Using 3D solutions to design and merchandise collections was uncommon only a few years ago, but the speed at which digital transformation is occurring within fashion brands, largely due to the disruption of COVID, has prompted fashion programs across the globe to double down in their investment in learning tools to prepare their students for this reality. A leader in technology for the apparel industry is Browzwear, founded in 1999, which integrates 3D across the entire product lifecycle, from concept to commerce. Globally, 350 organizations from Columbia Sportswear and PVH to VF Corporation leverage Browzwear’s open platform to streamline processes so they can sell more while manufacturing less. No more paper sketches, paper patterns, nor hand-sewn samples. Instead, the technology accelerates collection development, fits graded garments to any body model with accurate material replication, and its Tech Pack feature delivers everything needed to produce physical garments to match perfectly to their digital twin.
In recent weeks the University of Salford, UK, joins the growing number of educational institutions to include Browzwear as a central part of their fashion design programs. This partnership will allow the school’s aspiring designers to develop technology-based skills that are increasingly in demand for a tech-focused future. “We’re seeing advancements that you’d expect to take five years be condensed into a few months,” says Bashir Aswat, leader of the fashion program at University of Salford. “It’s quickly become an imperative, and designers who have cultivated this skillset are in extremely high demand.” Program directors within other competitive design institutions are evidently in agreement as Browzwear technology forms a core part of the undergraduate or postgraduate curricula in classrooms as far-flung as New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, Florida State University, and the University of Niederrhein in Germany.
Browzwear aims to bring essential 3D skills into design schools
FashionUnited connected with Lena Lim, Chief Commercial Officer of Browzwear, to learn more about this trend in fashion education and how it is impacting the next generation of design talent.
What makes Browzwear so appealing to fashion schools?
We see firsthand that it is quite a challenge for apparel companies to find candidates with 3D skills and our technology is built with an industry-first approach. At Browzwear we know garments are first designed and then showcased, our technology enables fashion educators to teach the craft differently, allowing students to have smarter learning. A fashion program has multiple disciplines––pattern development, color and material, merchandising––and in each one Browzwear’s solution can be used to teach the craft more dynamically, creatively and sustainably. It also allows for further functionality, such as interactive media for showcasing or selling, providing students with a holistic skill set to enter the industry.
Are you actively focused on schools as a client base?
Education is the foundation of change and the next generation of bright minds are what will enable digital transformation to bring about a more agile and sustainable fashion industry. We cannot transform without new skill sets and a new mindset, which is why it is crucial that we partner with schools and be a driving force for the next era of fashion and design.
Have the sustainability concerns of young designers driven the interest in adopting the technology?
Absolutely! I had a graduate student tell me once that he would have saved a ton of money had his school adopted Browzwear’s 3D technology. He said he had to buy more material and fabric to learn the pattern and fit, but 3D would have enabled him to learn all that without purchasing fabric to cut, then losing it to trial and error. Taking this a step further, there is more than just fabric at stake. Designers are looking at ways to make processes more sustainable, which is something Browzwear does and will remain committed to as we move forward.
Images provided by Browzwear
- Fashion editor Jackie Mallon is also an educator and author of Silk for the Feed Dogs, a novel set in the international fashion industry.*