Students at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology design garments for Stoll Fashion and Technology Competition
21st November 2008, New York, NY
As part of flat knitting machine builder Stoll’s global strategy to support educational institutions, the company has been successfully working in close cooperation with the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York for over two decades.
Most recently, through the contribution of Stoll America Knitting Machinery in the USA and Stoll’s Fashion and Technology department in Germany, a design competition was held for FIT students. After being given a design briefing on the Stoll Trend Collection for Autumn/Winter 09/10, the students were charged with designing garments that would fit into the season's theme: Nomads, which addresses the issue of global mobility. The students' designs had to be appropriate for travellers who require multiple uses for a single garment and need to be comfortable in a variety of climates.
Out of approximately ten participating students, Stoll selected four designs submitted by three students. The company felt that these designs reached the level of sophistication needed to provide Stoll’s customers with up-to-date, unforeseen inspirations. Additionally, Stoll looked for innovative designs that would showcase the capabilities of Stoll's machines.
With the assistance of the extensive expertise of Stoll's personnel and technology, the students transformed their design sketches into sophisticated knitted garments. Stoll has now incorporated all four designs into the Nomads trend collection, making them available to customers who can download and knit the garments.
Jorg Hartmann, Head of Fashion and Technology at Stoll, told KnittingIndustry.com, “In reference to our similar experiences from the past, we were again very excited to see that a close cooperation between industry and vocational training turned out to be equally beneficial. The students experienced a unique chance to work with knitwear specialists, and in exchange Stoll received valuable creative input from upcoming designers to challenge the technical capabilities of our equipment.”
The FIT student winners are: Casey Pyle, a 2008 graduate in Fashion Design, who designed a catsuit that converts into a shoulder bag, and a sweater that becomes a backpack; Hye Jin Choi, a 2008 graduate in Textile Development and Marketing, whose design is a blanket that converts into a blouse; and Min Kwan, who is expected to graduate with a degree in Fashion Design and designed a skirt that can be worn as a top.
Mr Hartmann added, “We want to thank the knitwear faculty at FIT for making this design contest possible, as well as the passionate young designers who presented design ideas which were quite inspiring and challenging to start. We look forward to continuing our successful collaboration with FIT in the future and compliment all participants involved for proving the necessary team spirit.”
“The winners of the Stoll’s Trend Collection AW 09/10 competition had the unique opportunity to collaborate with Stoll’s development team in putting their designs into work," said Ann Denton, Assistant Professor, Textile Development and Marketing at FIT. "For a student pursuing a career in fashion, the experience of working side-by-side with industry professionals is extraordinarily valuable.
"The Stoll-FIT collaboration has created a wealth of opportunities for FIT students,” Ms. Denton added. “Our Fashion Design, Textile Development and Marketing, and Production Management students receive formal classroom training on Stoll M1 workstations in their knit classes. As part of their coursework, they develop a wide variety of fabrics and garments for production on our Stoll CMS machinery.”
Many more FIT students attend demonstrations of Stoll M1 and CMS equipment, allowing FIT students to become increasingly fluent with the technology.
Stoll also has donated machinery and software to FIT's knitting lab, given talks at the college, trained faculty on software, provided technical assistance to students., and loaned a large library of samples for students to use as inspiration.
Ms. Denton continued: “In the fields of knit design and product development, creativity alone is not sufficient. A strong command of knitting technology is also necessary, and FIT’s ability to train students on state-of-the-art Stoll equipment is key to building this technical foundation.”
Ms. Denton concluded: “When a creative individual has sophisticated technical skills, their design work can be tremendously exciting. In an increasingly competitive global economy, innovative design and product development is critically important to the fashion business, and Stoll’s collaboration with FIT helps build the skills our students need for career success in this challenging environment. We thank Stoll for its continuing support of FIT and our students.”
Author: Billy Hunter