THE FUTURE IS NOW

Veronica Apsan @SmartFashionTextiles

Veronica Apsan @SmartFashionTextiles

I believe sustainability and textile innovation is an inevitable part of the future of fashion design.  The concept of being able to use textiles that can actually do more than cover our bodies is more than fascinating but will create a new relationship between textiles, technology, and human. Which in turn, will provide a host of new benefits to everyone. From sportswear to the medical field, technology and fashion, when combined will be a formidable force for the betterment of our minds, bodies, and environments. This is the philosophy of my emerging fashion label.

 


Over the last year, I focused on textile innovation. This summer, I am selected to  participate of a AFFOA workshop with MIT students in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Over two weeks, we visited both campuses and participated in workshops, learning sessions, and entrepreneurship mentoring. We also explored the possibilities of advanced knitting and 3-D printing. 

As the fashion industry becomes more and more dependent on advanced textiles, individuals who have the experience this workshop will prove to be the industry’s next leaders.
— Joanne Arbuckle, Deputy to the President for Industry Partnerships and Collaborative Programs at FIT
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We believe this is the future, 
so we want you all to be involved and help make it happen.

Yoel Fink AFFOA Chief Executive Officer 

At AFFOA , Both FIT & MIT we learned about bringing their ideas to market through an intensive entrepreneurship boot camp. They also attended an AFFOA member networking event at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, where Apsan said she and Anderson received positive feedback about their ideas. “The fact that someone in the industry who is working on textiles is thinking the same thing was so awesome to hear,” she said.

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LOOKS BACKPACK 

 

At MIT's International Design Center, Our Mentor, Sebastian discussed with us Sustainability and 3d Printing Methods. 

The MIT IDC is a community of faculty, researchers, labs and students from across all 5 schools at MIT focused on understanding and enhancing the methods, tools, and outcomes of diverse design activities. We explored and developed clothing concepts using advanced functional materials that incorporate 3D printing. Below is color-changing filament, 3D-printed into modular components.

 

During our week at FIT,  Professor, and High Fashion Couture Designer Andy Liu discussed _________. We visited WGSN, a leader in trend forecasting and analysis service, and met with Gabi Asfour, founder and creative director at threeASFOUR, a clothing design brand, about incorporating 3D-printed parts into garments. We visited Stoll Manufacturing Headquarters. The Stoll enterprise  is the integrative link between the highly sophisticated technology in the area of developing and manufacturing flat knitting machines on the one hand and  an innovative independent thinker and developer in the section of  Fashion & Technology on the other hand. Lastly, we designed our own knitwear swatches at FIT knitwear Lab with Professor Sandra Ferrara, and Knitwear Technician  Katherine. . 

For our final project, Erika Anderson (MIT) rising senior majoring in Mechanical Eningeering and minor in Design, and I teamed up. We were really interested in color and how it affects people’s moods and how they feel. Color and clothing are part of a person’s identity and how they want to portray that to the world. Anderson and Apsan started with a color-changing filament that they 3D-printed into modular components. From there, they moved on to  fibers that can be filled with an ink that changes color when an electrical current is sent through it.

Many people own basic clothing or similar shirts and pants in different colors. This takes up a lot of closet space and costs a lot of money. A large wardrobe is also not environmentally friendly. With a T-shirt that can change color, a person could radically pare down how many garments they buy and throw out.

 The four other students in the workshop David Merchan,MIT senior double-majoring in materials science and engineering and physics; Melanie Wong, (FIT) Knitwear Design Calvin Zhong, (MIT) double-majored in architecture and comparative media studies; and Jesse Doherty,(FIT) Knitwear, put their ideas into a single wearable concept. They created a double-layer knit laboratory apron with reflective zippers that transforms into a dress or bag and has interchangeable pockets with customizable technological functions.  

For example, one pocket could have an energy socket that wirelessly charges a phone, while another could act as a hand sanitizer by working into the fiber antimicrobial chemicals or ultraviolet LEDs. The apron/dress itself could also be infused with conductive fibers that cool or warm the wearer.

It is exciting to see what happens when students from different fields of engineering and design, but with a common interest in advanced fibers and fabrics, come together and engage with new kinds of materials and manufacturing techniques. The collaboration and creativity is inspiring.
— Gregory C. Rutledge, Lead Principal Investigator for MIT in AFFOA and Lammot du Pont Professor in Chemical Engineering

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In conclusion, We had a blast collaborating, it was interesting learning about each other and how we can use our different strengths into our projects ideas. Then, taking our concepts to another level to create a viable business.  Leaving this workshop we were all inspired by the collaboration. What we experianced was just the beginning.

Take action every day towards your big vision. Be relentless until your vision has no choice but to materialize into reality....

The combination of our talents is truly the future of fashion design.
— Veronica Apsan
Veronica Apsan