Spotlight on André Edwards Appalachian State University’s
Appalachian State University‘s fashion program goes beyond academics to showcase creativity and celebrate the art of fashion. Their yearly event brings together students, teachers, alumni, and industry guests in a live on-campus showcase that draws over 1000 people. Categories are judged and winners selected, including a new 3D digital portion that allows attendees to experience the designs before the physical garment is presented. Utilizing Browzwear’s 3D design software, students create digital replicas of the garment, printed and cut into physical forms for the showcase.
The addition of this digital portion highlights the program’s innovative approach and offers a new way for students to showcase their designs. We spoke with André Edwards, the winner of this year’s competition, a Bachelor of Science student in Apparel Design and Merchandising, poised to launch his career in the industry. The design concept behind André’s collection drew inspiration from ethical fashion, veering away from fast fashion and its associated drawbacks.
André embarked on his journey into the world of 3D apparel design in the autumn of 2022, after his professor introduced him to Browzwear’s VStitcher clothing design software. The course introduces students to digital pattern making and production techniques as well as 3D prototyping. With the help of engaging video tutorials and practical experience, André steadily hones his proficiency in the software and advances his abilities in the field.
“As a first-time VStitcher user, I found the software to be remarkably self-explanatory, making my transition into 3D pattern creation a smooth process,” says André. “As someone who has always relied on traditional paper-and-pencil sketches for garment design, it was eye-opening to realize just how much faster the entire process can be accomplished in a 3D environment.”
André worked with VStitcher throughout his collection creation process during the competition, utilizing it for designing and drafting patterns alongside the physical construction. “VStitcher enables you to immediately dive into the creative process when fresh concepts emerge, without the need to wait for fabric sourcing in the studio,” says André.
“One of the greatest advantages of developing my collection in 3D was the ability to experiment with different avatars that represent diverse body types. This way, I didn’t have to rely on physical fittings every time I wanted to make modifications to an outfit, I could make the changes as and when needed,” notes André.
Innovative 3D fashion design has become an integral part of the annual showcase at Appalachian State University, and this year’s winner, André Edwards, proved that this technology can be used to create stunning and ethical designs. His approach to fashion design highlights the importance of sustainability and inclusivity in the industry.
“I am glad that Andre was selected as the winner. I awarded him with the highest score because his work is clean, accurate, and complete. Even though the garment has imperfections, Andre did his best, he did not cut corners and tried until it worked,” says Margarita Pasakarnis, Director of 3D Implementation at LT Apparel Group, and competition judge.
“In this project, Andre enjoyed using this 3D tool to learn patternmaking, sewing, fabric textures, dressing, and draping beyond the average level. I see great potential in Andre’s learning abilities. It is our job to recognize the people who put passion and pride in what they do,” adds Margarita.
The success of the 2023 Fashion Showcase demonstrates the value of incorporating cutting-edge technology and innovative approaches to fashion design in education and beyond. As students like André Edwards embark on their careers in the industry, they will be well-equipped to make a positive impact on the fashion world. “It’s inspiring to see an increasing number of leading apparel companies adopting 3D technology. I firmly believe that this technology will play a significant role in my future endeavors,” says André.
With the ability to harness the power of 3D, students can unleash their creativity, collaborate effectively, and develop a comprehensive skill set that aligns with the demands of the industry, as emphasized by Fern Lippert, Education Program Manager at Browzwear. “Embracing 3D tech in fashion education not only prepares students for the future, but it also propels the industry forward, fostering innovation, sustainability, and digital integration.”
As the fashion world continues to evolve, the integration of 3D technology not only equips students with the skills they need to succeed but also drives the entire industry forward, pushing the boundaries of creativity, sustainability, and digital integration. The future of fashion looks bright with the power of 3D at its core.
Explore Browzwear’s revolutionary approach to the intersection of technology and fashion education, and gain insights into how top educational institutions are harnessing the power of 3D technology to equip their students for success. Learn more.
“Being a first-time VStitcher user, I was impressed by the software’s intuitive nature, which facilitated my transition to 3D pattern creation effortlessly. Having relied on traditional sketches for garment design, it was enlightening to witness the remarkable speed and efficiency of the entire concept-to-creation process in a 3D environment.”
Apparel Design & Merchandising, Digital Marketing