Graduate Wins Prize for Outfit Made of Pineapple-Leaf Fabric

FIT crushed the competition recently in a contest for Ideation 2019, a conference arranged by the software company Gerber. Of the 120 international entries in a challenge to create an actual, marketable garment using new technology, FIT took the top four (out of five) places. Parsons, Pratt, the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, and other colleges participated; the only other finalist was from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

The top prize went to Alan Romo, Technical Design ’19, who created a coat that can be converted into a dress using zippers. He fashioned the piece using a biodegradable material he sourced that is made of pineapple leaves, resin, and a renewable plastic made from corn. “I wanted it to be sustainable, but also something for someone on the go,” Romo says. Piňatex, as it is called, looks and feels like leather. The company sold Romo remnants of fabric, in a color known as paprika, at a discount. All the winners received Accumark pattern design software. As the first-place winner, Romo, who already has a position as a technical designer for Club Monaco, also received 3D software. “I use it every day,” he says.

The other FIT winners, all from Technical Design, were John E. Bell, Taylor Byron, and Nicole Pearson. The conference was held at New York’s Marriott Marquee hotel.

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