77 pieces is a virtual tool for the fashion industry that allows digital patterns to be made that mimic the physical qualities of the cloth that will be used in their eventual construction.
Its development has required the very unusual combination of hard-core applied mathematics; an appreciation of the aesthetic principals associated with fashion and the passion and commitment that come with being an entrepreneur.
With his background in theoretical robotics and his years of working at A-list film studios such as Sony, ILM and Weta and his previous experience with start-ups in California’s Silicon Valley Sebastian Marino seemed destined to create 77 Pieces and it’s applications for the design industries already seem remarkable.
“There is no computer drafting software for flexible things like cloth and one of the important things with computer generated /digital clothing is getting it to fit right” says Marino “A lot of the time when you’re looking at clothing in a film it doesn’t fit or look right and the reason is, in my opinion, that there is no concept of pattern making in CG. Pattern making is an old world art form”. So Sebastian Marino and his crew applied themselves to learning about the one of the oldest crafts in the world – and combined it with cutting edge technology. It was the right approach.
While 77 piece’s eye is on the fashion industry for now they already realize that are a wide range of industries that use patterns and the software could also have applications for architects and engineers.
Refining the business plan has been an ongoing and important process for this company. Understanding the intellectual property landscape, understanding the market and the business and thus how to execute your idea are THE crucial initial steps for a start-up once you have your idea according to Marino. “As an entrepreneur you’re not an expert at these things, nor should you be. The entrepreneur is good at a particular thing and their role is to have a vision for that thing and to see it through. You have to find people to help you and be scrupulous about that – trust them and use that team to execute the vision that you have”
Using the business support that was available in the Wellington region was of immense value to 77 Pieces. Coming out of the Silicon Valley meant Sebastian was familiar with business incubators but being new to New Zealand he required a fast way to establish the connections needed to raise investment. “Creative HQ was super helpful and they exceeded my expectations with the help and support 77 Pieces received”
The process of gaining a clear understanding of their market and their customers has given 77 Pieces an even stronger business and they are now working towards their initial product launch. The future looks bright, as Marino says “we’ve built a company around an idea – we’re not just tinkering in garage any longer”