We recently checked in with Karina Ochoa, 3D apparel designer, and Browzwear Guild member, to discuss her evolving journey with 3D and how it has shaped her career.
Coming from a background in fashion design and merchandising after studying technical manufacturing in Columbia, Karina developed a strong interest in the business side of fashion. When working as a fashion designer throughout the second year of her degree, she began to work closely with 2D CAD software programs, which soon sparked her curiosity about the next stage, 3D apparel design. “As I began to dive in and learn more about the world of digital fashion from a business perspective, it became clear to me just how crucial its adoption is for the future of the industry as a whole,” says Karina.
After completing her university studies in Colombia, Karina set off to New York where she was able to gain first-hand experience in 3D design at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) as well as their DTech Lab. The DTech Lab is an extension of FIT’s Innovation Center and enables partners in the industry, including Browzwear, to team up and bring new ideas to the table through a variety of collaborative workshops.
When participating in these workshops which included Product in a Day and Adidas X Browzwear’s 3D Sprint, Karina was able to leverage VStitcher, and familiarise herself with each one of its tools and functions. Through these workshops, Karina was able to come up with new creative concepts, “Designing in 3D opens the possibility to experiment with an infinity of ideas.” After a few months of dedicated learning and commitment, it wasn’t long before she became proficient in the software and began to teach and share her insights with other students at FIT.
As we discussed Karina’s journey with 3D as well as her experience with utilizing VStitcher, she commented on the software’s intuitive interface which made it easy for her to quickly grasp and navigate. Whilst working with VStitcher, she noted that the software is unique in the sense that it enables everything to be done in one place, without being confined to an office or studio.
Since mastering the skill of 3D and utilizing its capabilities, she has worked on projects with companies including Target, Walmart and has recently stepped into the luxury apparel market.
One of the most impactful elements about using VStitcher for Karina, is the ability it provides in terms of visualizing each physical property of the garment on its digital twin and seeing how one aspect can affect the other. For instance, how the fabric moves when worn, and the exact way that it fits and drapes over the body. Each aspect can be altered and fitted accordingly until the final result is achieved. 3D has enabled Karina to go beyond the traditional means of fashion design, she has been able to create remarkable digital garments for both music videos as well as for independent films.
In light of these unprecedented circumstances that we continue to face in 2020, Karina notes that whereas when she first embarked on her journey with 3D, much of the fashion industry was hesitant in embracing the change, there has certainly been a change in mindset. Since the majority of the workforce are now remote, and as a freelance 3D designer, she has seen a much greater need for widespread adoption of digital tools across the apparel industry. Karina notes that the industry is in fact now being forced to accelerate its digital transformation which will certainly reshape fashion and we know it, posing new opportunities for the industry’s future. “3D design improves communication between all parts of the fashion supply chain and allows us to have more time to focus on creating better designs.”