Annual congress illustrates Lectra’s firm commitment to the world of education and helps reinforce the link between fashion professionals and schools.
Paris– Lectra, the world leader in integrated technology solutions dedicated to industries using soft materials — textiles, leather, industrial fabrics and composites materials — held its fourth education congress in Cestas (France) on November 17 and 18, 2011. Lectra’s 2011 education congress welcomed 40 professors, education coordinators, department heads, and directors of 22 fashion schools and universities from Germany, Brazil, Canada, China, the United States, France, Holland, Italy, Great Britain, and Switzerland. This year, it was organized around three major themes: collaborative work, design, and 3D as applied to the fashion industry.
“This annual congress is an enriching time for sharing and exchanging and is the high point of the projects established by Lectra specifically for its Privilege partners. It is part of a comprehensive approach to providing active support to education which, throughout the year, translates into strong involvement and concrete action with our 850 schools and university partners,” says Executive Committee member Véronique Zoccoletto, in charge of the Education Program.
Collaborative work, a new major stake for fashion companies and schools
Fashion companies are constantly seeking new solutions allowing them to reduce their costs, guarantee the quality of their products, and ensure faster time-to-market for their collections. Collaborative work has become a key element over the past few years in achieving these objectives. This subject has thus become increasingly important for schools and universities, which must sensitize their students to this new way of working and communicating, and to the tools that support it.
During the congress, Allison Smith, project manager at Façonnable, the renowned French brand that specializes in top-of-the-range ready-to-wear for men and women, underlined the importance of sharing information company-wide in real time, to be able to develop collections quickly and to increase efficiency and competitiveness.
Cynthia Istook, professor and director of undergraduate programs in fashion at North Carolina State University, explained how her students share information especially by using solutions like Kaledo®, Lectra’s design software suite dedicated to the world of fashion. This university has also just acquired the Lectra Fashion PLM solution for its fashion and textile department in order to set up a collaborative environment which reflects that of the company in general.
Design: more than ever a core concern for fashion schools
The creative process was also highlighted by Francine Pairon, director of the Master’s program for fashion and accessory design at the Institut Français de la Mode (IFM). She explained how design constantly plays the edge between freedom and constraint, illustrating her point with work done by her students.
Craig Tudhope, CAD manager at American Eagle, emphasized the added value provided by Kaledo, which allows his design team to produce an increasing number of styles and fabrics (prints, knits, etc.) in record time.
Pattern design and 3D virtual prototyping: an innovation/major technical advance for fashion schools and businesses
3D technologies for fashion were also a subject of exchange among participants who were thus able to capitalize on the expertise of schools that have already integrated 3D virtual prototyping into their courses.
Sandra Kuijpers and Ineke Siersema, both teachers at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute, presented the work their students did for a competition on 3D virtual prototyping organized by their institution and Lectra. These creations convinced the participants that 3D technologies presented a real advantage for designers and pattern-making departments. This discussion highlighted the value of Modaris® V7, Lectra’s pattern-making and 3D virtual prototyping solution.
Lectra's education congress: an anticipated annual event and an enriching opportunity to share experiences
A place for the exchange of experience and expertise, the education congress has also allowed many schools to present their educational programs, including De Monfort University (United Kingdom), which has developed a course dedicated entirely to lingerie and undergarments, and Studio Moda Rossella (Italy) which has placed technology at the center of its development process.
Patrick Hierf, pedagogical coordinator for the Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne (France), revealed the school’s new directions: “A year ago, our institution reinforced its study program by turning to the expertise of fashion professionals and by increased our use of Lectra’s new technologies. This gives our students a closer link to business and allows them to be more effective as soon as they enter the work force.”
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