C-Design Solutions, a provider of textile and apparel CAD technology, is ramping up its focus on the U.S. market, following a successful buildup of its customer base in Europe .
In its five years in business, the Paris-based company has added more than 500 customers across Europe , including large and small players such as Quelle, New Look, Baby Dior and Pimkie. It most recently signed on Zara parent company Inditex Group.
Founder and CEO Patrick Abbou told Apparel there has been a lot of demand for its solution from prospective U.S. customers, which prompted C-Design to open a New York office last spring. He described C-Design as "the challenger on the market" to more established CAD firms.
C-Design's technology starts at $9,500 for a license to use it on one computer. The open-platform software enables users to import and export files in 80 different graphic file formats, as well as to drag-and-drop both vector and bitmap files into the program for fabric print and apparel style development, Abbou said.
C-Design is a platinum partner of Corel, and the two have integrated their software to offer the C-DESIGN Fashion solution. C-Design also is a partner with Hewlett-Packard (HP), and its CAD technology can run on the TabletPC HP.
"Ninety-nine percent of our solution can be [run] with just a pencil," said Abbou, referring to how designers can use the tablet PC's pencil-like instrument (an alternative to the mouse) to sketch designs as well as operate other functions.
One of C-Design's newest partnerships is with U.S.-based PLM software developer Fashionware Solutions. Abbou said he "saw something really different" in Fashionware's solution, and that he and Fashionware founder Paul Friedman shared a similar philosophy on fashion industry software. They both agreed solutions should be "very light, very easy to use" and focused on the end product, Abbou said.
Fashionware offers its Fashionshare PLM solution on a software-as-a-service (SaaS), or pay-per-use basis. Friedman said his company and C-Design will co-market their solutions on their web sites, and are considering integration efforts. Design is a very important piece of product development, Friedman said, and the alliance gives Fashionware and C-Design a way "to be able to present a client with a more global technological solution."
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