FIT students are mastering the latest tools used in the fashion industry
It’s no secret that size and fit vary widely across ― and sometimes even within ― brands. Retailers say sizing is the number one reason for clothing returns, and manufacturers are concerned about the time and expense of shipping product around the globe, only to have it returned for poor fit. Now the Baker School of Business and Technology is preparing students to work with new technology that makes the process more precise.
The students are learning on a state-of-the-art 3D body scanner, donated by [TC]², a body measurement and visualization technology company. To get scanned, a person enters a private space the size of a changing room and strips down to their underwear. In seconds, sensors capture up to 400 data points across the person’s body, taking thousands of measurements. The scanner generates a 3D digital image of the person, which can be used to analyze body shapes and develop made-to-measure clothing and other products. It’s light years beyond the traditional dress form, or the tailor with his tape. Some retailers have already started using this new tool in their brick-and-mortar stores.
The scanner works with accompanying iStyling software, which takes the information from the scan and develops an avatar that the customer can use to try on garments virtually. FIT is the only institution of higher education that has this software.
Steven Frumkin, dean for Business and Technology, says students who train on the equipment and software have a competitive edge. “It gives us an excellent connection to industry,” he says. Fashion Design, Technical Design, Production Management, and Textile Development and Marketing are currently working with it. The iStyling avatar can also be used for color styling with makeup and accessories, so the technology has applications across even more majors, such as Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing.
Frumkin is pleased that the students have the opportunity to learn this new technology. It’s changing the industry by addressing the formidable sizing dilemma, he says. “It takes the guesswork out.”