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May 24, 2023

Stanford FashionX has teamed up with digital innovators ZERO10 and Browzwear to mentor the school’s class of 2023 in creating a collection of digital fashion.

In recent years advancements in Web3 technology have reverberated throughout all creative industries, most notably art and fashion. Interest in digital design has skyrocketed, leading to the emergence of digital-only fashion brands like The Fabricant and digital capsule collections from heritage brands like Gucci. Always at the forefront of innovation, last year SHOWstudio enlisted a cohort of digital native creatives to design garments for our NFT project ikon-1.

While the space continues to develop, it should come as no surprise that institutions are looking at ways to foster this new wave of digital designers. The world’s biggest fashion schools, including Polimoda in Florence and Central Saint Martins in London, have started offering short courses introducing students to blockchain technology and how it can be utilised within fashion design. In 2021 Ravensbourne University launched its Digital Technology pathway available to all BA Fashion students offering courses in digital design technologies from CLO 3D to Substance by Adobe.

Even California’s Stanford University is exploring the digital fashion space with the introduction of Standford Fashion X. Co-founded by Sigalit Person and Savannah Murphy in 2019, the institution’s first fashion-focused organisation covers business, sustainability, marketing, design, and of course, innovative technologies. For their latest project, undergraduate students were tasked with creating a collection inspired by the relationship between humanity and the natural world. The 9-look collection was designed by students Alexandra Blum, Hana Choi, Manasi Garg, Biak Tha Hlawn, Jalen Hunter, Darynne Lee, Blake Pigott, Sophie Schmitter, Saf Seck, Libby Ye, and FashionX executives Tommy Bruzzese and Olivia Wang. Dubbed ‘Symbiosis’, students looked to characteristics found in nature as the basis for their designs from the movement of water to the texture of mushrooms.

‘It is an exciting time to be a part of the digital fashion wave right now,’ explains Stanford FashionX co-president Olivia Wang. ‘Especially at a place like Stanford — where there is a very strong technology presence but not as big of a fashion presence (we’re working on it!) — we could not be more excited about providing exposure to students too. As FashionX continues to grow our digital fashion footprint, we cannot wait to see how the industry grows with us.’

To bring their digital designs to life Stanford FashionX has teamed up with AR pioneers ZERO10 and 3D fashion design software Browzwear. The latter provided students with experience utilising VStitcher, the industry’s leading 3D fashion design and development software. Students were taught how to render their ideas into fully realised 3D digitised designs. From there, ZERO10 guided the students in bringing their designs to life through AR. Circling back to notions of sustainability, the move towards virtual wearables allows designers to visualise cut and fit without the need for going into physical production thus reducing textile waste.

‘The project with Stanford FashionX and Browzwear is part of our commitment to make AR more accessible for the fashion industry and to expand our community with talents and creators who form a collaborative community of a new generation of designers and drive the fashion industry forward,’ explains ZERO10’s 3D lead Anton Grigoriev.

From overproduction to the rise in carbon emissions due to travel during fashion weeks alone, it's no secret that fashion is one of the world’s biggest polluters. So is digital fashion a viable solution for reducing the industry’s ecological impact? Rather than presenting the undergraduate designs with a traditional runway show, Stanford FashionX will showcase the collection during a community event on 24 May. Following that, the digital garments will be available to the public to explore through the ZERO10 app.

With anyone around the world able to engage with the designs without any production necessary the capabilities of virtual wearables is something brands big and small are sure to continue incorporating into all aspects of their business. As the innovative tech continues to develop, more institutions are likely to begin rolling out their own programs to foster the next wave of digital designers.

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