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Exclusive: The Digital Fashion Group announces strategic partnership with Arts Thread

By Rachel Douglass


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Business |Exclusive

Image: The Digital Fashion Group x Artsthread, digital asset by Maison Taskin

Online education provider The Digital Fashion Group (TDFG) has revealed it has entered into a strategic partnership with digital platform Arts Thread, with the duo to pursue a joint ambition of driving digitalisation in fashion education. The collaboration is part of a wider goal to aid in the implementation of digitally-forward courses into higher education institutions, while also expanding TDFG’s reach to new potential online participants.

The group, which has already worked with the likes of Parson’s on their foundation course Digital Fashion 101, currently hosts a series of workshops and webinars through its platform, each centred around digital fashion design. Its most recent launch '3Design' consists of a series of 3D courses covering specialised skills in digital fashion design, with an opportunity for students to potentially sell products through DressX. TDFG’s educational goal is something its co-founder, Leslie Holden, hopes will have an impact on the current fashion education system and future of fashion as a whole.

“I knew digital fashion was going to be important,” Holden said, in conversation with FashionUnited. “I have had my eye on that part of the industry for a long time.” In his previous role as head of fashion at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI), Holden led the implementation of educational structures still in place at the school now that sought to shift roles in the fashion industry in favour of a more sustainable value chain and providing students with a wider choice when it comes to selecting which area of the industry they want to pursue.

Addressing the digital skills gap through fashion education

Upon leaving the institute, Holden decided to continue driving this change, dedicating time into researching the digitisation of fashion and ultimately forming TDFG alongside fellow co-founders Sean Chiles and Burak Cakmak. Speaking on the inspiration behind the company, Holden addressed the current issue of the digital skills gap in fashion, noting: “People developing digitisation for fashion often don’t have fashion backgrounds or know anything about the industry.”

“We need to flip the fashion industry around. Replace the word designer with the word creator. Get them involved in the value chain,” Holden continued, adding that the digitisation of this process will result in a more sustainable value chain, taking out the need for wasteful processes, such as sampling and fitting.

When asked why TDFG decided to partner specifically with Arts Thread, Holden said: “TDFG matches Arts Threads’ values of creativity and employability.” Through the partnership, Holden hopes that educators will be able to take on a more hands-on approach with participants, allowing them to better navigate the digital fashion landscape. “We hope to connect with higher education institutes and consult with them on how to bring these courses to their students,” Holden added.

The duo will combine their networks and resources in a bid to support future generations, a press release provided exclusively to FashionUnited read, with the hope that it leads to more employment opportunities or the launch of individual businesses.

Co-founder of Arts Thread, Alex Brownless, added to Holden’s notion in a statement, commenting that the platform is a firm advocate for the courses created by TDFG. “It’s very important that Arts Thread aligns with like-minded businesses that are keeping pace with technology,” Brownless said. “It’s clear that the fashion and textiles students need to embrace the use of contemporary 3D software as we understand that the industry is crying out for students/graduates that have these skills. TDFG is the market leader for the delivery of this.”

Arts Thread
Digital Fashion