come up with. We are looking forward to learning from them and hopefully, we will be able to hire them in the future, Kossir concludes.

The Pattern Agency
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