The next big name in fashion might be sitting in a U.S. classroom right now. But when that student walks across the stage to accept his diploma, how can he ensure his designs eventually walk the runway?
Educational institutions across the nation are preparing students to take on the intricacies of the fashion industry. But making a name for yourself in the fashion world today is much more than having a keen eye for detail, great style or the ability to draw a killer sketch.
A student needs to not only know the creative side of fashion but also be business savvy.
The journey of a design from concept to production at a targeted price point and quality level must result in both artistic and financial success.
We all know that fashion is moving faster than ever. A new silhouette or print can be all the rage one day, just to be forgotten the next. The only constant in fashion is change. To manage this change, as well as the nuances of the creative and business side of fashion, technology is crucial.
Today’s fashion companies are adopting the latest and greatest software applications and hardware solutions—from design and 3D product development to PLM (product lifecycle management) and automated cutting. School administrators are quickly adopting the same technology used in the “real world” to adequately prepare their students to hit the ground running after graduation.
Top 3 Colleges for Fashion Technology
A great example comes from North Carolina State University’s College of Textiles. The school boasts 61 state-of-the-art laboratories that feature the latest technologies, and the curriculum covers the entire spectrum of product development and every nanofiber in between. Schools such as North Carolina State are getting students excited about every stage of the development cycle, not just design. The integration of Lectra technology from design to production has provided a natural bridge between advanced research and industry reality.
Two other examples come from New York City. The Fashion Institute of Technology and Parsons The New School of Design have always been early adopters of new technology, and, because of this, the schools’ students have developed a confidence that allows them to experiment freely with different styles. This confidence will allow the next wave of fashion professionals to create collections that stand apart from anything done in the past.
Most importantly, the use of the latest technologies is paramount to developing a strong, differentiated, skilled labor force that can help reinvigorate the American fashion and apparel industry.
We’ve all seen the resurgence of “Made in America.” As the movement continues to gain traction, many brands will source their talent from within the country, looking not only for designers but also the other professions critical to the development process, including patternmakers, sewers and cutting-room engineers. Educational institutions must produce students at a pace that meets this anticipated demand, and the students need to have a familiarity with the tools of the profession.
Technology is the key to not only supporting fashion as it is today but where it’s going tomorrow. With the most advanced technologies, American companies will be able to get their products to consumers faster at the right price while also achieving enhanced profitability. Being at the forefront of technology is what built America.
It must start with the schools, and it is their commitment to arming students with the latest technology that will bring fashion to the next level.
Source: Apparel News