Indie Designer Spotlight:
AstriHanenkamp

From becoming a master couture tailor to fulfilling her career in fashion design, we were so excited to have the opportunity to sit down with Astrid Hanenkamp and learn about her journey to reaching 3D and how it has impacted her career.    

Astrid grew up in Germany with her grandmother and mother teaching her to knit and sew from a young age, which sparked her interest in fashion. She had always recognized her creativity, and before she went to study fashion design, she trained to become a couture tailor to see if fashion design was something that she seriously wanted to do. After finishing her apprenticeships, Astrid decided that fashion design was certainly on the cards for her. She went ahead and got her BFA in Fashion Design from the University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg.     

During her studies, Astrid was offered an internship in New York in the knitwear team at Mark Eisen. Although Astrid did not yet have any experience in knitwear, her technical and creative side allowed her to explore and learn how to take different yarns and manipulate them into multiple patterns to create the final product.    

After completing her studies, she decided to pack her things and move to New York, working as a knitwear designer and subsequently as the Head of Design for Design History, a contemporary sweater and knits resource. While working at Design History, Astrid caught her first glimpse of 3D through a Chinese supplier who utilized digital garments throughout the design cycle. However, between 2018 and 2019, the company restructured, and Astrid took this as an opportunity to start her freelancing career as a designer.   

Going into 2020, when the pandemic hit, Astrid relocated to Mexico part-time, where she and her husband built a studio, as the shift from working in the office to working remotely soon became the norm. When scrolling through LinkedIn, she stumbled upon an article that spoke to her technical and creative interests, introducing her to Browzwear’s solution.   

“I was so excited to learn about Browzwear when reading the article. At the time I was aware of the impact that 3D technology had in transforming the fashion industry and I wanted to learn more about what Browzwear had to offer,” says Astrid.    

Astrid began to dig deeper into the concept of 3D apparel design and instantly knew it was something she had to get her hands on. She explored different solutions before deciding to apply for the Browzwear Indie Program, which she launched in mid-2020. During the Indie Program, Astrid was able to put her technical and creative skills into practice, which enhanced her abilities in pattern making, V-Ray rendering, and colorway solutions, which she still finds useful for her work today. Astrid is now designing 3D styles for her clients, from independent designers, mostly woman-owned and minority-owned, to large companies.  Astrid still aims to explore the capabilities of the open platform as she continues to broaden her skills.    

 “Browzwear spoke to me more in terms of how intuitive the platform is compared to other platforms. The opportunity to learn from Browzwear University, which is a well-organized program, was amazing. I am now able to experiment with pattern making and so many other capabilities.”   

Astrid currently uses Browzwear as a presentation tool to showcase garments to her clients and people who are new to fashion design. By presenting an ultra-realistic 3D garment as opposed to a flat technical sketch which may be challenging to visualize, her clients can gain a clear understanding of what the end product will look like, in a variety of styles, fabrics, and colors. By sharing 3D renders, as well as presenting the designs through various digital showcasing platforms, her clients can fully engage with the designs in 3D.   

 “Browzwear’s video tutorials and frequent masterclasses allow me to dig deeper into all the different capabilities that the software has to offer.  For example, the animation workflow webinar with the Diigitals totally blew my mind and spurred me to learn more and more about it,” says Astrid.    

Astrid also expressed her excitement about our recent integration with Fashion Snoops, which enables apparel designers to access a variety of emerging trends by allowing them to create iterations using predefined 3D blocks.  “I’ve already started modifying the blocks that are available in Browzwear’s library. It’s great to work with garments that are already draped and add your vision to it.”   

Now Astrid shifts her focus toward garment presentations, and she aims to continue broadening her digital skillset to keep up with the direction that the fashion industry is moving toward.  “I’ve been looking into applying my designs to real-life settings so that I can combine virtual reality with everyday street scenes. By being able to showcase my designs in an interactive way, such as virtual fashion shows, people can simply tune in from their phone or laptops, from anywhere in the world, and see the 3D designs come to life,” says Astrid.   

When it comes to 3D, Astrid believes that “everyone needs to look at their workflow and process and use 3D to whatever level they are comfortable with, but 3D helps the fashion industry shed the image of being a wasteful industry”.  We are so excited to see how the rest of Astrid’s digital path unfolds, so be sure to follow her journey: 

LinkedIn | Instagram | Website

If you are an independent designer looking to enter the world of 3D, apply for Browzwear’s Indie Program

“Everyone needs to look at their workflow and process and utilize 3D to whatever level they are comfortable with, but 3D helps the fashion industry shed the image of being a wasteful industry. 

AstriHanenkamp, Fashion Designer & Knitwear Specialist