This week, C.L.A.S.S., with support from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), hosted an intimate gathering of fashion’s industry leaders, educators, designers and members of the press to celebrate An Evening of Smart Innovation.

The event was hosted by Ginger Design, a team of Italian creatives, filmmakers, food and textile designers, as a way to create a unique immersive experience telling the story of C.L.A.S.S.’ visionary journey.

Giusy Bettoni and Lisa Smilor. © C.L.A.S.S.

Thus, the event provided guests with a chance to embrace knowledge related to four key areas that set new standards for fashion vital to C.L.A.S.S.’ business philosophy: Heritage, Smart Innovation, Circular Economy and Design Responsibility.

Responsible design

Imagination and responsibility being at the forefront of the event, guests entered to view a film by Cristina Picchi that represented harmony between the various phases of the textile process and the cycles of natural elements.

The piece de resistance was a 3D installation designed by Cécile Feilchenfeldt that contained exquisite knits, allowing guests to walk through the area to inspire creativity and explore the limitless possibilities using innovative smart materials.

Video installation by Cristina Picchi. © C.L.A.S.S.

So, with responsible design in mind, the guests were able to touch and feel the luxurious smart textiles supported by sustainable credentials from Bacx by Centro Seta, Bemberg by Asahi Kasei, Ecotec by Marchi & Fildi, Organic Cotton Colours, Re.VerSo, Roica by Asahi Kasei, Tintex Textiles, and Zignone. The new generation of beautiful cottons, rich silks, lush wools and opulent cashmeres showcased throughout the C.L.A.S.S. event currently available to the market.

Engaging designers and educators

Giusy Bettoni and the C.L.A.S.S. team from Milan and New York, as well as several of their partner representatives from around the globe were on hand to engage designers and educators and answer questions related to smart materials and processes.

Designers and educators learned about the new C.L.A.S.S. e-commerce site dedicated to emerging designers and fashion start-ups, as well as new details regarding C.L.A.S.S. Education as a university learning resource, co-founded with James Mendolia, FIT Professor, MFA Fashion Design and FIT Sustainability Council Member.

Textile installation by Cécile Feilchenfeldt. © C.L.A.S.S.

Attendees included: Julien Labat, president of Edun and Marilyn Balkaransingh Director of Fabric R&D of Edun, J.R. Campbell and Young Kim Thanos of Kent State’s School of Design and Merchandising, Lisa Smilor and Stephanie Soto of CFDA, Nomi Dale Kleinman of FIT, Susan Easton, founder of From the Road, Nicole Fischelis, Heron Preston, Luciana Scrutchen of Parsons School of Design, and Kay Unger, chair of the Board of Governors for Parsons, among others.

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