3D continues to make significant headway within the apparel industry, and it’s the talented individuals working behind the scenes who are driving the industry’s digital transformation and making it a reality. We recently chatted with Senior Pattern Cutter, Robert Bazeley-Harris, to gain insight into how 3D apparel design is impacting his long-standing career in the evolving world of fashion.
From a young age, Bazeley has often turned to fashion as a way of expressing his creativity and could frequently be found putting his creative mind to good use by remodeling old T-shirts into new garments. Needless to say, Bazeley always had a sense of the direction he was heading in, and although he initially looked into footwear as a starting point, he soon found himself drawn to clothing and apparel creation.
To kick off his fashion journey, Bazeley went to study at London College of Fashion, earning himself a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Apparel Design and Technology in 2005, followed by a Postgraduate Certification in Innovative Pattern Cutting at Central St Martins a year later. After completing his studies, Bazeley was eager to gain industry experience and began freelancing as a Senior Pattern Cutter for a variety of apparel brands and retailers, both high street and luxury, including Topshop, Nicole Farhi, Donna Ida, and more.
After several years in the industry, Bazeley began to explore the realm of digital fashion which was slowly but surely making its way to the surface. “Some of the brands that I was working for at the time had either just started to dip their toes into 3D apparel, or had suppliers that were already leveraging it,” says Bazeley. “I was intrigued by the concept and wanted to discover how I could use it to broaden my skill set as a Senior Pattern Cutter.” Ready to get on board, Bazeley delved into several 3D software applications alongside his freelance work, returning to London College of Fashion in 2010, to complete a part-time course on CAD-CAM, including additional training in Photoshop and Illustrator. “With the way the industry was moving and the direction it is going, I felt a sense of urgency to get 3D under my belt sooner rather than later,” says Bazeley.
As Bazeley became more familiar with the concept of 3D apparel, he stumbled upon The Diigitals and Browzwear’s collaborative Animation Workflow Webinar back in early May 2021 which instantly sparked his interest in Browzwear’s 3D design software, VStitcher. With no time to waste, Bazeley soon joined the Browzwear Indie Program, enabling him to dive into all of the features and functions of the software, accompanied by the e-learning platform Browzwear University. “Although 3D apparel may seem like a challenging area to break into, once you take that initial step, you’ll soon realize that you can take your ideas much further than before, and the more you invest into it, the more you will get out of it,” says Bazeley.
Within just a couple of weeks, Bazeley was able to incorporate his newly acquired skills into his day-to-day tasks at British fashion retailer, AllSaints, where he has been working as a full-time Senior Pattern Cutter since 2015, collaborating closely with designers, garment technologists, and machinists to produce jersey, knitwear, soft separates, denim, leather, and tailoring across both the womenswear and menswear departments. “With the help of Browzwear University and the many video tutorials provided, I was able to get into the swing of VStitcher pretty quickly and navigate my way around the software to build patterns entirely from scratch as well as apply my own textures to fabrics,” says Bazeley. “Of course, with a little trial and error along the way, I have been able to build a workflow that best suits my way of working. I can take advantage of the realism that VStitcher provides to see exactly what does and doesn’t work in real-time, creating a much more fluid and efficient process.”
As Bazeley continues to master VStitcher, intending to cover all corners of the software, he hopes to produce complete ranges as well as extend his knowledge to asset integration to incorporate fully realized avatars in different environments for style presentations and eventually eCommerce purposes. “I certainly view 3D as the natural evolution of a pattern cutter, and once it has been adopted across an organization, it will ultimately be the glue between departments, facilitating fast and effective collaboration across the supply chain,” says Bazeley. “Once you can communicate visually, there is little room left for misunderstandings. You can present the correct print and placement which makes the process so much more straightforward.”
We look forward to seeing Bazeley’s next steps on his digital journey and are pleased to welcome him to the Browzwear Professional Guild!