It’s always inspiring to discover the stories behind the many talented 3D designers on the Browzwear Indie Program and gain insight into their evolving digital journeys. We chatted to Creative 3D Fashion and Technical Designer, Afsha Iragorri, to learn more about her experience as a 3D fashion designer and how it has impacted her career in the industry.
Ever since she can remember, Afsha has always been passionate about art as a form of expression and creativity. From a very young age, she would spend hours on end crafting different pieces of artwork, in many different forms from drawing to sewing. Throughout her high school years, Afsha was determined to carry her artistic skill and creative side with her into her future and began to think about how she could gear her talent toward it. She began to explore the world of fashion design and research the opportunities that it posed. With a particular interest in custom luxury design and avant-garde style, she discovered that instead of putting her ideas on paper, she could incorporate them into garments. After graduating high school, she earned herself a place at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design to embark on her new path, fashion design.
During her studies, Afsha was able to gain hands-on experience in all aspects of fashion design, from pattern drafting to construction, creating an entire collection from scratch in her final year. When the time came to apply for jobs, Afsha took her first professional industry role at a women’s clothing retailer, Coldwater Creek, as Technical Design Support. This role enabled her to gain a deep understanding of all of the different elements involved in building a collection, from denim creation to garment fit. It was at this time that she stumbled upon the world of 3D apparel design and Browzwear’s VStitcher, which had recently been brought into the company by the Technical Design Director.
“When I was first introduced to Browzwear’s software and the concept of 3D apparel design, I was yet to discover how significantly it would impact my journey,” says Afsha. “After just a glimpse of the software, followed by a week’s worth of in-person training with the Browzwear team, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the software and the possibilities that it presented,” she adds. “I immediately understood the director’s vision and why she was so eager to push for 3D, it was clear to me that this was the way things were heading and ultimately would be the future of fashion.”
As Afsha dived deeper into the software, she took on her next challenge and began working as a Product Technician at Ralph Lauren, with the mission to further embed VStitcher into the fit approval process and share her knowledge with the rest of the team. However, when the pandemic hit and national lockdowns kicked in, she saw this time as an opportunity to further develop her 3D skills so that she could one day launch her own 3D consulting business to enable apparel companies to hop on the digital train and support them throughout the process. “3D is something that all apparel companies should be seriously considering nowadays, especially if we focus on how damaging fashion is to the environment. There will always be those who fight it off, but it will ultimately be the turning point for fashion,” says Afsha. To get ahead of the game, she joined the Browzwear Indie Program in the fall of 2020, followed by the VStitcher professional course at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).
It wasn’t long before Afsha found herself setting out on her next adventure, working as a freelance 3D Technical Designer for Calvin Klein and a variety of other apparel companies, including swimwear, assisting them in establishing digital workflows. “If you told 16-year-old me that I would be a technical designer, I never would have believed it, but now I don’t think I would have it any other way,” says Afsha. “By being able to create garments in 3D, I can build concepts and manipulate different pattern pieces all in one place, completely from scratch, and visualize the process in real-time. For example, creating a dress and then adding cuts and ruffles. I can design my garments 100% digitally as well as see them in motion” she adds.
Now, as Afsha continues her 3D journey at full steam ahead, she hopes to influence more and more businesses to shift to digital as a way to make their processes more efficient and ultimately reduce their environmental impact. “3D is certainly here to stay and I’m super excited to see how it advances,” says Afsha, “If people don’t start sooner rather than later, they find themselves falling behind.”